A big early score, a long stretch of time where it looks like the offense has fallen asleep, and a furious comeback at the end?
Yep. . .it was another Sunday of Minnesota Vikings football.
After trailing 17-7 going into the fourth quarter, the Vikings ran off 13 unanswered points, with Greg Joseph’s 28-yard field goal with seconds remaining providing the winning margin in Minnesota’s 20-17 victory over the Washington Commanders.
Minnesota took the opening kickoff and marched down the field on their first possession, converting a pair of key third downs, including a 19-yard pass to the newly-acquired T.J. Hockenson to put the Vikings near midfield. The drive concluded with Justin Jefferson’s first touchdown catch since Week 1, as Kirk Cousins found him from nine yards out to give the Vikings an early 7-0 lead.
After the teams spent a lot of time exchanging punts, the Commanders finally got on the board with less than a minute left in the half, as Joey Slye connected on a 44-yard field goal attempt to make it 7-3 in favor of the Vikings. Minnesota got themselves into field goal range at the end of the half, but Kirk Cousins’ throw into the end zone was intercepted by Danny Johnson to send it into the locker room with that 7-3 score.
It didn’t take Washington long to get on the board in the second half, as Taylor Heinicke threw a ball into the middle of three Vikings’ defenders that, somehow, wound up in the hands of Curtis Samuel for a 49-yard touchdown. The play was helped by an official that took out Camryn Bynum when it looked like he was prepared to intercept the pass. Regardless, it was 10-7 less than a minute into the third quarter.
Pretty sure Cam Bynum picks this off if he doesn’t run into the ref. Bad luck for the Vikings. pic.twitter.com/VozHISSlxW— Will Ragatz (@WillRagatz) November 6, 2022
Washington then extended their lead early in the fourth quarter, courtesy of a 6-yard touchdown pass from Taylor Heinicke to Dax Milne to make it 17-7 two plays into the frame.
On the next drive, it looked like the Vikings might stall out again, but Kirk Cousins found Justin Jefferson for a big play down to the Washington 12-yard line. Cousins was injured on the play but missed only one snap.
That led to a 25-yard field goal from Greg Joseph to cut the deficit to a one-score game at 17-10 with just under eleven minutes remaining in regulation. Then, when the Vikings needed a big play, they got one from a guy that’s made a career out of doing just that.
Harrison Smith’s fourth interception of the year gave the Vikings the ball at the Washington 12-yard line, and led to a pretty great celebration.
Two plays later Cousins found Dalvin Cook on a 12-yard touchdown pass to tie things up at 17-17 with just under eight minutes remaining in regulation.
After forcing a three-and-out, the Vikings got down to the Washington 4-yard line and appeared to let Greg Joseph kick a 22-yard field goal to take the lead. . .but Washington was called for a personal foul penalty on the field goal attempt to give Minnesota a first-and-goal from the 2-yard line. Washington only had one timeout left, so the Vikings ran out as much clock as they could and then had Joseph kick the field goal from 26 yards out to give the Vikings their sixth straight victory.
The win moves the Vikings to 7-1 on the season, and they’ve got a big one next week when they travel to western New York to take on the Buffalo Bills. The loss snaps Washington’s winning streak at three games, dropping them to 4-5 as they head into a game against the Philadelphia Eagles next week.
Minnesota wins their sixth straight in another wild one, holding off the Washington Commanders by a score of 20-17. Thank you to everybody that got their coverage of this week’s game here at The Daily Norseman!