Winning on the road is never easy in the NFL, but the Vikings managed to get such a victory in Week 10.
Minnesota pulled off a 27-20 win against the Los Angeles Chargers as the Vikings did enough late to have a close game end in their favor.
John Breech of CBS Sports handed out his weekly grades and had praise for the Purple bunch, giving the Vikings a "B+ grade" for their efforts.
After going through multiple gut-wrenching losses this season, the Vikings finally held on to win a nail-biter. Mike Zimmer showed he's willing to gamble and he did that by going for it on fourth-and-2 late in the game instead of kicking a long field goal. If the play had failed, the Chargers would have gotten the ball back with a chance to tie. However, Dalvin Cook ended up converting the first down to ice the game. It was fitting that Cook sealed the win because he had a big day, rushing for 94 yards and a TD.
The Chargers spent so much energy trying to slow down Cook that they apparently forgot that Justin Jefferson existed. The receiver ended the game with 143 yards on nine catches. Defensively, the Vikings flummoxed Justin Herbert, holding the Chargers QB to 195 yards. It was a huge win for a Minnesota team that has had a tough time coming up with huge wins this year.
Jefferson's big day also caught the eye of ESPN Vikings reporter Courtney Cronin, who said the second-year wide receiver came through when it mattered most.
After being targeted nine times combined in Weeks 8 and 9, Jefferson got the ball against the Chargers. Minnesota gave Jefferson a chance to be the deep-ball threat he's designed to be in this offense, and it paid off in helping the Vikings end a two-game losing skid. Kirk Cousins went 5-for-6 targeting Jefferson on throws longer than 10 yards downfield and 1-for-6 on deep passes to all other receivers.
The star wideout … stepped up with the game on the line with a spectacular, 27-yard sideline catch on third-and-6 with 3:02 left, his third such catch of the afternoon. This game proved when Cousins gives his best playmaker a chance, even when he's blanketed by a defender, Jefferson won't let him down.
Cronin bumped her weekly confidence rating in Minnesota up to a 4.5 from a 4.0. She wrote:
The Vikings figured out how to not fold, which they hope will carry over into Week 11.
Minnesota hosts Green Bay at noon (CT) Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Schwab: Vikings among Week 10 winners
Yes, we've covered the Vikings won on the field in Week 10.
But Frank Schwab of Yahoo! Sports wrote that Minnesota won in the standings, too.
Schwab provided his list of winners and losers from around the league, and had the Vikings playoff chances in the former category.
The Vikings are either going to make the playoffs or have a ton of regret over all those close losses.
The Vikings, who had five close losses in a 3-5 start before Sunday, aren't a bad team. They showed that in a 27-20 win Sunday over the Los Angeles Chargers. They just have a hole to dig out of, and they can't afford too many more losses. The Chargers win was a good step.
Cousins found Jefferson early and often … [and threw] two touchdown passes to Tyler Conklin, including one under extreme pressure on fourth-and-goal. The defense had a fine day, and the Vikings got a huge win. They're 4-5 and not in the best shape, but given the diluted playoff field, getting the No. 7 seed isn't too much to ask. Maybe they'll even do better than that if they've figured out how to close out games.
As of Monday morning, the four NFC division leaders are Green Bay (8-2), Arizona (8-2), Dallas (7-2) and Tampa Bay (6-3).
The Rams (7-2), Saints (5-4) and Panthers (5-5) currently hold the three Wild Card spots.
The Vikings sit in the No. 8 spot, but also hold the head-to-head over the Panthers because of their Week 6 overtime win at Carolina. The Falcons, who are also 4-5, currently occupy the ninth spot in the NFC playoff picture. The Eagles are 4-6 through 10 games.
The Rams are at the 49ers (3-5) on Monday Night Football.