MINNEAPOLIS -- Justin Jefferson's touchdown catch with 8:33 left gave the Minnesota Vikings enough of a lead to hang on for a 27-22 victory despite a relentless rally by the New York Jets on Sunday.
Camryn Bynum's interception at the 1-yard line with 10 seconds left finally sealed it for the Vikings (10-2), who completed a four-game sweep of the AFC East in their typical nail-biting fashion.
Mike White, who was picked off twice, was 31 of 57 for 369 yards in his second start this season for the Jets (7-5). He scored on a fourth-and-goal sneak from the 1 to pull within five points with 6:45 to go after a replay review reversed the initial ruling that he was stopped short.
With 1:43 remaining, White's fourth-and-goal pass from the 1 was incomplete when Braxton Berrios bobbled it and the ball hit the turf. The Jets had all three timeouts left and got the ball right back at the Minnesota 43, but with White under plenty of pressure they stalled out at the 19.
Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison rushed for first-half touchdowns and Greg Joseph made all five of his kicks for the Vikings, who took a 20-3 lead late in the second quarter.
Blowouts just aren't their thing, though. They netted 10 yards on three third-quarter possessions and found themselves in their ninth one-score game of the season.
After keeping the Jets fully in check for the first three quarters, the Vikings badly missed some crucial tackles and allowed three plays of 30-plus yards in the final 15 minutes to aid the rally.
White had folk-hero status after passing for 315 yards and three touchdowns to beat Chicago in his first start following the benching of 2021 second overall draft pick Zach Wilson. This performance sure didn't hurt his reputation.
Third-down conversions (3 for 16) and red zone touchdowns (1 for 6) situations are the ones to work on. The Jets had to settle for five field goals from Greg Zuerlein, including a franchise-record 60-yarder at the end of the first half.
With a formidable four-man rush led by Quinnen Williams on the interior and stingy pass coverage with star rookie Sauce Gardner, the Jets presented the type of defense - ranked in the top 10 in the NFL in most major categories - that typically gives Kirk Cousins the most trouble.
Seven of his first eight passes were incomplete, but he found his rhythm on one of Minnesota's hardest-earned touchdown drives of the season. Gardner and fellow cornerback D.J. Reed were all over Jefferson, but he drew a holding penalty on each of them during the 14-play march when he ran the ball twice. Most important was his over-the-middle catch before safety Jordan Whitehead leveled him with a hit flagged for unnecessary roughness. Cook scored on the next play from the 4.
After the Cousins-Jefferson connection sparked their spirited win over New England last week, the Vikings had to do this the harder way. Cousins lowered his shoulder for contact with star linebacker C.J. Mosley at the end of an 11-yard scramble on third-and-9 during another touchdown drive.
Cousins finished 21 of 35 for 173 yards and a touchdown.
GREG THE LEG
The previous field goal record for the Jets was 57 yards, shared by Zuerlein (twice earlier this year) and Chandler Catanzaro (2017). This was the third time in 163 career games Zuerlein made five or more field goals. He went 7 for 7 for the Rams in a 2017 game.
Jets: RB Michael Carter (ankle) was inactive. Rookie Zonovan Knight, who got his first start at running back, had 90 yards on 15 carries. ... Max Mitchell started at RT for Cedric Ogbuehi (groin), but George Fant took over for Mitchell in the second quarter. ... DT Sheldon Rankins returned from a two-game absence to an elbow injury. ... Nickel CB Michael Carter II (ankle) left in the second quarter. ... Backup DE Michael Clemons (knee) was hurt in the third quarter, but returned.
Vikings: LT Christian Darrisaw (concussion) was sidelined for the second straight game. ... Evans returned after a two-game absence to a concussion. He went back in the protocol after landing hard on his head in the third quarter. ... DE Jonathan Bullard (elbow) left in the first quarter, with backup Ross Blacklock (illness) already scratched. ... DE Dalvin Tomlinson returned from a four-game absence to a calf injury.
Jets: at Buffalo next Sunday. They beat the Bills 20-17 at home on Nov. 6.
Vikings: at Detroit next Sunday. They beat the Lions 28-24 at home on Sept. 25.
See the big plays from Sunday's game below.
Cam Bynum interception secures Vikings' 27-22 win
On 4th and 10, the Vikings' defense stood firm, pressuring Jets' quarterback Mike White into throwing an interception over the middle of the field.
Cam Bynum secured the pick and, simultaneously, the Vikings' 27-22 win. They'll move to 10-2.
Unfortunately, the Detroit Lions beat the Jacksonville Jaguars, so the Vikings have not yet clinched the division. A win next week would do it.
