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After Further Review: Vikings Make Critical Goal-to-go Stand

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After Further Review is a deeper look at plays or stats after Vikings games…

The Vikings defeated the Browns 33-16 on Sunday at Twickenham Stadium to improve to 6-2 on the season.

Danielle Hunter's forced fumble by Cleveland's Isaiah Crowell on the opening snap of the second half was incredibly important because the Vikings took a 15-13 lead on a 43-yard field goal by Kai Forbath.

Later in the quarter, however, Minnesota needed another pivotal series, and the defense rose to the occasion to keep Cleveland out of the end zone.

The Browns started their third possession of the period at their own 40 and quickly moved into Vikings territory after a 15-yard facemask penalty on Shamar Stephen.

Cleveland followed with a short pass and five consecutive runs (three by quarterback DeShone Kizer and two by Duke Johnson) to the Minnesota 6, with the final five yards coming on an illegal use of hands to the face against Xavier Rhodes.

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Q3, 6:29 remaining — First-and-goal at the Minnesota 6

Cleveland goes with 11 personnel (one running back, one tight end, three receivers). Minnesota opts to go with its nickel defense and has Mackensie Alexander in the slot.

Kizer is in the shotgun with Crowell on his right before shifting the running back to his left. When the ball is snapped, inside receiver Rashard Higgins curls around as if he's going to catch a screen pass and pick up blocks from Ricardo Louis and Bryce Treggs, but Kizer hands the ball to Crowell.

Tight end Seth DeValve tries to help right tackle Shon Coleman block Hunter at the line, then move on to the second level, but he is unable to reach Vikings safety Harrison Smith, who knifes his way through a hole between Stephen and Linval Joseph.

Smith makes first contact with a diving swipe to slow down Crowell at the line of scrimmage as Anthony Barr, Joseph and Hunter converge on the ball and limit the play to a gain of 1.

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Q3, 5:46 remaining — Second-and-goal at the Minnesota 5

The Browns have 12 personnel (one running back, two tight ends and two receivers) and is again in the shotgun. The Vikings swap Trae Waynes for Alexander in the slot, and he's covering rookie tight end David Njoku, who entered the game with three of the Browns seven receiving touchdowns.

Newman stays stride for stride with Njoku as Griffen beats Spencer Drango off the edge. Griffen makes contact with Kizer as he releases the pass, and the ball flutters.

Newman is in great position, but Njoku alertly gets a hand in to tip the pass. Newman also tipped the ball before it fell to the ground.

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*Q3, 5:40 remaining — Third-and-goal at the Minnesota 5  *

Cleveland and Minnesota stay with the same personnel grouping. The Browns line up DeValve and Treggs to the left and place Njoku and Louis to the right.

Smith is on DeValve, and Rhodes is on Treggs. Newman is on Njoku, and Trae Waynes is on Louis.

Kizer quickly tries to throw a corner route to DeValve, but the tight end runs into Rhodes while trying to execute a crossing route. Smith stays with DeValve, so Treggs comes open on a slant, but not before Kizer opts for a fade pass to the corner route.

The Browns settled for a 23-yard field goal, which gave them a 16-15 lead, but Minnesota answered with a touchdown and took control the rest of the game.

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