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Mistake-prone Vikings fall to Buccaneers 20-17 in season opener

Last year, the Vikings won 11 games by one score. Their 2022 season ended at home with a seven-point playoff loss to the Giants, and on Sunday, they started 2023 by losing at home by a field goal.

They fell 20-17 to the Buccaneers in a game they could regret for some time, as two turnovers in Tampa Bay territory cost them chances at points and a third turnover helped the Buccaneers to a field goal. Justin Jefferson caught nine passes for 150 yards, and Kirk Cousins completed 33 of 44 passes for 344 yards and two scores. But Baker Mayfield - who had turned in a dreadful performance two years ago at U.S. Bank Stadium - was the quarterback who played turnover-free football, hitting Chris Godwin on a third-and-10 after the two-minute warning that allowed the Buccaneers to run out the clock.

Why it happened: Despite outgaining the Buccaneers 369-242, the Vikings fell to 0-1 because of a series of critical errors. They turned the ball over three times; the first of two Cousins fumbles happened when pulling guard Ed Ingram knocked the ball out of his hands, and his interception came when Christian Izien ripped the ball away from K.J. Osborn at the Buccaneers goal line. Vikings rookie Jay Ward lined up in the neutral zone before an Evan McLaughlin field goal attempt; the Buccaneers turned the new set of downs into a touchdown.


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