The Minnesota Vikings pulled off a stunning upset in a thrilling Monday Night Football clash by defeating the San Francisco 49ers. The Vikings were considered massive underdogs, but with their impressive performance and clutch plays by the defense, they secured a dramatic upset with a final score of 22-17.
The 49ers also lost as favorites in Week 6 at Cleveland. Since Deshaun Watson was out with an injury, they faced the Browns' backup quarterback, P.J. Walker. In Week 7, the Vikings were 2-4 coming into the game, while the 49ers were 5-1. When the game started, everyone thought the 49ers would pillage the Vikings after Kurt Cousins' interception on the first drive. Clearly, the football gods had other plans, however, when Christian McCaffrey fumbled on what looked to be a scoring drive for the 49ers.
Cousins has continually struggled on Monday night games throughout his career. He was 2-10 coming into Week 7 but had an excellent game and a massive 22-17 win over the 49ers. Purdy had two opportunities for a game-winning drive in the fourth quarter but couldn't come through as he has many other times. He threw two interceptions, including one with 25 seconds left that sealed the Niners' fate. With the win, the Vikings improved to 3-4 this season.
Cousins Finally Shines on Monday Night:
Cousins led the completely unpredictable Monday night upset. No one expected a performance like this, especially with his poor performances on MNF. Cousins, playing without injured superstar WR Justin Jefferson, was out to prove the critics wrong. He was able to carve up the 49ers' respected defense with an outstanding performance by rookie Jordan Addison.
Cousins has been the subject of trade speculation lately, but the Vikings are far from dead at 3-4 in a bad NFC North Conference. He was at his best on Monday night, throwing for 378 yards and two touchdowns against an excellent defense and without his best receiver.
The Vikings played lights out in the first half and then scored on an enormous play in the final seconds before halftime. Cousins threw a pass that was almost intercepted, but Addison wrestled it away, turned upfield, and had a 60-yard touchdown. The Vikings led 16-7 after that awful 49ers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks call. The call didn't make much sense with 16 seconds left and the Vikings on their own 40-yard line to send a Cover 0, all-out blitz, considering the only thing that would hurt the 49ers was a deep pass. According to Next Gen Stats, it was the first seven-man rush in the final 30 seconds of a half in opposing territory since Week 11, 2020. Thin margins usually determine the NFL, and the 49ers gave away a touchdown.
Brock Purdy's Costly 4th Quarter Interceptions:
The 49ers were surprisingly outplayed much of the night but were still in the game in the second half. The Vikings settled for a field goal after two failed attempts at a "Tush Push" from the 1-yard line and an incompletion by Cousins into the end zone. After that, McCaffrey scored his second touchdown, and the 49ers trailed 19-14. He continues his streak to 16 straight regular-season TDs.
The 49ers and Vikings swapped field goals, and the Vikings held a 22-17 lead deep into the fourth quarter. The 49ers had a couple of game-winning drive opportunities, but with 5:30 left, Purdy overthrew Jauan Jennings, and Vikings safety Camryn Bynum picked it off. Purdy will stew over that throw for 24 hours or more, as every head coach states after a loss. While there's no doubt among fans and most critics that the Niners are still Super Bowl contenders, many critics will jump at the chance to shame Purdy about his two interceptions.
San Francisco still had one more shot when Vikings kicker Greg Joseph missed a 50-yard field goal wide right with 1:11 to go. It could have been Purdy's redemption. The 49ers advanced into the Vikings' territory in the final minute. In a desperate situation, Purdy threw another interception to Bynum, and the game was over. Where has this Vikings defense been all season? Look out in the weeks ahead!
The 49ers were on top of the NFL world after week 5. The Vikings were 1-4 and had recently lost their WR1 Jefferson to a hamstring injury. They were probably closer to trading everyone away than thinking about the playoffs. Two weeks seems to be an eternity in the NFL this season. More than ever, nothing is permanent, and no one team remains consistent. It seems like all options are on the table for the Vikings and their front office after the defeat of the 49ers' powerhouse.
49ers: Host Cincinnati on Sunday @ 4:25 pm EST
Vikings: Visit Green Bay on Sunday @ 1:00 pm EST
(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)