Ifeadi Odenigbo's dramatic 56-yard return of a fumble for a touchdown opened the floodgates for the Vikings against the Chargers on Sunday in Los Angeles.
It was one of seven takeaways on the day by Minnesota, which prevailed 39-10 for its 10th victory of the season in front of a road crowd filled with Vikings purple. The 29-point margin of victory is tied for the seventh-largest road win in franchise history (49-20 at Tampa Bay on Oct. 23, 1988).
Adam Thielen returned to action, but Dalvin Cook left the game in the third quarter. Mike Boone stepped in for several carries that included the first two scores of his career. Stefon Diggs posted his second consecutive season with 1,000 receiving yards.
Minnesota still has a shot at winning the NFC North but needs to win out and have Green Bay (11-3) lose or tie with Detroit in Week 17.
The Vikings will first host the Packers on Dec. 23 on Monday Night Football.
Here are three stats that stood out:
1. Aggressiveness can come with a cost
Philip Rivers gave his teammates chances to make plays, and the Chargers receivers did, but the Vikings secondary also recorded three interceptions of the 38-year-old quarterback.
According to Next Gen Stats, Rivers' aggressiveness percentage of 23.1 tied for second-highest in the NFL in Week 15.
Aggressiveness percentage tracks the rate at which a QB attempts to throw a pass to a teammate when a defender is within 1 yard of the target.
Rivers finished 28-of-39 passing for 307 yards with a touchdown and a passer rating of 71.2.
Kirk Cousins, meanwhile, had an aggressiveness percentage of 16 that ranked 14th in Week 15.
Cousins completed 19 of 25 passes (76 percent) for 207 yards with a touchdown. His lone blemish was an interception on a screen pass that Melvin Ingram III expertly covered. Cousins finished with a passer rating of 96.6.
Aggressiveness can also be used to describe the number of deep shots that a team takes.
Cousins was 1-for-2, connecting with Diggs for a 46-yard reception, on throws that were 20 yards beyond the line of scrimmage.
Rivers was 1-for-5 on such throws that included a 39-yard gain to Mike Williams and interceptions by cornerback Mike Hughes and safeties Harrison Smith and Anthony Harris.
View game action images as the Vikings take on the Chargers on Sunday.
2. Playmakers made plays
Pass catchers rewarded the quarterbacks at multiple parts of the game.
According to Next Gen Stats, Cousins' completion percentage was 11.4 percentage points higher than his expected rate of 64.6.
Rivers' completion rate of 71.8 percent was 8.2 percentage points higher than an expected rate of 63.6.
Cousins ranked third and Rivers ranked fifth in completion percentage above expected.
Williams ranked second in average targeted air yards (19.1), and Diggs ranked third (16.1).
3. Nine rushers
With Alexander Mattison inactive because of an injury and Cook departing, the Vikings spread the ball around to shoulder the load on the ground.
A total of nine players were credited with at least one rush attempt, which includes backup QB Sean Mannion kneeling thrice in the victory formation.
Take those snaps out, and Minnesota rushed 34 times for 140 yards for an average of 4.1 yards per rush, compared to 19 rushes for 62 yards (3.3 yards per carry) by Los Angeles.
The Vikings involved receivers Bisi Johnson, Diggs and Thielen in the run game, as well as fullback C.J. Ham.
Remarkably, the longest run of the game by either team (14 yards) was by Cousins, who caught the Chargers snoozing with a bootleg designed run on a third-and-1.
Minnesota's defense limited Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler to 47 rushing yards on 14 attempts.