MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota –
Brandon Powell returned a 61-yard punt for a touchdown in the third quarter to guide the Los Angeles Rams into the postseason with a 30-23 win over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.
The win also gave the Arizona Cardinals a playoff spot, rivals of the Rams in the NFC West.
“I just did the easy part. I just took the ball and moved the ball down the wing, ”said Powell, who was activated for a Rams game for only the fourth time.
Sony Michel rushed for 131 yards, his highest number of the season, and a touchdown. Matt Gay racked up three field goals and the defense, led by Aaron Donald, did their job by keeping the Vikings out of the end zone on both of their trips within the 10-yard line in the first half.
Matthew Stafford had his first three-interception game since Sept. 10, 2018, when four passes were stolen for Detroit against the New York Jets. But the Rams (11-4) still had more than enough to win their fourth straight game and pass Arizona at the top of the division.
“I can definitely play a lot better,” acknowledged Stafford.
Kirk Cousins finished with 315 yards completing 27 of 38 passes and a touchdown to KJ Osborn with 8:21 left to cut the margin to 27-20. But his interception in the end zone in the first quarter had a huge impact on the result.
Alexander Mattison took the place of absent Dalvin Cook (COVID-19) and finished with 70 total yards and a touchdown for the Vikings, who for the fourth time this season failed in their attempt to go above .500 and lost the goal in passing. control in the fight for the third and final wild card spot in the National Conference.
“We definitely let them down (on defense). I feel like they had an amazing game, especially with those three steals. We have to find a way to get to the end zone, “said wide receiver Justin Jefferson.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.