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Vikings Rally But Fall 27-24 to Bengals

View game action photos of the Vikings before the season opener against the Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium.

CINCINNATI — Greg Joseph's first field goal in a regular season game since 2018 as a member of the Browns sailed 53 yards and beyond through the uprights to tie the game at 24 as the fourth quarter expired.

Joseph, however, didn't get a chance to walk it off for Minnesota, which opened its 2021 season with a 27-24 loss in Cincinnati.

Dalvin Cook was ruled to have fumbled at the Cincinnati 39-yard line with 1:48 remaining in overtime.

The play was reviewed for an extended period of time but was announced as "the play stands."

The Bengals converted a fourth-and-1 with a pass from Joe Burrow to tight end C.J. Uzomah that moved the ball from the Cincinnati 48-yard line to the Minnesota 20.

Evan McPherson followed with a 33-yard field goal two snaps later as the extra session expired.

Kirk Cousins settled in after a rocky start and completed 36 of 49 passes for 351 yards with a pair of touchdowns to Adam Thielen, who reached multiple milestones earlier during the game. Thielen finished with nine catches for 92 yards and the 40th and 41st touchdowns of his career.

K.J. Osborn added seven receptions for 76 yards after not playing an offensive snap during his 2020 rookie season. Justin Jefferson opened his sophomore campaign with five catches for 71 yards.

The Bengals should get credit for the way they neutralized Cook. He finished with 61 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries.

Michael Pierce led Minnesota with 2.0 sacks. Nick Vigil, Harrison Smith and Danielle Hunter also recorded sacks.

The Vikings turned in a messy first half with 10 penalties for 91 yards. Minnesota finished with 12 for 116 yards, compared to three penalties for 15 yards in the entire game by the Bengals.

The infractions kept moving back an offense that was trying to move forward. They included false starts on the first and third and seventh times Minnesota lined up to run a play.

The Vikings gained 176 yards, earned 11 first downs and averaged 5.0 per play in the half, but Minnesota suffered a three-and-punt on its second possession and gave up two sacks in a span of three plays to undermine its third possession.

Minnesota found the end zone on its fourth possession, which included a pass by Justin Jefferson to K.J. Osborn for a gain of 11 after Jefferson caught a pass for 17.

The Vikings defense started strongly but had a disastrous final two minutes of the first half in which Minnesota allowed two touchdowns to be scored in the final 1:47. The first score capped a 75-yard drive that included conversions of third-and-9 and third-and-7.

The second showed just how quickly a game can tilt. Ja'Marr Chase caught a 50-yard pass for his first NFL touchdown. That drive ended after just 36 seconds and followed an unsuccessful 2-minute drill by Minnesota.

Scoring Summary

Q2, 6:39 remaining

Vikings 7, Bengals 0

Adam Thielen catches a 5-yard pass from Kirk Cousins (Greg Joseph kicks PAT) [14 plays, 91 yards, 8:21 time of possession]

Massive conversion: The Vikings were able to convert a third-and-24 on a pass to K.J. Osborn. The second-year receiver slipped one tackle on his way to hurdling across the first-down marker.

Q2, 1:47 remaining

Vikings 7, Bengals 7

Tee Higgins catches a 2-yard pass from Joe Burrow (Evan McPherson kicks PAT) [9 plays, 75 yards, 4:52 time of possession]

Quick snap: After getting 26 penalty yards because of a pass interference call on Bashaud Breeland, the Bengals ran for a gain of 1 before turning to trickery with a quick snap immediately after getting set in spread formation. Higgins was all alone.

Q2, 0:35 remaining

Bengals 14, Vikings 7

Ja'Marr Chase catches a 50-yard pass from Burrow (McPherson kicks PAT) [4 plays, 75 yards, 0:36 time of possession]

Down the field: Burrow took aim and connected with his former college teammate, who beat 1-on-1 coverage by Breeland.

Q3, 9:15 remaining

Bengals 21, Vikings 7

Joe Mixon rushes for a gain of 2 (McPherson kicks PAT) [11 plays, 75 yards, 5:45 time of possession]

Second-chance points: The score occurred four plays after a ball that bounced away from Mackensie Alexander and into the hands of Tyler Boyd gained 5 to set up a fourth-and-1. Burrow converted it with a run.

Q3, 2:24 remaining

Bengals 21, Vikings 14

Thielen catches a 24-yard pass from Cousins (Joseph kicks PAT) [4 plays, 30 yards, 0:50 time of possession]

Short shakeoff: Thielen lined up in the slot and juked Bengals cornerback Mike Hilton before catching a short slant and running the rest of the way to the end zone.

Q4, 14:13 remaining

Bengals 24, Vikings 14

McPherson kicks a 53-yard field goal [7 plays, 40 yards, 3:11 time of possession]

Ground gains: Mixon gained all 40 yards during the drive, and he delivered a rush for 10 and a gain of 19 along the way.

Q4, 9:23 remaining

Bengals 24, Vikings 21

Dalvin Cook rushes for a gain of 1 (Joseph kicks PAT) [10 plays, 75 yards, 4:50 time of possession]

RAC: The score by Cook immediately followed a 34-yard catch-and-run by Jefferson.

Q4, 0:00 remaining

Bengals 24, Vikings 24

Joseph kicks a 53-yard field goal [9 plays, 60 yards, 1:48 time of possession]

K.J. kept it going: Osborn helped the Vikings overcome third-and-10 with back-to-back 6-yard catches.

Overtime, 0:00 remaining

Bengals 27, Vikings 24

McPherson kicks a 33-yard field goal [7 plays, 46 yards, 1:48 time of possession]