Once again, the Minnesota Vikings had their opportunities to get their first win of the season against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium, but they simply couldn’t get it done.
The Vikings had a goal-to-go situation late, but Kirk Cousins’ throw was intercepted send the Vikings to a 28-24 loss in Week 3 action.
The Vikings appeared to be on their way to taking an early lead, but in keeping with the story of this season they lost a fumble, as T.J. Hockenson had one stripped away after trying to pick up extra yardage on what would have been a third-down conversion. The Chargers immediately turned that into a touchdown, marching 80 yards down the field and finishing the drive with a 3-yard strike from Justin Herbert to Donald Parham to take an early 7-0 lead.
It took until midway through the second quarter for the Vikings to get on the board, but they did so courtesy of a 4-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins to Josh Oliver, his first touchdown as a member of the Vikings. The extra point was good, and the game was tied at 7-7.
On the Chargers’ next drive, the Vikings actually recovered a fumble. . .their first one this year. . .as Jordan Hicks took the ball away from Jordan Palmer and recovered it in Los Angeles territory.
The Vikings then took the lead for the first time, as they got a 23-yard field goal from Greg Joseph to make the score 10-7 just ahead of the two-minute warning.
The Chargers then took the lead back in short order, as Herbert and Parham connected again from a yard out to make the score 14-10.
Los Angeles extended their lead midway through the third quarter on a trick play, as Herbert threw a backward pass to Keenan Allen, who then found a wide-open Mike Williams down the right sideline for a 49-yard touchdown to make it 21-10 with just under six minutes left in the third quarter.
Minnesota finally struck back on the next drive, facing 4th-and-6 from the Los Angeles 36-yard line. Kevin O’Connell elected to go for it, and Cousins found K.J. Osborn on a short pass that wound up turning into a 36-yard score to cut the deficit to 21-17 with just over three minutes left in the third quarter.
On the Vikings’ next drive, they took the lead back courtesy of another short pass that turned into a long gain, as Cousins found Justin Jefferson for a 52-yard touchdown, Jefferson’s first score of the season. That made it 24-21 with just over eleven minutes remaining in regulation.
The Chargers then took the lead back on a pass that looked like it should have been intercepted by Akayleb Evans but, instead, went right into the hands of Joshua Palmer for a 30-yard touchdown. The extra point for the Chargers made it 28-24, but there were still just over eight minutes left in the game.
The Vikings then pushed into Chargers territory and had themselves a first-and-goal from the Chargers’ 3-yard line. . .and couldn’t get in. They turned the ball over on downs as they couldn’t punch it in on four consecutive plays.
The Chargers, however, decided to give the Vikings a gift, as they chose to go for it on 4th-and-1 from their own 24-yard line and the Vikings stopped Joshua Kelley cold to get the ball back on downs with just under two minutes left.
The Vikings then got down to a first-and-goal from the Chargers’ 7. . .and Kirk Cousins pass intended for T.J. Hockenson was tipped and intercepted by Kenneth Murray to end the threat and the game.
Your Minnesota Vikings are now 0-3 on the season and are facing a trip to face the Carolina Panthers next week.
The Vikings fall to the Chargers by a final score of 28-24. Thanks to everyone that got their coverage of today’s game right here at The Daily Norseman!