Vikings Take NFC North Lead With Win Over Ravens
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Latavius Murray rushed for 113 yards and a touchdown and Kai Forbath kicked six field goals to lift the Minnesota Vikings to a 24-16 victory over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.
Forbath made kicks of 52, 51, 43, 43, 34 and 32 yards to back another suffocating effort from the defense for the Vikings (5-2).
Minnesota sacked Joe Flacco five times and allowed just 208 total yards. Everson Griffen had two sacks and has nine for the season.
Justin Tucker kicked three field goals for the Ravens (3-4), including a 57-yarder in the first half. Flacco completed 26 of 38 passes for 186 yards and a 13-yard touchdown to Chris Moore as time expired.
The nine combined field goals tied an NFL record for most made field goals in a game.
Points figured to be at a premium in a matchup of two of the league's stingiest defenses, both of which were facing offensive units missing key players.
That's what made Murray's 29-yard touchdown in the third quarter such a big play. He was signed in the offseason to help replace Adrian Peterson, Murray had to sit out before training camp while recovering from foot surgery.
He was off to a slow start this season with just 97 yards rushing through the first six games. But he burst through a big hole in the third quarter, made one cut and surged to the end zone to give the Vikings an 18-6 lead.
Case Keenum had an erratic afternoon, completing 20 of 31 passes for 188 yards and one interception for the Vikings, making Murray's contribution all the more important.
Flacco, who entered the day with a 66.1 rating that was good for 31st in the league, was stuck under 100 yards passing until well into the fourth quarter.
Former Vikings WR Mike Wallace left the game in the first quarter after a vicious hit from S Andrew Sendejo. Wallace appeared to be knocked out cold by the shoulder-to-head hit that knocked his helmet off.
Wallace was able to walk off under his own power and was subjected to the league's concussion protocol. Sendejo was penalized for unnecessary roughness, negating a forced fumble on the play. Wallace was later ruled out, but appeared to be arguing with coaches on the sideline about wanting back in.
The Ravens were already missing Jeremy Maclin, Breshad Perriman and Chris Matthews because of injuries, meaning they were forced to line up running back Javorius Allen at receiver in the second half.
BACK AND FORBATH
The performance Sunday from the Vikings kicker was indicative of his short career here since being brought on last season to replace Blair Walsh. His six makes were one off the Vikings single-game record and he made two of at least 50 yards in the same game for the first time in his career.
But Forbath also missed an extra point, hitting the right upright after Murray's run. It was his sixth missed extra point in 14 games for Minnesota. He is 12 for 12 on field goals of 40 yards or longer.
Ravens: DT Brandon Williams played after missing the previous four games with a foot injury.
Vikings: LT Riley Reiff left the game in the third quarter with a knee injury and was replaced by Rashod Hill. ... G Jeremiah Sirles, filling in for the injured Nick Easton, hobbled off in the second quarter and did not return because of a knee injury. Danny Isidora played the second half in his place.
The Ravens have a short turnaround, hosting the Miami Dolphins on Thursday night.
The Vikings are off to London, where they will play the Cleveland Browns on Sunday before getting a bye the following week.