Flashback Friday: Vikings Beat Chargers in 2021 + Prediction

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Nov 14, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) flexes to the crowd after hanging on to a complete pass for a first down in the first half against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings and Los Angeles Chargers are set to face off Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Both teams are winless after two weeks. Neither can afford to start 0-3. Turning the season around at 0-3 is something that very rarely happens.

Flashback Friday: Vikings Beat Chargers in 2021 + Prediction

The last time these two teams faced each other was in 2021 at SoFi Stadium.

Kirk Cousins went 25/37 for 294 yards and two touchdowns. Dalvin Cook rushed for 94 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries. Justin Jefferson caught nine passes for 143 yards. Tyler Conklin caught two touchdown passes.

Vikings Beat Chargers
Nov 14, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) tries to elude Los Angeles Chargers safety Alohi Gilman (32) after catching a short pass in the third quarter at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports.

“I feel like any receiver would be a little frustrated for just wanting to be a big part of the offense, wanting to make big plays, be a big part,” Jefferson said. “This game, we stressed about giving me the ball, giving me the opportunity to go make plays, and definitely grateful for that and making those plays.”

On defense. Eric Kendricks had a team-high eight tackles, an interception, and a sack. For the Chargers, Justin Herbert went 20/34 for 195 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. Keenan Allen caught eight passes for 98 yards.

On defense, Kyzir White and Derwin James each tied for a game-high 12 tackles. The Vikings won 27-20, improving to 4-5 on the season. The Chargers fell to 5-4.

Jul 26, 2023; Costa Mesa, CA, USA; Los Angeles Chargers linebacker Eric Kendricks (6) signs autographs during training camp at Jack Hammett Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings finished the season at 8-9 and moved on from head coach Mike Zimmer and general manager Rick Spielman after the season.

Minnesota leads the all-time series 8-6.

If the Vikings want to make the playoffs for the second straight season (has not happened since 2009), they need to win this game. The schedule gets tough after this, and good teams must defend their home field.

Aug 3, 2023; Eagan, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell talks to players during training camp at TCO Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

The good news is that the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers lost last week and are 1-1. Every game matters.

Turnovers have been a huge issue so far. They already have seven after two games. That really needs to get cleaned up. If they did a better job protecting the ball, they would be 1-1 right now or 2-0.

If the team starts 0-3, could Kwesi Adofo-Mensah already begin planning for 2024? Yes, he did just add Dalton Risner and Cam Akers this week, but if this team loses again this Sunday, it is not crazy to think that he just may think about moving some pieces by the deadline to get ready for the following season.

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Dec 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah looks on before the game against the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

This team is talented enough to make the playoffs again, but starting 0-3 would be difficult to return from.

The Vikings have a great shot to win this game and should win it. It was also expected they would beat the Tampa Buccaneers at home, too, but it is hard to imagine them losing back-to-back home games to teams that are not good.

Prediction: Vikings win 27-17

(1) Vikings vs. Chargers Week 10 Highlights | NFL 2021 – YouTube