Vikings ‘don’t always win in style’ but find a way in close games

The Minnesota Vikings followed a similar script on Sunday in Washington DC, getting off to a strong start and allowing the opposition to come back strong before Kirk Cousins ​​& Co. made enough late plays to secure a victory.

On Sunday, the Vikes fell 17-7 early in the fourth quarter but scored on three straight, and the defense stifled the commanders to take a Victory 20-17.

“I think it’s complementary football in the critical moments of games that define good teams in this league,” coach Kevin O’Connell said Monday, via the official team transcript. “You don’t always win in style, but when you’re able to win football games and consistently win close games by winning in the fourth quarter, that matters. At the end of the day, you hate to keep putting yourself in positions where you need to come back and win, but at least we know that we’ve sort of cleared up all doubt and believe in ourselves that we can go for those wins when we have to.”

The victory pushed the Vikings to 7-1 and a 4.5 game lead in the NFC North, the largest division lead a team has generated in Week 9 since the San Francisco 49ers had a 5-game lead in the NFC West in 2011.

Minnesota‘s 20 points came in the first and fourth quarters, scoring on their first possession and their last three drives. They had five punts and a Cousins ​​threw interceptions in the second and third quarters.

O’Connell’s opening storylines were solid, but the middle two frames were lacking for most of the season. But, as they have done throughout 2022 so far, Minnesota is in a position to kick things into high gear in the fourth quarter.

“It was in many ways similar to our other wins this season where you can’t point to a perfectly played attacking game where everything clicked, but just the defense picking us up, the special teams picking us up, and then finding a way to do enough of games to end and find thumbs up,” Cousins ​​said.

The Vikings have their steepest stretch of the season ahead with games against Buffalo, Dallas, New England and the New York Jets. It will take more consistent play to keep their six-game winning streak alive. Coming off that four-game streak, the Vikes could clinch the division well before Christmas.

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