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Next-Day Stats: Kene Nwangwu's Kick Return is NFL's Longest Play of Week 9

EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings fell 34-31 to the Ravens in overtime Sunday.

The bitter road loss dropped Minnesota to 3-5 and joined a collection of close defeats that seem to be intertwined with the identity of the Minnesota Vikings, who haven’t seized momentum at the opportune moments of close games.

The offense scored touchdowns on its first two possessions before recurring inconsistency settled in. The defense picked off Lamar Jackson twice but gave up 500 net yards, including 247 on the ground.

Here's a deeper dive at some "next-day stats" with an eye on the ever-increasing number of Next Gen Stats. References to rankings across the league include all Week 9 games except for tonight's game between the Bears and Steelers.

1. Going the distance and going for speed

One of the very best parts for Minnesota was Kene Nwangwu returning the opening kickoff of the second half 98 yards for a touchdown. It was the first kick return touchdown by Minnesota since 2016.

According to Next Gen Stats, Nwangwu traveled 115.9 yards on the play for the greatest distance of any ball carrier in the NFL in Week 9.

Nwangwu topped out at 20.6 miles per hour for the fifth-fastest speed by a ball carrier.

Dalvin Cook also was among the top 20 in longest plays and fastest speeds by ball carriers this week.

Cook traversed 109.5 yards (fourth-longest) and reached 19.94 miles per hour (12th-fastest) during his 66-yard scamper.

Not surprisingly, the run by Cook also involved the longest tackle by a defender. Ravens safety Chuck Clark traveled 84.6 yards before tackling Cook at the Baltimore 19-yard line.

2. Lack of YAC for Vikings

The Vikings were going against a Ravens team that entered Week 9 with 1,200 yards allowed after catches in their first seven games (171.4), but Minnesota only mustered 71.4 against Baltimore.

The Ravens, meanwhile, totaled 144.9 yards after catches. Marquise Brown's 75.9 after catches exceeded the combined total receiving yards for Justin Jefferson (69) and Adam Thielen (six) on the day.

Jefferson totaled 13 yards after catches, and Thielen totaled 2.1. Tight end Tyler Conklin led Minnesota with 31.4 yards after catches on his way to totaling 45 yards on five receptions.

Fullback Patrick Ricard gave Baltimore some juice by gaining 25 of his 35 yards after his three catches, but none loomed larger than Brown gaining 22 yards after catching a screen pass at the Minnesota 42 to pick up a third-and-15 on the way to the Ravens tying the game at 24 in the fourth quarter.

That one conversion dropped Minnesota's win probability from 73 percent before the play to 59 percent after it, according to Next Gen Stats.

3. Passer comparison

Kirk Cousins ended Minnesota's first possession with a 50-yard touchdown pass to Jefferson. On third-and-7, Ravens defenders were caught thinking it would be a shorter route.

Despite that success, Cousins attempted just two other passes 20 or more yards beyond the line of scrimmage. One was complete and resulted in an impressive 27-yard gain on a pass high-pointed by C.J. Ham.

Cousins didn't make many intermediate throws, either. He was 2-of-5 passing for 32 yards on passes 10 to 20 yards beyond the line of scrimmage.

Ravens QB Lamar Jackson was 0-for-5 with an interception by Camryn Bynum on throws 20 or more yards beyond the line of scrimmage, but he and Rashod Bateman drew a pass interference penalty for 42 yards before the half.