Sometimes in the National Football League, teams have to win ugly. After being asleep for much of the first half, the Minnesota Vikings managed to get themselves one of those ugly wins on Sunday in Miami.
Kirk Cousins threw two touchdown passes and Dalvin Cook iced the game with a 53-yard run at the end of the game to seal a 24-16 victory over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium. This marks the first victory in Miami for the Minnesota Vikings since December of 1976.
The two teams went through the first quarter scoreless, with the big highlight for the Vikings being a 73-yard punt from rookie Ryan Wright to flip the field position when the Vikings were pinned deep in their own territory.
The Vikings’ offense started with four consecutive three-and-outs as they couldn’t get anything generated on that side of the ball. The Dolphins then had to switch quarterbacks after starter Skylar Thompson appeared to suffer some sort of hand injury, meaning that they turned to former Vikings starter Teddy Bridgewater behind center. It took until there were about six minutes left in the second quarter, but someone finally scored as Jason Sanders connected on a 44-yard field goal to give the Dolphins a 3-0 lead.
Minnesota’s offense finally woke up on the next possession, as Kirk Cousins started hitting receivers and moving the team downfield. The drive was capped with a 2-yard pass from Cousins to Irv Smith Jr. for the game’s first touchdown to give the Vikings a 7-3 lead just before the two-minute warning.
Sanders missed a 52-yard field goal on the ensuing possession, giving the Vikings good field position with 1:40 left in the half and one timeout remaining. On Miami’s next drive, Harrison Smith made a great interception to give the Vikings the ball in Miami territory.
From there, the Vikings got Greg Joseph into position to attempt a 34-yard field goal, and he connected to send the game into the locker room with Minnesota holding a 10-3 lead.
The Dolphins gave the Vikings a gift on their first drive when they faked a punt from their own 34-yard line and got stopped on a great play by Josh Metellus. Unfortunately, the Vikings then went backward and were forced to punt the ball away rather than adding points to the lead.
The teams spent most of the third quarter exchanging punts and not scoring any points, as they went into the fourth quarter with the same 10-3 score. On the second play of the fourth quarter, the Vikings added to the lead on another 2-yard touchdown pass from Cousins, this one to Adam Thielen. Greg Joseph’s extra point went wide to the right, but the Vikings still extended their lead to 13 at 16-3.
Miami came back with an immediate response, as Bridgewater led the Dolphin’s offense down the field and capped the drive with a four-yard touchdown pass to tight end Mike Gesicki. Sanders’ extra point was good, and with ten minutes left in the contest the lead was down to 16-10 for Minnesota.
The Dolphins were pushing towards more points after another Vikings punt, but Harrison Smith made another big play, forcing a fumble from Jaylen Waddle after a catch with Camryn Bynum recovering for a turnover! That kept the score at 16-10 with just over four minutes left in the game.
The Vikings took advantage and iced the game just two plays later, as Dalvin Cook took a handoff from Kirk Cousins and sprinted 53 yards for a touchdown. The Vikings went for two and succeeded on a pass from Kirk Cousins to Adam Thielen, and with just over three minutes remaining the Vikings were ahead 24-10.
The Vikings’ defense added one more turnover at the end of the game, as Bridgewater had a pass intercepted by Patrick Peterson near the end. After another Minnesota punt, Bridgewater and Gesicki connected for another touchdown, this one a 3-yarder, to make the score 24-16 (after the two-point conversion attempt failed), but the Vikings recovered the onside kick and went into victory formation.
The Vikings will now go into their bye week with a record of 5-1 and, essentially, a three-game lead in the NFC North as they currently hold the tiebreaker advantage over every other team in the division. The Dolphins fall to 3-3 on the year and will host the Pittsburgh Steelers next week on Sunday Night Football.
It wasn’t necessarily pretty, but the Minnesota Vikings take down the Miami Dolphins in Week 6 NFL action by a score of 24-16 at Hard Rock Stadium, their first win in Miami since December of 1976. Thank you to everyone that got their coverage of this week’s game right here at The Daily Norseman!