Braxton Berrios drops 4th down pass in end zone
The Jets nearly took the lead on a 4th and goal play, but wide receiver Braxton Berrios couldn't hang on to the ball.
The Vikings take over with their backs against the end zone and less than two minutes remaining.
Jets convert on 4th and 10 to keep hopes alive
The Vikings' defense had a chance to force a turnover on downs, but they allowed a conversion on 4th and 10.
Mike White hit Corey Davis for a big gain.
At the two-minute warning, the Jets are threatening to take the lead.
Mike White sneaks in TD, cuts Vikings lead to 27-22
The Vikings thought they had a successful goal line stand on 4th down, but a the Jets challenged the call on Mike White's sneak. After review, the referees ruled he broke the plane and scored a touchdown.
The Vikings lead 27-22 halfway through the fourth quarter.
Vikings extend lead to 27-15 with Jefferson touchdown
After a long scoreless streak, the Vikings finally put more point on the board with a Justin Jefferson touchdown.
They now lead the Jets 27-15 midway through the fourth quarter.
Jets score 12 unanswered to cut Vikings' lead to 20-15
The Vikings' defense has held the Jets' offense to field goals on four straight drives, but a stagnant Minnesota offense means the lead is now just 20-15.
Greg Zuerlein hit a 26-yarder, his fifth field goal of the day, to give the Jets 12 straight unanswered points.
A 60-yard catch and run by Garrett Wilson got the Jets deep into Vikings territory before the kick.
Jets make fourth field goal, Vikings lead 20-12
The Jets continue to slowly whittle away at the Vikings' lead. It's now 20-12 after another Greg Zuerlein field goal.
The Vikings have yet to score in the second half.
Another Jets field goal makes it 20-9
The Vikings went three-and-out on the opening drive of the second half.
On the ensuing drive, the Jets kicked a short field goal to make it 20-9.
Greg Zuerlein hits 60-yard FG just before half; Vikings lead 20-6
Jets kicker Greg Zuerlein sailed a 60-yard field goal through the uprights just before halftime.
The Vikings lead 20-6, and will get the ball to start the second half.
Vikings lead 20-3 after another Greg Joseph field goal
Just after the two-minute warning, the Jets went for it on 4th and 2, but the Vikings defense held firm and got the ball back for the offense.
Though the Vikings failed to score a touchdown, Greg Joseph's second field goal of the day puts them up 20-3 just before halftime.
Mattison score makes it 17-3 Vikings
The Vikings have a two-touchdown lead on the Jets after running back Alexander Mattison scored on a draw play.
The 16-yard run and a made extra point make it 17-3 with 3:35 left in the first half.
A deep pass from Kirk Cousins to Jalen Reagor moved the Vikings into the red zone.
Dalvin Cook TD put Vikings up 10-3
Dalvin Cook scored the game's first touchdown about two minutes into the second quarter. The Vikings lead the Jets 10-3.
Justin Jefferson did a lot of work getting the Vikings into scoring position. He abandoned a designed trick play to gain a few yards on 2nd and 13, then converted the 3rd down across the middle. Jets safety Jordan Whitehead was flagged for unnecessary roughness for a hit on Jefferson, which put the Vikings even closer to the goal line.
Cook's TD was the 50th of his career.
Vikings' Jonathan Bullard questionable to return
The Vikings say defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard is questionable to return to Sunday's game after injuring his elbow.
Bullard was earlier flagged for a facemask penalty.
Jets tie it 3-3
The Jets answered the Vikings' field goal with three points of their own.
The Minnesota defense nearly got another interception after a pass intended for Tyler Conklin popped into the air, but two Vikings collided and the pick was dropped.
Greg Zuerlein nailed a 48-yard field goal on the next play to tie the game 3-3.
Vikings strike first, lead Jets 3-0
The Vikings turned Harrison Smith's interception into three points, as kicker Greg Joseph barely made a 51-yard field goal to put Minnesota on the board.
Harrison Smith intercepts Mike White on opening drive
The Jets got the ball to start Sunday's game, but their opening drive didn't last long.
On 3rd and 2, Cam Bynum deflected a pass and Harrison Smith snagged it out of the air for an interception. The Vikings take over in Jets territory.
Vikings, Jets release inactive lists
As was previously known, the Vikings will be without left tackle Christian Darrisaw for a second straight game.
The other players on Minnesota's inactive list are Luiji Vilain, Vederian Lowe, Ben Ellefson, Esezi Otomewo and Ross Blacklock.
For the Jets, Zach Wilson, Jeff Smith, Jeremy Ruckert, Michael Carter, Ashtyn Davis and Bryce Hall will sit out Sunday's game.
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Tailgaters prepping for Jets-Vikings
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