The Minnesota Vikings rolled into Arrowhead Stadium with plenty of momentum on Sunday as they looked to extend their four-game winning streak against the Kansas City Chiefs. Instead, a combination of big plays and bad news helped the Chiefs take advantage and hand the Vikings a 26-23 loss.
The game began in ominous fashion as Kirk Cousins didn't seem to have the sharp form that led him to NFC Player of the Month honors in October. As he missed several big plays, Cousins finished just 19-for-38 with 220 yards on the afternoon but also finished with three touchdowns.
Making matters worse, Adam Thielen left the game on the first drive and never returned due to an aggravation of his hamstring injury and the Chiefs did a tremendous job of bottling up Dalvin Cook all afternoon.
Regardless, Cousins' touchdown strike to Olabisi Johnson would be the highlight for the Vikings in the first half and Minnesota would go into the locker room tied at 10 before beginning a heart-stopping second half.
The Vikings opened the final thirty minutes when Holton Hill forced a Mecole Hardman fumble that set the Vikings up in prime field position. After Cousins found Ameer Abdullah for a 16-yard touchdown, the Vikings would take the lead, but Dan Bailey missed what would be a crucial extra point.
Even with a 16-10 lead, it was big plays that would help torpedo the Vikings' chances. Minnesota pinned Kansas City to their own goal line at one point, but Damian Williams unleashed a 91-yard touchdown run to give the Chiefs a 17-16 advantage.
After Harrison Butker added a 45-yard field goal, Cousins would have another response throwing a three-yard touchdown to Kyle Rudolph put the Vikings ahead with 10:59 remaining.
Unfortunately, the Vikings had no answer for Tyreek Hill, who torched Trae Waynes and Xavier Rhodes for six catches, 140 yards and a touchdown including several big catches down the stretch. After Butker drilled a 54-yard field goal to tie the game, a big reception by Travis Kelce put the Chiefs into field goal range and Butker capitalized with a 44-yard field goal for the game-winner as time expired.
The loss sends the Vikings to 6-3 on the season and makes next week's showdown in Dallas much more important. With Minnesota in the thick of the NFC playoff race, they'll have to hope for the Los Angeles Chargers to upset the Green Bay Packers to keep pace in the NFC North.