October 7, 2018 / 11:59 PM / 8 days ago

Cousins helps Vikings avenge NFC Championship loss in Philly

Quarterback Kirk Cousins was 30 of 37 for 301 yards and one touchdown to lead the visiting Minnesota Vikings past the Philadelphia Eagles 23-21 on Sunday.

Wide receiver Adam Thielen had 116 yards receiving and a touchdown for his fifth straight 100-yard receiving game to open the season, becoming the first receiver since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger to achieve the feat.

Kicker Dan Bailey converted three field goals, though he missed two others, and the Vikings (2-2-1) snapped a two-game losing streak.

The Vikings avenged a 38-7 loss to the Eagles in last year’s NFC Championship game.

Philadelphia quarterback Carson Wentz was 24 of 35 for 311 yards and two touchdowns. The Eagles (2-3) dropped their second in a row.

Bailey missed a pair of field goals in the first half — from 28 and 45 yards. Bailey’s 28-yarder clanged off the left upright on the Vikings’ first drive, and he later missed wide right with 6:53 left in the half.

Bailey did give the Vikings a 3-0 lead with a 37-yarder on their second drive.

The Eagles tied the game at 3 when Jake Elliott converted from 30 yards out with 12:24 left in the half.

The Vikings went ahead 10-3 when Stephen Weatherly stripped Wentz, and the ball bounced into the arms of nose tackle Linval Joseph, and the 329-pounder returned the fumble 64 yards for a touchdown and a 10-3 advantage with 4:12 remaining in the half.

Minnesota extended its lead to 17-3 when Cousins connected on a 3-yard touchdown pass to Thielen with 21 seconds left.

The Eagles drove deep into Vikings territory on their first drive in the third before Eric Kendricks tackled Jay Ajayi, forced a fumble and also recovered it at the 5-yard line.

Cousins opened the next drive with a 68-yard completion to Thielen, and Bailey eventually hit a 22-yard field goal for a 20-3 lead.

The Eagles closed within 20-14 with 12:05 left in the fourth after Wentz tossed a 12-yard touchdown pass to Wendell Smallwood. They opted to go for two-point conversion, and Smallwood dove into the end zone by the pylon to convert.

Bailey made it a two-possession game with a 52-yard field goal for a 23-14 lead with 2:47 remaining.

Wentz found Zach Ertz for a 7-yard score with 1:09 left, but Thielen recovered the ensuing onside kick after initially bobbling it, sealing the game.

—Field Level Media

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