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Joe Burrow wins return as Cincinnati Bengals beat Minnesota Vikings in OT

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Sep 12, 2021; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) throws a pass against the Minnesota Vikings in the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Burrow found C.J Uzomah with a 32-yard pass on fourth-and-short late in overtime to set up the Cincinnati Bengals’ season-opening 27-24 victory against the visiting Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.

Two plays after Burrow’s pass, rookie Evan McPherson nailed a 38-yard game-winning field goal for the Bengals (1-0) as time expired.

The Vikings (0-1) had the ball on the Cincinnati 38 late in OT, but Dalvin Cook’s fumble was recovered by Germaine Pratt for the game’s only turnover to set up the Bengals’ winning drive.

Minnesota’s Greg Joseph hit a career-long 53-yard field goal on the last play of regulation to push the game into overtime at 24-24.

Burrow was sharp in his return from a torn ACL, completing 20 of 27 passes for 261 yards and two touchdowns. Joe Mixon rushed for 127 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries. Rookie first-rounder Ja’Marr Chase had five catches for 101 yards and a touchdown.

Cincinnati trailed 7-0, then flipped the game with three consecutive 75-yard touchdown drives to take control.

Kirk Cousins hit 36 of 49 passes for 351 yards and two touchdowns for Minnesota. Cook finished with 61 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Adam Thielen had nine grabs for 92 yards and caught both TDs from Cousins.

But the Vikings often hurt their own cause with 12 penalties for 116 yards, including an unsightly 10 for 91 yards in the first half alone.

Cincinnati extended a 14-7 halftime lead to 21-7 in the third quarter when Mixon finished off an 11-play drive with a 2-yard touchdown plunge.

The Vikings got back into it after Mixon was stuffed on a fourth-and-short run on the Bengals’ 30-yard line. Four plays later, on fourth down, Cousins hit a cutting Thielen for a 24-yard touchdown to make it 21-14 late in the third quarter.

After McPherson hit a 53-yard field goal early in the fourth to push the lead back to 10, Minnesota sliced it to 24-21 when Cook scored on a 1-yard run with 9:23 left.

Cousins guided a 60-yard drive over the final 1:48, starting from his own 5, with no time outs to set up Joseph’s game-tying field goal.

The teams traded punts throughout a sluggish first quarter before the offenses found their rhythm in the second. The Vikings stitched together a 14-play march capped by Cousins hitting Thielen with a 5-yard touchdown toss and a 7-0 lead midway through the quarter.

Cincinnati answered with the first of the three straight long drives, tying it up on Burrow’s 2-yard touchdown to Tee Higgins. The Bengals needed just 36 seconds to go 75 yards late in the half as Burrow dropped in a 50-yard touchdown to a streaking Chase with just 42 seconds left before halftime.

–Field Level Media