Minnesota Vikings surprise Green Bay Packers at last-minute field goal while Detroit Lions remain unbeaten – The Mercury News

To the dismay of coach Mike Zimmer, the Minnesota Vikings have made it a habit with these highly stressful finishes with white knuckles.

All that experience must pay off. They deftly followed the winning formula to beat the Green Bay Packers by making sure Aaron Rodgers was on the sidelines in the end and not on the field.

Greg Joseph scored a 29-yard field goal as time went on, to give the Vikings a 34-31 victory over the Packers in a classic back and forth with their divisional rival and longtime nemesis.

“Do you know how they say ‘Sunday is a fun day’? It’s not at all,” said an exhausted Zimmer after the match was decided on the last snap for the sixth time in 10 matches. The Vikings (5-5) have won three and lost three of them.

The only team in the NFL this year that has a lead of seven or more points in every game, all but one of the Vikings’ games has been settled with one score. Kirk Cousins ​​passed 341 yards and three touchdowns to help the Vikings stay one step ahead of Rodgers most of the afternoon.

“Hopefully in the future we can find our way to put the forks in teams, put them away when we have to, but we’re still trying to learn how to do it,” said cornerback Patrick Peterson. “I think continuing to have these situations will continue to make us better.”

Rodgers threw four touchdown passes, all on the Packers’ last four full possessions, excluding a knee joint to end the first half. All of these drives covered 74 yards or more.

Rodgers finished 23 of 33 for the season’s highest 385 yards for the Packers (8-3). After losing time earlier due to COVID-19, Rodgers was unable to train much this week due to a toe injury.

“It’s very, very painful. I was stepped on in the first half and that kind of activated all the symptoms I had,” Rodgers said. “It’s going to be another painful week next week, and then I can hopefully get well while saying goodbye.”

Justin Jefferson had eight 169-yard yards and two assists for the Vikings, including a third-down catch against rookie Eric Stokes, which Cousins ​​delivered for a 23-yard touchdown while Darnell Savage got a blitz. Dalvin Cook ran in the 2-point conversion to compensate for a previously missed extra point by Joseph.

At the next game from scrimmage, Rodgers threw a rainbow to Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who strode past safety Xavier Woods for a 75-yard goal to equalize just before the two-minute warning.

“Every play with this guy is a fight. One just hopes when they go down and score in one game that the attack can come back and do what they did,” Zimmer said. “So I was proud of them for that.”

When the Vikings regained the ball, the Cousins ​​almost cost themselves the comeback by submitting Jefferson a bit, which Savage darted in front to intercept the ball. However, he bubbled it on his way down, and a repeat call overturned the call.

Cousins ​​then went 3 of 3 for 51 yards on the next three snaps, and Cook – who rushed to 86 yards and a touchdown – ran after another first down. Then the Vikings knelt twice to put the last kick of Joseph.

“It’s just life in the NFL. It’s exciting,” Cousins ​​said. “I certainly understand why people want to follow along and watch it.”

The Vikings got the highest score against the Packers since a 38-3 loss to the New Orleans Saints in the season opener. The Packers conceded just 34 points over the previous three games.

Preston Smith had two sacks, but the Packers did not have the same passing rush with outside linebacker Rashan Gary (elbow) on the sideline. Za’Darius Smith and Whitney Mercilus are also out with long-term injuries.

Rodgers threw to Davante Adams twice for touchdowns, including an 18-yard strike in the third and 6th midfield in the fourth quarter as he tried to call timeout before the shotgun snapped.

Adams has 12 scoring receptions against the Vikings, most of any player.

“When you play an offensive that is hot and has a hot quarterback and stud receivers and a stud back, you have to keep scoring,” Rodgers said. “We need to start faster.”

The Browns keep the Lions undefeated with a 13-10 victory

With the outcome in doubt and their season in grave danger, the Cleveland Browns turned to their most reliable player.

Nick Chubb came through as always.

“We needed him and he showed up,” said Brown cornerback Denzel Ward.

Chubb caught a touchdown pass, rushed 130 yards and helped run the clock out while the Browns kept on to avoid a season-ending rebellion and keep the Detroit Lions undefeated with a sluggish 13-10 victory Sunday in Cleveland.

Chubb returned to the ranks after a single match absence due to COVID-19. The running back star caught a 5-yard touchdown pass from Baker Mayfield and then helped the Browns (6-5) put the Lions away (0-9-1).

Leading by three, the Browns got the ball back with 2:29 left. While the FirstEnergy Stadium crowd shouted “Chubb, Chubb,” before each snap, coach Kevin Stefanski Mayfield passed the ball to one of the NFL’s best backs.

Chubb ripped runs at 3, 4, 11 and 15 yards to ice it.

“Everyone shouted Chubb’s name eventually,” Brown’s defensive end, Myles Garrett. said. “I was definitely cheering on my guy.”

Wide receiver Jarvis Landry ran after a goal when the Browns barely came back after being blown out by 38 points last week in New England.

The Lions could not build any momentum further from their 16-16 draw a week ago in Pittsburgh and made some critical mistakes as they grew their unbeaten streak to 14 games. They are the league’s only unbeaten team.

“Nobody likes to lose,” said Lions running back D’Andre Swift, who finished with a career-high 136 yards. “We want to win, so it’s frustrating.”

Swift interrupted a 57-yard touchdown run in the second half to keep the Lions close.

Kicker Aldrick Rosas scored a 43-yard field goal in the fourth quarter to draw the Lions within 13-10. However, the Lions offense could not come up with another great game, and coach Dan Campbell decided to strike back with 2:36, denying his team one last chance.

“I thought we would get the ball back,” Campbell said. “I’m sure there are people who consider me too conservative, but you have to be careful and you have to be smart. We’re trying to win games 14-13 or 16-13.”

The Lions played without starting quarterback Jared Goff, who suffered an oblique injury against the Steelers. Tim Boyle finished 15 of 23 for 77 yards with two interceptions in his first NFL start.

Mayfield was limited in training this week with shoulder, foot and knee injuries. He threw an interception in the first half and had other problems under wet conditions before coming in contact with Chubb late in the second quarter.

Mayfield finished 15 of 29 for 176 yards with two interceptions. He declined to speak to reporters after the match.

Landry’s 16-yard scoring came on a gadget formation to open the second quarter. The Browns were determined to get Landry more touches, and the safe receiver moved behind the center with Mayfield shifting to the right. Landry took the snap and rolled to the left to throw himself back to the right.

With no open, Landry laid the ball and sprinted up the middle for his second rushing touchdown this season.

The Browns took a two-touchdown lead late in the half with the help of the Lions, who committed three penalties – two by cornerback Amani Oruwariye – on a 76-yard scoring drive limited by Chubb’s touchdown catch.

Boyle came in with just four career pass attempts. Goff did not train this week and his status is still uncertain for Thursday’s Thanksgiving game against the Chicago Bears.

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