The Minnesota Vikings raced to a big lead on Sunday but just as they have throughout the season, they made things closer than they had to be and fell to the Baltimore Ravens 34-31 on Sunday afternoon.
After allowing a field goal on the opening drive, the Vikings answered with a tremendous drive of their own with Kirk Cousins throwing a 50-yard bomb to Justin Jefferson to put Minnesota on the board.
On the next possession, a 66-yard run by Dalvin Cook put the Vikings on the goal line. After a failed fourth-down attempt was nullified by a pass interference penalty, Cousins crowd-surfed into the end zone to give Minnesota a 14-3 lead.
While the offense was getting the job done, the defense stepped in the absence of Harrison Smith. With their star safety out with COVID, Camryn Bynum came through with an interception that had the Vikings on the verge of taking control of the game.
But the Vikings couldn't take advantage and had to settle for a field goal. With the door cracked open, the Ravens used a pass interference penalty to set up a touchdown pass from Jackson to Devonta Freeman to cut the lead to 17-10 ahead of halftime.
Although the Ravens had momentum, another young player stepped up to open the second half when Kene Nwangwu took a kickoff to the house.
The return was the Vikings' first kickoff return for a touchdown since 2016 and gave Minnesota a 24-10 lead. But with an inexperienced defense, Jackson began to lead the Ravens back into the game.
After throwing a touchdown to Patrick Ricard, Jackson tied the game on a pass to Devin Duvernay with 3:29 left in the fourth quarter. With the Vikings' offense sputtering, the Ravens drove down the field again to take the lead on a one-yard touchdown plunge.
Following the script that the Vikings have used all season, a leaping grab by C.J. Ham led the Ravens deep into Baltimore territory. After converting on a 4th-and-6 inside the Ravens 10, Cousins found Adam Thielen for a game-tying touchdown with 1:03 to go.
The game went into overtime where an interception by Anthony Barr on Baltimore's opening drive gave the Vikings a chance win it. But the Vikings couldn't capitalize and the Ravens used a steady ground attack to set Tucker up for a 36-yard field goal to seal the win.
The Vikings fell to 3-5 with the loss and will travel to face the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 10.