Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) celebrates a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
There are no fans in the seats to watch Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) warmup on the big screen before the start of a NFL game at U.S. Bank Stadium against Tennessee in Minneapolis on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020.. (John Autey / Pioneer Press)
Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer adults his face shield before the start of a NFL game at U.S. Bank Stadium against Tennessee in Minneapolis on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020.. (John Autey / Pioneer Press)
Vikings free safety Anthony Harris (41) pumps up his teammates before the start of a NFL game at U.S. Bank Stadium against Tennessee in Minneapolis on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020.. (John Autey / Pioneer Press)
Dalvin Cook is back and Justin Jefferson has arrived. But it still didn’t add up to a win.
Despite their star running back returning to form, and a coming-out part for their rookie receiver having, the Vikings lost 31-30 to Tennessee on Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 55-yard field goal with 1:48 left, his sixth of the game for what turned out to be the winning points as the Vikings dropped to 0-3 for the first time since 2013.
At least the Vikings were competitive. In their first two games, they had been outscored by an average of 13 points per game in ugly defeats against Green Bay and at Indianapolis.
Cook rushed for a career-high 181 yards on 22 carries after having just 113 in the first two games. Jefferson caught an eye-popping seven passes for 175 yards, including a 71-yard touchdown grab from Kirk Cousins for a 24-12 lead in the third quarter.
However, after that reception by Jefferson with 8:04 left in the quarter, things started to turn the other way for the Vikings. The Titans (3-0) got a pair of 1-yard touchdown runs by Derrick Henry later in the quarter to take a 25-24 lead. Henry rushed for 119 yards on 26 carries.
The Vikings came back to take a 30-25 lead on a 3-yard touchdown pass from Cousins to tight end Kyle Rudolph with 10:17 left in the game. Prior to that, Rudolph had not caught a pass in last week’s 28-11 loss at Indianapolis and in the first three quarters Sunday.
But the Titans got a 54-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski with 6:36 left in the game. Then Gostkowski, who made all six attempts, hit the game winner.