DETROIT – Looks like the Minnesota Vikings have a feel for desperation.
And desperation pass plays.
Kirk Cousins took a shotgun snap, rolled slightly to his right, stepped up and heaved a pass from near midfield into the end zone.
Kyle Rudolph leaped to make a go-ahead touchdown catch.
Cousins’ 44-yard Hail Mary to Rudolph as time expired in the first half put the Minnesota Vikings ahead and they beat the Detroit Lions 27-9 Sunday, moving a step closer to playing in the postseason.
“It was a big way to gain some momentum going into the half after a slow start,” Cousins said. “They were calling it a Hail Rudy after it happened.”
Minnesota famously beat New Orleans in the playoffs last January on Diggs’ game-ending, 61-yard touchdown reception to advance to the NFC championship game.
The Vikings could have clinched a spot in the playoffs with a win and losses by Washington and Philadelphia this weekend. The Redskins lost to Tennessee on Saturday, but shortly after Minnesota walked into its locker room at Ford Field, the Eagles beat Houston on a game-ending field goal.
Minnesota (8-6-1) can still earn a spot in the postseason by closing the regular season with a win against NFC North champion Chicago at home, or by having wild-card hopefuls lose in Week 17.
“We don’t want to leave it up to anyone else,” Rudolph said.
The Vikings overcame an awful start offensively, scoring two touchdowns on Cousins’ passes over the last 1:32 of the second quarter, and relied on their defense all afternoon against Detroit.
Cousins finished 21 of 28 for 253 yards with three touchdowns, matching his career high with 29 set in 2015 with the Redskins. Rudolph had a career-high 122 yards receiving and matched a career high with two touchdown receptions.
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