ShAMELESS PLUGS and other stuff
It took touchdowns in all three phases, an oxygen tank, a celebratory leap into the first row of seats at U.S. Bank Stadium and a second fourth-down stop, but the Vikings finally ceased their six-week-long slide Sunday with a wild, potentially season-defining 30-24 victory.
Once the NFL’s last undefeated team, the Vikings were in danger of falling to .500 with a loss to the equally desperate Arizona Cardinals. At the lowest point of their four-game losing streak, the Vikings blew a late lead in an overtime loss at home to the Detroit Lions. And now there was a here-we-go-again vibe before the yellow flag had even landed on the turf.
On fourth down, with the Vikings clinging to a six-point lead with a little over a minute left, Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer got rid of an eventual incompletion just before defensive tackle Tom Johnson shoved him to the ground. Johnson’s hit, called late by the officiating crew and something unprintable by Johnson, gave Arizona a do-over.
But the pass rush, alive again after two months of dormancy, made the penalty moot and with a sack on fourth down Danielle Hunter sealed a much-needed Vikings victory.
As most of the announced 66,808 fans in the bleachers exulted, the Vikings exhaled.
“It’s been a long month,” coach Mike Zimmer said. “It’s been a long, long, long month.”
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