Cousins throws 3 TDs, Vikings end with 37-35 win over Lions
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)DETROIT – Kirk Cousins danced in the end zone after running for a go-ahead touchdown early in the fourth quarter and the Minnesota Vikings went on to celebrate the end of a disappointing season with a 37-35 win over the lowly Detroit Lions on Sunday. The Vikings (7-9) failed for the fourth time in a decade to make two straight trips to the playoffs. The Lions (5-11) lost their last four games eight of 10 after going into November with a .500 record under former coach Matt Patricia. In a matchup without postseason implications, the Vikings and Lions combined to play a closely contested game with a lot of highlights and lowlights. Alexander Mattison ran for 16 yards to convert a fourth-and-1 from the Lions 25 with 2:28 left, allowing the Vikings to run out the clock to seal the win.
AP sources: Star Vikings RB Cook absent after father's death
(AP Photo/Butch Dill)MINNEAPOLIS – Running back Dalvin Cook is not practicing with the Minnesota Vikings this week, due to the death of his father. Cook has a younger brother, James Cook, who is a running back for Georgia. He was picked for a second straight Pro Bowl, with 1,557 rushing yards, 361 receiving yards and 17 total touchdowns in 14 games. Cook’s absence will clinch a second consecutive rushing title for Tennessee’s Derrick Henry, who has a 220-yard lead on Cook. Cook has a slim lead on Henry atop the NFL with 1,918 total yards.
Bears beat Vikings 33-27 to stay in stride in playoff race
Chicago Bears safety Eddie Jackson (39) celebrates at the end of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020, in Minneapolis. Cairo Santos, who converted all four of his kicks, stretched his streak to 22 straight field goals made. The Bears then intercepted a last-snap heave by Cousins into the end zone to drop the Vikings to 3-5 at home this year. When the Vikings beat them 19-13 five weeks ago in Chicago, the Bears managed two first-half field goals and needed a kickoff return touchdown by Cordarrelle Patterson to stay competitive. Vikings: play at New Orleans on Friday.
Cowboys' Elliott inactive; Stafford will start for Lions
(AP Photo/Aaron Doster)Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott is inactive against San Francisco with a calf injury the two-time rushing championship has been battling for several weeks. Safety Deon Bush (foot) is also out after being listed questionable with Johnson. Cowboys: RB Ezekiel Elliott, QB Ben DiNucci, WR Malik Turner, CB Rashard Robinson, DE Bradlee Anae, LB Luke Gifford, DE Ron’Dell Carter. ___JACKSONVILLE AT BALTIMOREJaguars: CB Sidney Jones, CB Luq Barcoo, LB Quincy Williams, DT Daniel Ross, QB Jake Luton. Ravens: DE Calais Campbell, CB Jimmy Smith, CB Marcus Peters, RB Mark Ingram, LB Kristian Welch, DE Jihad Ward, C Trystan Colon-Castillo.
Brady throws for 2 TDs, Buccaneers wear down Vikings 26-14
Ronald Jones had a 1-yard TD run and Ryan Succop kicked field goals of 18 and 48 yards. This time, Brady shrugged off a scoreless opening quarter with help from Bailey and a trio of costly of penalties on the Vikings' defense. Brady launched two of Tampa Bay’s three first-half scoring drives after Bailey missed field goals of 49 and 54 yards. Miller’s long TD catch wiped out the 6-0 lead the Vikings took on Cook’s 14th touchdown rushing. Buccaneers: travel to Atlanta for the first of two meetings with the NFC South-rival Falcons over final three weeks of the season.
Colts have left tackle Castonzo, LB Okereke vs. Raiders
Indianapolis left tackle Anthony Castonzo and starting linebacker Bobby Okereke are both active for the Colts’ visit to the Las Vegas Raiders. ___GREEN BAY AT DETROITPackers: QB Jordan Love, CB Ka’dar Hollman, LB Jonathan Garvin, G Simon Stepaniak, WR Malik Taylor, TE Jace Sternberger. Raiders: QB Nathan Peterman, CB Damon Arnette, RB Theo Riddick, OT Brandon Parker, OG John Simpson, DE Carl Nassib. Eagles: CB Michael Jacquet, QB Nate Sudfeld, WR John Hightower, RB Jason Huntley, DB Grayland Arnold, S Rudy Ford, LB T.J. Edwards. Jaguars: QB Jake Luton, CB Luq Barcoo, LB Kamalei Correa, LB Quincy Williams, C Brandon Linder, TE Tyler Davis, DE Reggie Gilbert.
Russell Wilson, Travis Kelce among NFL Man of Year nominees
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) talks at the end of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020, in Miami Gardens, Fla. Seattle's star quarterback Russell Wilson and Kansas City's standout tight end Travis Kelce are among the 32 finalists for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)In a year impacted by a pandemic and social unrest, NFL players have spoken out and stepped up. “The 32 Walter Payton Man of the Year nominees remind us that even in the face of adversity, players continue to raise awareness and use their voice and platform to positively impact their communities. “Being nominated as the Chiefs' Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year is one of the greatest honors of my professional career,” tight end Travis Kelce said. As an organization captain, he directs a team of active NFL players who are committed to using their platform to help address the clean water crisis.
Vikings outlast error-prone Jags 27-24 on Bailey's OT kick
Minnesota Vikings place kicker Dan Bailey (5) celebrates with teammates after kicking a 23-yard field goal during overtime in an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020, in Minneapolis. The Cowboys, Panthers and Jaguars (1-11), who lost their 11th straight game, are a combined 8-27. Chase McLaughlin even had a chance to win it with a 62-yard field goal at the end of the fourth quarter that fell short. FOUR FIGURESJefferson joined Pro Football Hall of Fame member Randy Moss (1998) as the only rookies in Vikings history to reach 1,000 receiving yards. Vikings: CB Jeff Gladney (calf) and TE Brandon Dillon (ankle) each left the game.
Floyd death spurs action in Minn. sports for societal change
George Floyd was killed less than three miles from the stadium where the Minnesota Vikings play, so this global unrest over racial relations and justice hit awfully close to home for the team. (Brian Peterson/Star Tribune via AP)MINNEAPOLIS Eric Kendricks woke up distressed shortly after George Floyd was killed just a few miles from the stadium where the Minnesota Vikings play. Commissioner Roger Goodell issued an apology the day after for not listening earlier and encouraged players to speak up and peacefully protest. For the Vikings, like their fellow Twin Cities sports figures, the death of Floyd hit close to home. Timberwolves guard D'Angelo Russell marched with protesters in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, where the death of Breonna Taylor has also stirred uprising.