Vikings Bungle to The Bengals in Cincy

Vikings Territory Breakdown

In what might be the worst loss of the season, the Vikings lost to the Cincinnati Bengals on the road in overtime. After building a 17-3 lead in the third quarter, the Vikings stalwart defense (which hadn’t given up a touchdown since the last series of the Denver Broncos game) gave up three consecutive scores in the fourth quarter and ultimately the game-winning field goal in OT for a dispiriting, debilitating and very disappointing 27-24 loss.

There is plenty of blame to go around for this one: two turnovers quarterback Nick Mullens in the first half that could have built a much bigger lead; a suddenly porous defense; and some late-game play calls (particularly the bro shove) that sealed the loss for Minnesota. Mullens played very well at moments, appeared to have good command of the offense and made some good decisions—until the pressure heats up. Then Mullens made some bad decisions (some working out and others not) and ultimately the team could not rise above them.

There were some good aspects to the game for Minnesota: the Vikings had a running game with Ty Chandler running over the Bengals for 132 yards and a score; the complete return of Justin Jefferson (seven catches for 84 yards); and what that return meant for rookie Jordan Addison (who had been relative quiet since JJ was injured) as he made six catches for 111 yards two touchdowns. You can be happy about those things, but it doesn’t last long with recall the final score of the game.

The biggest problem with the loss for the Vikings is that it puts a decided crimp on the team’s playoffs chances. The Vikings were thinking about running the table this season and winning the NFC North Division for the second season in a row, but that possibility appears to be on life support. Now, however, their Wild Card opportunities get a little slimmer. At 7-7 and with a number of teams crowding in around them, the Vikings likely need to win out just to hold on to their playoff spot.

There are plenty of Purple things to discuss. And that what the fellas at the Vikings Territory Breakdown podcast (Joe Oberle, senior writer at vikingsterritory and purplePTSD and Mark Craig, NFL and Vikings writer for the Star Tribune and startribune.com) are here to do. Tune into the podcast and see what hope remains for the Vikings this season.

Listen to Vikings Territory Breakdown here or on your favorite podcast network.

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