It was never really close Sunday in Los Angeles as the Vikings stymied the Chargers in a 39-10 blowout victory to keep pace in the NFC playoff race.
Minnesota's offense wasn't firing on all cylinders, but the defense played its best game of the season by forcing seven turnovers. Danielle Hunter forced a pair of first-half fumbles, the second of which that Ifeadi Odenigbo picked up and returned 56 yards for a touchdown in the waning seconds of the second quarter to give Minnesota a 19-10 lead.
It was more of the same in the second half as four of L.A.'s five possessions ended in a fumble, interception or turnover on downs. Here's how every Chargers offensive possession ended:
- Field goal
- End of half
- Turnover on downs
Hunter, Odenigbo, Harrison Smith and Trae Waynes each recovered a fumble, and Smith, Mike Hughes and Anthony Harris each had an interception.
Offensively, Kirk Cousins passed for only 207 yards against the fourth-ranked L.A. passing defense, but the big lead limited the need to throw the ball in the second half. The running game averaged just 3.6 yards per carry but did finish with 131 yards on the ground, including a pair of late rushing touchdowns by Mike Boone.
Boone was in the game after Dalvin Cook exited in the third quarter with a shoulder injury.
Minnesota is now 10-4 and are sitting two games up in the wild-card race because the Rams were pounded by the Cowboys. With two weeks to go, it would take a miracle for the Vikings to miss the playoffs.
Green Bay improved to 11-3 by defeating the Bears, setting up a huge showdown at U.S. Bank Stadium next week between the Vikings and Packers.