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Vikings Topple Rams in OT on Blair Walsh FG

MINNEAPOLIS — Blair Walsh pounded the ball through the uprights and pumped both fists after his second walk-off field goal in as many weeks.

Walsh's kick lifted the Vikings to a 21-18 victory over the Rams in overtime on Sunday at the University of Minnesota. 

The Vikings opted to defend the end zone with the wind at their backs and forced a quick three-and-punt.

Harrison Smith delayed Todd Gurley on the first play of overtime until Linval Joseph swarmed the rookie running back for a loss of 6. Captain Munnerlyn tackled Tavon Austin for no gain a play later, and Everson Griffen forced an incompletion.

Marcus Sherels returned a 63-yard punt 26 yards to the Minnesota 49-yard line.

Veteran reserve Shaun Hill led the Vikings on the game-winning drive with help from Adrian Peterson, who gained 11 on third-and-1 after a completion by Hill to Rhett Ellison. The tight end caught the first and final passes of the game.

Hill replaced Teddy Bridgewater early in the fourth quarter after the second-year QB took a blow to the helmet from Lamarcus Joyner.

Earlier in the game, Bridgewater showed an alertness and mobility on his 6-yard touchdown, and followed with an incredible display of escapability on the ensuing two-point conversion.

Bridgewater noticed linebacker James Laurinaitis follow Peterson on a route by the running back to the defense's right and safety Rodney McLeod go to defense's left. Bridgewater tucked and ran untouched for the touchdown, the third rushing TD of his career.

He followed by sidestepping a tackle attempt by Aaron Donald and winning a race to the pylon to give the Vikings an 18-15 lead.

Bridgewater finished 13-of-21 passing for 144 yards with an interception.

The Vikings implemented the tight ends early, opening the game with a rollout pass to Rhett Ellison on their first offensive snap of the game. Bridgewater extended the first possession with a 12-yard strike to Jarius Wright on third-and-10, and it eventually led to a 34-yard field goal by Blair Walsh.

After a 25-yard completion from Bridgewater to Charles Johnson, and a 9-yard run by Peterson, the second-year QB hit Kyle Rudolph for a gain of 15, and rookie MyCole Pruitt for 6.

The three tight ends lined up in a row on the right side of the Vikings formation and worked with right guard Mike Harris to create a wall for Peterson's 6-yard TD. Peterson finished with 125 yards rushing.

It was the 90th rushing touchdown of Peterson's career and 95th overall score. He trails Hall of Famer Cris Carter's franchise record of 110. 

Gurley put the Rams on the board with a 1-yard touchdown that was set up with a 55-yard completion from Nick Foles to Kenny Britt. The Rams opted to go for two, but Gurley was stopped by Smith and Linval Joseph on the conversion.

Greg Zuerlein closed the half with field goals of 61, 35 and 45 yards in the second quarter. The 61-yarder was the seventh longest in NFL history and the longest ever made against the Vikings. The previous was a 58-yard FG by Mason Crosby.

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