Vikings fall to 0-3 as bounces don't go their way in a 28-24 loss to the Chargers


September 25, 2023

Anthony Soufflé, Star Tribune

Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) threw under pressure in the second quarter Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium.

The game clock ticked down from 35 seconds, as Kirk Cousins cupped his hands over the earpieces in his helmet and tried to make out Kevin O'Connell's play call, over the noise from a U.S. Bank Stadium crowd celebrating a fourth-down completion to T.J. Hockenson and through a headset the Vikings coach later said was malfunctioning.

Though he could not clearly hear O'Connell's directions, Cousins said he arrived at the same play the coach was trying to call. The Vikings, with no timeouts, opted to line up without spiking the ball, O'Connell said, to deny the Chargers defense time for substitutions or organization.

There were 12 seconds left when the Vikings ran their 18th red-zone play on Sunday, a day when their final two trips to the doorstep ended without the four points they needed in a 28-24 loss.


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