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Vikings vs. Chiefs Game Observations: Early Fumble Adds to Uphill Day

MINNEAPOLIS — The Vikings were minus a turnover and trailed by seven points before the CBS broadcast was able to introduce Minnesota's starting offense.

On the first snap of the game, Kirk Cousins completed a pass to Josh Oliver who shed a tackle and began rumbling, but at the end of the 16-yard gain, Justin Reid forced a fumble that Bryan Cook recovered at the Minnesota 45-yard line.

The Vikings again lost the football, and an opponent again capitalized quickly.

Kansas City blended runs by Isiah Pacheco and a couple of short passes by Patrick Mahomes on a nine-play drive that lasted 4:50.

The touchdown provided the eventual final margin in a 27-20 win by the Chiefs (4-1), who managed to put a double whammy on the Vikings (1-4) by losing the season opener at home to the Lions and outlasting Minnesota Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium.

The Vikings played uphill and built a 13-10 lead before halftime, but Kansas City tied the game at the break and controlled the third quarter before holding off a rally attempt by the Vikings.

Cousins tried to lead the Vikings to a tying drive, but he was sacked by Mike Danna on a play that snapped at the Chiefs 38-yard line to end the game.

The Vikings were without Justin Jefferson for most of the fourth quarter. He left the game with a hamstring injury.

T.J. Hockenson also was sidelined briefly during the comeback attempt.

Here are four more observations from the game.

1. Fake punt extends drive

The Vikings pulled out a couple of extra stops, including the pristine execution of a fake punt on their final possession of the first half.

Josh Metellus took a direct snap from Andrew DePaola and veered to his left, handing the ball off to Ty Chandler as the reserve running back picked up blocks from C.J. Ham, Josh Oliver and Johnny Mundt.

Chandler timed his acceleration through the hole and picked up a gain of 15, converting a fourth-and-2 at the Kansas City 48-yard line and moving the ball to the 33.

The fake extended the possession that ended with a 5-yard touchdown pass from Cousins to Jordan Addison.

2. Conversions loom large

Kansas City finished 9-of-15 on third downs, converting its first four to build a 10-3 lead with 12:46 remaining in the first half.

Even bigger, however, was the start to the second half when the Chiefs converted third-and-18 on the third snap of the third quarter.

Mahomes heaved a deep pass high into the air.

Safety Camryn Bynum tried to size up the interception, but the ball went just beyond his reach and landed in the hands of Justin Watson for a gain of 33 to midfield.

The Chiefs didn't face another third down on the drive until Mahomes completed a 4-yard pass to Rashee Rice on third-and-goal.

Kansas City converted two more third downs and a fourth-and-1 on their next possession.

Mahomes picked up a third-and-7 with a 14-yard gain to Kelce and a third-and-8 with scramble and pass to Kelce for an 11-yard gain two plays before finding the tight end for a 4-yard touchdown.

3. PI called; Flag thrown and picked up

In between the two third-down conversions to Kelce on the drive that put Kansas City up 27-13 with 2:45 remaining in the third quarter, the Chiefs also went for it on fourth-and-1 and were awarded a pass interference against Harrison Smith for 22 yards.

Smith was sprinting toward Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and the ball was underthrown. Valdes-Scantling initiated the contact with Smith, who did not get his head around for the football.

The penalty moved the ball from the Minnesota 48 to the 26.

The Vikings took a shot at the end zone on fourth-and-12 with 4:54 remaining.

Cousins lofted a pass to Jordan Addison, who was wrapped up with both hands by L'Jarius Sneed as the ball fell inside both players in the end zone.

Officials threw a flag, and Sneed took off his helmet. They conferenced and then announced there would not be a foul for pass interference.

They also did not flag Sneed for removing his helmet while in the field of play. He removed it to lobby officials.

View game action photos from he Vikings vs. Chiefs Week 5 at U.S. Bank Stadium.

4. Narrow misses

The Vikings came close to evening the turnover battle on multiple occasions.

Rookie cornerback Mekhi Blackmon almost basket caught a deep pass that fluttered on a third-and-6.

Josh Metellus also nearly pulled the ball away from Kelce, but officials ruled Kelce down before Metellus finished the play with the ball in his hands. Minnesota challenged the ruling and lost a timeout in doing so.

Then, there was the ball that inched its way past Bynum to wipe away two great plays by the Vikings to start the third quarter.