On Sunday, the Minnesota Vikings(5-6) struggled at times against the Carolina Panthers(4-8) Minnesota allowed two defensive touchdowns in the third quarter, including two fumble returns for a touchdown by Panthers safety Jeremy Chinn.
As they entered the fourth quarter, Minnesota trailed 21-10. After Justin Jefferson’s touchdown reception cut the lead to 24-21, Minnesota’s Chad Beebe would muff a punt that set up a Panthers’ field goal. However, Beebe would redeem himself with a game-winning 10-yard touchdown reception. Carolina would have one more chance, but kicker Joey Slye missed a 54-yard field goal, and the Vikings hold on to defeat the Panthers 28-27 at U.S. Bank Stadium.
“At the end of the day, a lot of that was on me with those emotions,” Beebe said. “I’d had a dropped punt. It’s funny, though, because things didn’t really get down. I came to the sideline, and everybody was positive, and it’s just having that never-give-up attitude. Our entire team kind of felt that way. We had plenty of time to drive down and score, and that’s exactly what we did.”
While the Vikings did not play their best on Sunday, QB Kirk Cousins, who threw for 307 yards and three touchdowns against Carolina, was happy with the team’s ability to get a win on Sunday.
“May not have been the prettiest game, but ultimately, getting a win is what matters,” Cousins said. “It was great to get one after having some really close losses that were a play away earlier in the year. Really encouraged by us finding a way to win despite us having so many plays we want to have back.
Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer was excited to win, but he was not pleased with his team’s mistakes on Sunday.
“Obviously very pleased to win today,” Zimmer said. “We fought really hard. We made some mistakes – the two turnovers for touchdowns right in the third quarter was not a good thing. And the muffed punt there at the end of the ball game. But we came back – offensively, we came back and did a great job on the 2-minute drill, no timeouts went down and scored. It was nice to see [Chad] Beebe come back with the touchdown after muffing the punt.”
With the victory, the Vikings keep their playoffs hope alive. Minnesota is one game behind Arizona for the final wild-card spot in the NFC, so defeating the Panthers was big for this team.
On Sunday, the Minnesota Vikings did what they were supposed to do when they defeated the Lions at home 20-7. With the victory, the Vikings move to 9-4 and remain one game behind the Green Bay Packers in the NFC North standings, and continue to hold the sixth and final spot in the NFC playoffs.
The Vikings are making their push to the playoffs, and according to WR Stefon Diggs, they want to play their best football during December.
“Yes, the defense played lights out as they came out and got a lot of stops for us,” Diggs said after the game. “Kirk [Cousins] is playing extremely well, and it’s amazing how good some of those throws are out there. Obviously, we are running the ball efficiently, and everybody is doing their jobs well. At this point, we are just trying to play our best football in December.”
Two of the Vikings three remaining games will be at home, where the Vikings are 6-0 this season. But according to Diggs, Minnesota still has not played their best football yet.
“It is good to win at home,” Diggs said. “We are trying to create a snowball effect as far as building the momentum, having the success, playing our best football. We still haven’t played our best football. There is a lot of football in front of us, and I look forward to it.”
Minnesota’s final three games won’t be easy. The Chargers(5-8), Minnesota’s next opponent, have a decent amount of talent, plus it’s a road game for the Vikings, so that might be tricky. The final two games are at home games against the Packers and the surging Bears.
It’s good to be 9-4, but the Vikings still have some more work to do.
On draft day, the Bulls and Timberwolves pulled off a blockbuster trade. Jimmy Butler went to Minnesota along with Creighton’s Justin Patton, while the Bulls get Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, and Arizona’s Lauri Markkanen. After this move, the Timberwolves have positioned themselves to possibly make the playoffs next season, while the Bulls prepare to start over.
The Bulls’ Zach LaVine believes that Minnesota is going to be a solid team with the addition of Jimmy Butler. “They gonna be really good. Jimmy Butler is a helluva of a player. Karl(Towns) and Andrew(Wiggins) are already stars in their own, upcoming guys. There gonna do very well,” LaVine told TMZ Sports.
While LaVine loved his time in Minnesota, he has no animosity toward the Timberwolves.
“I have no hard feelings. I love Minnesota. You gotta understand the business of basketball. I’m prepared for this step as well, and I know that they are too. We get to play twice. Other than that, we still going to all be boys,” said LaVine.
Anything short of the playoffs for Butler and the Wolves would be a disappointment. It’s time for Minnesota to go to the next level, and Butler should make that happen!