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Cousins, Addison shine in prime time as Vikings sink 49ers

Stephen Maturen / Getty Images Sport / Getty

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Kirk Cousins connected with rookie Jordan Addison for two first-half touchdowns, Camryn Bynum intercepted San Francisco’s Brock Purdy twice in the fourth quarter, and the Minnesota Vikings held on to beat the 49ers 22-17 on Monday night.

Christian McCaffrey scored twice for the 49ers (5-2), who lost their second straight game for the first time in a 34-game stretch with another uncharacteristically sloppy performance.

“One play here, one play there. We’ve had some tough losses," said Cousins, who went 35 for 45 for 378 yards. “Last year we were fortunate enough to pull them out. We found a way tonight.”

Addison had the play of the game when he wrestled a contested pass from 49ers cornerback Charvarius Ward in the closing seconds of the second quarter, spun away from his defender and jogged into the end zone for a 60-yard score to put the Vikings ahead 16-7 going into the break.

Addison, stepping up in a big way with superstar wide receiver Justin Jefferson sidelined by a hamstring injury, had seven catches for 123 yards in his breakout game on a prime-time stage. The first-round draft pick from Southern California, who left the game briefly with leg cramps, also had a 14-yard reception on third-and-4 on a drive that could have sealed the game for Minnesota (3-4).

But Greg Joseph, who also missed an earlier extra point, pulled a 50-yard field goal wide right.

With no timeouts and 1:11 left, the 49ers took possession at their 40. Purdy, who was picked off with 5:30 remaining at the Minnesota 30 after a poorly thrown ball intended for Jajuan Jennings, completed two short throws to reach the Minnesota 40. But Bynum zeroed in on a pass over the middle for Ray-Ray McCloud III and leaped over him for the interception.

“The guy climbed the ladder and made a hell of a play,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said.

The 49ers, who were still the favorite to win the Super Bowl after a 19-17 defeat last week at Cleveland, played without wide receiver Deebo Samuel and left tackle Trent Williams, both of whom were hurt in that ugly game. Purdy bounced back from the worst game of his young NFL career and his first regular season loss as a starter, but those late interceptions will sting.

The Vikings had their fourth opening-drive turnover in seven games this season when a pass over the middle to Addison was intercepted by Ward with a quick game of tug-of-war. Addison got revenge on his touchdown a little later.

Minnesota's defense also avenged that mistake. McCaffrey lost the ball at the Minnesota 11 on the ensuing possession when Bynum and Harrison Smith converged on the NFL's leading rusher. Smith was credited for the forced fumble, his third of the season to tie a career high, and Dean Lowry recovered.

“I made a bad mistake today that I believe cost us the game," McCaffrey said.

That was the first time in seven games this season the 49ers failed to score on their first drive to portend their mistake-filled game. Addison's first touchdown, a 20-yarder, was the first allowed by the 49ers in the first quarter this season.

Jake Moody, who missed a 41-yard field goal try in the closing seconds that would've won it at Cleveland, pulled a 40-yard attempt wide right in the second quarter Monday night. He later converted from 55 yards.


McCaffrey, the only player in the league with a touchdown in every game this season, has a scoring streak of 16 straight games including the 2022-23 playoffs. He’s one game short of Lenny Moore’s all-time record from 1963-64.

Cousins hit the 300-yard mark for the 50th time in his 12-year career. Only four others have done that in by their 12th season: Drew Brees (67), Matt Ryan (64), Peyton Manning (56) and Kurt Warner (52).


49ers: LB Fred Warner left in the fourth quarter with a bruised thigh. ... LB Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles departed after an ankle injury that occurred while covering the third-quarter kickoff. ... LB Dre Greenlaw (hamstring) returned from a one-game absence.

Vikings: LB Brian Asamoah limped off after colliding on the kickoff with Flannigan-Fowles. ... LG Ezra Cleveland (foot) didn't play, replaced by Dalton Risner.


49ers: Host Cincinnati on Sunday.

Vikings: Visit Green Bay on Sunday.



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