Skip to main content

Browns smother Vikings offense, puts Minnesota back on the brink

The Browns won with a game plan reserved for Mike Zimmer's squad.
Mike Zimmer

The Minnesota Vikings came into Sunday as one of the best offenses in the league. But with a game plan that's usually reserved for Mike Zimmer's squad, Kevin Stefanski and the Cleveland Browns shut it down in a 14-7 loss.

The Vikings started the game with a 14-play drive that took up half of the first quarter. The balanced march ended when Kirk Cousins found Justin Jefferson for his 100th touchdown as a Viking and gave Minnesota a 7-0 lead.

But even with the fast start, the offense struggled against the Browns' defense. Minnesota totaled just 255 yards of offense on the afternoon and Cousins was under constant pressure despite being sacked just twice on the afternoon.

The defense held up against the Browns but with Cleveland holding the ball for 35 minutes on the afternoon, it eventually broke after Eric Kendricks was called for a holding penalty on fourth-and-goal.

Kareem Hunt's one-yard touchdown plunge put Cleveland on the board but a miscommunication on the extra point forced Sheldon Richardson to call a timeout the Vikings didn't have. The penalty convinced the Browns to go for two, and Baker Mayfield found Andy Janovich to give Cleveland an 8-7 lead.

Chase McLaughlin's 48-yard field goal at the end of the half sent the Vikings into the half down 11-7 and the second half started on a rough note when Dalvin Cook aggravated his ankle injury.

The injury combined with Cleveland's 184 rushing yards neutralized the Vikings' offense and put them into a 14-7 hole on McLaughlin's second field goal of the game.

The Vikings' offense continued to struggle including Cousins' first interception in his last 226 pass attempts. Although Cook returned to the game late, the running game went out the window on the final drive.

With three seconds remaining, Cousins' last-second heave was knocked to the ground and the Browns sent the Vikings to 1-3.

The loss reinstates many of the concerns that existed prior to last week's victory over Seattle. With Dan Campbell and the Lions visiting U.S. Bank Stadium next week, the Vikings' will have another must-win situation as they look to save their season.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-10-06 at 4.04.40 PM

Ramen bar announced for upcoming Eat Street Crossing food hall

The restaurant roster is filling up at Eat Street Crossing.

police lights squad car dark - Unsplash

Man dies after being shot during argument in Minneapolis

It's the 70th homicide in Minneapolis this year.


Minneapolis police, city employees clear out Near North encampment

This comes as colder weather moves through the state.

Screen Shot 2022-10-06 at 4.32.46 PM

New T.J. Maxx to open in the Twin Cities this month

Opening day will kick off with extended hours.

Screen Shot 2022-10-06 at 3.04.24 PM

Former Hennepin County commissioner arrested for DWI

The 61-year-old was being held in Hennepin County Jail as of Thursday morning.

Evie Carshare

Electric carshare network showing growth in Twin Cities

Over 25,000 trips have been logged in a six-month span.

Screen Shot 2022-10-06 at 1.11.01 PM

Popular Apple Valley ice arena could be replaced

A concept plan to transform the ice arena is being considered.


Low river levels bring cancellations for St. Paul-New Orleans Viking cruises

The low water also impacted some barge traffic making its way down the river.

10.6 Tempest Weather Thumbnail

Drought tightens grip as Twin Cities reaches 'extreme' level

By this time last year, drought was fading fast in Minnesota.

Screen Shot 2022-10-06 at 11.23.49 AM

Woman missing since car crash has been found

The 49-year-old is believed to have been driving when the crash happened.


Mike Zimmer

Vikings miss game-winning field goal, fall to 0-2

Greg Joseph's chip shot as time expired spoiled a late comeback.

Justin Jefferson

Justin Jefferson erupts to lead Vikings over Packers

Greg Joseph's game-winner helped the Vikings get back to .500.

Oli Udoh

Vikings-Cardinals: 5 things you can count on happening

The Vikings need a win in the desert but will they get one on Sunday?

Dalvin Cook

Vikings vs. Chargers: 5 things you can count on

Will the Vikings melt down in Los Angeles?

Kirk Cousins

Vikings' season on the brink after loss to Bears

The Vikings will need a lot of help to make the playoffs.

Mike Zimmer

Vikings can't overcome penalties, late fumble in Cincinnati

The Vikings held themselves back in an overtime loss.