Viking hold on for 27-22 win over Jets

John Autey/Pioneer Press/TNS

Another close game, another win for the Minnesota Vikings.

It looked Sunday as if the Vikings might put the New York Jets away handily, taking leads of 20-3 in the second quarter and 27-15 in the fourth. But nothing ever is easy for this team.

Jets wide receiver Braxton Berrios dropped a pass in the end zone for the potential go-ahead score with 1:43 left in the game, then safety Camryn Bynum intercepted quarterback Mike White with 10 seconds remaining as the Vikings held on for a 27-22 win.

Because the Detroit Lions beat Jacksonville, 40-14, at Ford Field on Sunday the Vikings (10-2) did not clinch the NFC North. But the Vikings can sew up the division with a win next Sunday at Detroit (5-7). Green Bay (5-8) was eliminated from the division race despite a 28-19 win at Chicago.

The Jets (7-5) had two chances to win. On the first, Berrios dropped a perfect pass from White; the ball hit the turf as the receiver tried to pull it to his chest. After the Jets got the ball back, they had first-and-10 at the Vikings’ 19-yard line. But White threw three incompletions before Bynum picked him off at the goal line and slid to the turf to seal the win.

The Jets outgained the Vikings 486 yards to 287 but had to settle for five field goals by Greg Zuerlein.

Kirk Cousins threw for 173 yards and Dalvin Cook ran for 86 for the Vikings. White threw for 369 yards for the Jets, and rookie Garrett Wilson caught eight passes for 162 yards.

The Vikings started slow as Cousins misfired on his first five passes. With the scored tied 3-3 late in the third quarter, Minnesota got going after Cousins threw a seven-yard completion to K.J. Osborn on fourth-and-2 at the Jets 49. That led to a 4-yard touchdown run by Cook early in the second quarter and a 10-3 lead.

The Vikings extended the lead to 20-3 on a 14-yard touchdown run by Alexander Mattison and a 41-yard field goal by Greg Joseph later in the second quarter. The Jets cut the deficit to 20-6 on a 60-yard field goal by Zuerlein just before halftime. It was the third made 60-yard field goal against the Vikings this season, an NFL record.

Zuerlein tied the record for the longest field goal ever at U.S. Bank Stadium. Dallas kicker Brett Maher made one from that distance two weeks earlier. Wil Lutz of New Orleans had a 60-yard boot against Minnesota on Oct. 2 in London.

Zuerlein added field goals of 35 yards and 30 yards in the third quarter to cut the deficit to 20-12, then added a 26-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter to cut the Vikings’ lead to 20-15.

The Vikings took a 27-15 lead on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Cousins to Justin Jefferson with 8:33 left in the game. But the Jets came right back to score on one-yard touchdown run by White to cut the deficit to 27-22 with 6:45 left. White was initially ruled to have been stopped but the call was overturned after a replay challenge by the Jets.

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