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5 things that stood out in the Vikings' win over the Jets

The Vikings are a win next week in Detroit from clinching the NFC North.
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It wasn't the prettiest of Minnesota's 10 wins this season, but the 27-22 victory Sunday over the New York Jets kept things very interesting for the fans and is another notch in the belt as the Vikings tighten their grip on the NFC North. Here's what stood out... 

1. Two tough plays lead to touchdowns

On third-and-5 at the 19, Cousins hit Jefferson for a first down. But the catch Jefferson made while absorbing a big hit set the stage for Dalvin Cook's touchdown on the next play. 

On the next drive, the Vikings faced a third-and-9 from their own 29 when Cousins avoided pressure and scrambled for an 11-yard gain. He, too, took a big hit on the play. Six plays later the Vikings scored to take a 17-3 lead. 

2. Efficient TD drive after Jets trim lead to 5

After the Jets cut the lead to 20-15 in the fourth quarter, the Vikings responded with an extremely efficient touchdown drive. It took just seven plays: 

  • 12-yard pass to Johnny Mundt
  • 13-yard pass to T.J. Hockenson
  • 11-yard run by Dalvin Cook
  • 25-yard pass to Adam Thielen
  • 2-yard pass to Thielen
  • 2-yard run by Cook
  • 10-yard touchdown pass to Justin Jefferson

The scoring drive came after punting on all three third quarter possessions, which totaled 10 yards. 

3. Rush defense was mostly good

After getting shredded on the ground by the Commanders, Bills and Cowboys, the Vikings have now put together two consecutive good games against the run. The Patriots had just 45 yards rushing and the Jets finished with only 

New York had just 60 yards on the ground before Zonovan Knight broke loose for a 48-yard run with 8 minutes left in the fourth quarter. 

4. Two big whiffs in third quarter

Leading 20-9 midway through the third quarter, the Vikings blew two opportunities for big plays. First, Cousins airmailed a pass when tight end T.J. Hockenson was wide open. That would've put Minnesota into Jets territory. 

On the same drive – first-and-10 at their own 41 – Cousins had Jefferson open on an intermediate throw to the left side and Jefferson uncharacteristically let it go through his hands for an incomplete pass. That would've put the Vikings deep into Jets territory. Two plays later Cousins was sacked and the Vikings had to punt. 

Minnesota had just 10 yards of offense in the third quarter. 

5. Great red zone defense

Aside from Mike White being pushed across the goal line for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, Minnesota held the Jets to 1-of-6 in the red zone. They kicked five fields, providing defensive coordinator Ed Donatell's bend-don't-break defense good enough for another week.