Vikings’ comeback against Packers in overtime blunted by missed field goal in 29-29 finish
GREEN BAY, Wis. Theyll talk about the 116th matchup between the Vikings and Packers for years. Its just anybodys guess as to to what theyll say.
Will it be Kirk Cousins heroics to pull the Vikings back from an eight-point deficit with just over a minute left? Will it be Aaron Rodgers resourceful performance on a sprained left knee? Or will it be four missed field goals between two kickers two of them that cost their teams an opportunity to win the game?
A wild duel at Lambeau Field on Sunday ended in a 29-29 tie, as Mason Crosby and Daniel Carlson each missed wide with chances to vault their teams to 2-0. Instead, the Vikings and Packers share the NFC North lead at 1-0-1, with ample opportunities to puzzle over exactly what happened.
Kirk Cousins directed an 8-play, 75-yard drive aided by a roughing-the-passer call on Clay Matthews to pull the Vikings within two points on a strike to Adam Thielen, finding the receiver in the corner of the end zone behind two Packers defenders as Mike Daniels hit Cousins. Then, Cousins hit Stefon Diggs for a two-point conversion to tie the game with 31 seconds left.
Crosby made the first of his 52-yard attempts as time expired, but the play was nullified because of a Vikings timeout, and Crosby pulled his second attempt to the left to send the game to overtime.
Carlsons second miss of the day came in overtime, though, and after a sack took the Packers out of field goal range in overtime, Carlson missed again from 35 yards to end the game in a tie.
With Rodgers left knee in a bulky brace, the Packers opted for a lighter diet of downfield strikes than usual, with Rodgers making some quick-hitting throws early and coach Mike McCarthy calling plays to establish the run. The Packers ran six times for 45 yards in the first quarter, including a seven-yard Rodgers scramble on third down.
Their early lead, though, came as the Vikings punt team issues resurfaced after a fraught preseason.
Matt Wile, whom the Vikings signed after they released Ryan Quigley at the end of the preseason, had a punt blocked by Geronimo Allison in his own end zone, and rookie cornerback Josh Jackson caught the deflection for a touchdown. The Vikings answered with a scoring drive in which Cousins completed all five of his passes for 46 yards, including a 14-yard strike to Laquon Treadwell for the receivers first NFL touchdown. But Rodgers responded with an 11-play, 75-yard drive, moving in the pocket to buy time on a third-down throw to Davante Adams and finding Adams on the next play for a nine-yard score.
A missed Daniel Carlson 48-yard field goal cost the Vikings a chance to move within four late in the second quarter, and after the Packers forced a three-and-out to begin the second half, they boosted their lead to 10 on a Mason Crosby field goal after a Lane Taylor holding penalty wiped out a Rodgers touchdown to Jimmy Graham.
The Vikings would respond with a 71-yard touchdown drive to start the fourth quarter, though, and after a Packers drive stalled with a field goal, Cousins dropped back on the Vikings first offensive play, holding a single-high safety with his eyes, and unleashed a 62-yard deep ball to Stefon Diggs. The receiver had already beaten Davon House in coverage, and hauled the pass in at the Packers 13 before waltzing in for a 75-yard score that pulled the Vikings within two.
The lead was only five following yet another Packers field goal, and Cousins got his chance to engineer a fourth-quarter comeback in his first NFC North game. His first pass went off Laquon Treadwells hands and into the arms of safety Haha Clinton-Dix, who returned it to the Vikings 13 to set up Crosbys fifth field goal of the day.
With the Packers lead only at eight points, and the Vikings still in possession of two timeouts, Cousins got one more chance to engineer a comeback, and he pulled together a masterpiece to send the game to overtime.
It would end deadlocked at 29 apiece.