The Vikings are one step closer to a playoff berth and their defense has a lot to do with it.
Vikings defenders forced seven turnovers during Sunday’s 39-10 win over the Chargers. The victory pushed the Vikings to 10-4 on the season and leaves them on the doorstep of the postseason with a Week 16 Monday night game against the Packers on tap.
Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers had a hand in four of the turnovers. He threw three interceptions and was stripped of the ball on a sack by Danielle Hunter. Ifeadi Odenigbo scooped that ball up and returned it for a 56-yard touchdown with seconds to play in the first half.
That score opened up a nine-point lead and the Vikings just kept stretching it out as Melvin Gordon fumbled for the second time on the first play of the second half. Tight end Hunter Henry lost another fumble and the comedy of errors left the Chargers with their ninth loss of the season.
With a .500 record no longer possible, the Chargers could opt to take a look at Tyrod Taylor at quarterback. Rivers now has 18 interceptions on the season and the prospect of bringing him back for another season will likely be a subject of serious debate inside the organization.
The Vikings have no such conversations on tap, although they may have to fend without running back Dalvin Cook. He left Sunday’s game in the third quarter with a shoulder injury and was quickly ruled out. Cook’s dealt with shoulder trouble at other points this season, so it’s a situation that bears watching.