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Vikings Hold on for 16-10 Win over Chiefs
October 18, 2015

Getting the chance for their first starts because of illness and injury, Stefon Diggs and Danielle Hunter turned in big plays as the Minnesota Vikings upped their record to 3-2 with a 16-10 win over the Kansas City Chiefs.

Diggs, starting for injured receiver Charles Johnson, caught 7 passes for 129 yards, and Hunter, a late fill-in when defensive-end Everson Griffen was sick before the game, was credited with forcing a fumble in Minnesota territory in the closing minutes of the game.

The Vikings dominated the first half but had only a 10-0 lead, which made coach Mike Zimmer nervous. “That’s when you worry,” said the coach after the game. “I had to get my pacemaker readjusted after that one today.”

Teddy Bridgewater threw for 176 yards, and the Vikings outgained the Chiefs 193 to 51 in yards from scrimmage in the first half, but Minnesota had only a field goal and touchdown to show for it.

The Vikings reached the 10 or beyond twice in the first quarter but came away with only three points. Diggs got himself open for a 16-yard pass when the Vikings faced third and four from their 20, and Bridgewater led the team to the Kansas City 9 before getting intercepted in the end zone by Ron Parker.

The Vikings got the ball back near midfield after a punt, and Diggs took a short pass and turned it into a 31-yard gain. Minnesota reached the 10 but had to settle for a 24-yard field goal from Blair Walsh.

Adrian Peterson was bottled up on the drives, three times getting tackled for a loss. His rushing total at halftime was 16, and he finished the game with 60 yards, his longest run of the day being 23 yards.

In the second quarter the Vikings kept a drive going with a fourth-and-one conversion from the Kansas City 41 and then on a roughing the passer penalty on Steven Nelson after a third-down incomplete pass from the 35. Bridgewater later finished the drive with a four-yard scoring pass to tight end Kyle Rudolph on third down.

Walsh made a 45-yard field goal on the Vikings’ first drive of the second half for a 13-0 lead before the Chiefs mounted their first prolonged drive of the game. They reached the Minnesota 7, but Sharif Floyd stopped Charcandrick West on fourth-and-one.

Kansas City finally got on the board on a 48-yard field goal by Cairo Santos early in the fourth quarter and got the ball back when Marcus Peters intercepted a pass intended for Mike Wallace at the Kansas City 23.

Advancing into Minnesota territory, Kansas City was staring at a third and 10 at the 42 when Alex Smith hit Albert Wilson with a short pass to the left. Wilson cut inside a blocker and then back out to open territory, taking the ball to the end zone with 8:46 left in the game.

Bridgewater was sacked at his 15 on the next drive, leaving third and long when Diggs got open for a 30-yard reception. The play not only allowed the Vikings to get another 45-yard field goal from Walsh, extending their lead to 16-10, it caused the Chiefs to use all three of their time outs.

Kansas City started a drive at its 20 with 4:46. On the first play Smith tossed a short pass to Travis Kelce, who went down the left side for 37 yards to the Minnesota 33. West carried up the middle and had the ball knocked from his grasp, possibly by left-tackle Donald Stephenson, although the fumble was credited to the rookie Hunter and recovered by the Vikings’ Brian Robison. “It doesn’t matter who hits the ball or how it happens,” West said. “I just have to hold on to the ball. The fumble killed everything. That stopped any momentum that we had.”

Although the momentum was stopped, the Chiefs got the ball back at their 20 with 2:46 left, but four incomplete passes turned it over to the Vikings, who ran out the final two minutes.

Bridgewater completed 17 of 31 passes for 249 yards while Smith, who didn’t have any passes picked off, was 22 for 37 for 282 yards.

Minnesota, which has won all three of its home games, returns to the road with games at Detroit and Chicago the next two weeks.

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