Vikings playoff hopes in danger after brutal loss to Bengals in Week 15

Minnesota Vikings beat themselves, again, in loss to Cincinnati Bengals

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jordan Addison
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jordan Addison / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

In a game that they had full control of entering the fourth quarter, the Minnesota Vikings wound up suffering an overtime loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday.

Facing a 4th-and-1 from the Cincinnati Bengals 42-yard line on their first offensive possession of overtime, Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell called his own version of the infamous "tush push" play with the hopes of getting a first down.

The problem, however, was that O'Connell's version of the play had Vikings 5-foot-8, 181-pound wide receiver Brandon Powell as the guy to attempt to push quarterback Nick Mullens for the first down.

Unsurprisingly, Minnesota didn't convert on the fourth-down play, and the Bengals took over on downs. Six plays later, Cincinnati kicker Evan McPherson knocked down a 29-yard field-goal attempt to send the Vikings home with a disappointing 27-24 loss.

Once again, Minnesota Vikings have themselves to blame for loss to Cincinnati Bengals

After the first two quarters of the matchup, Minnesota only led 7-3, but it still felt like they were in control of the game, especially since they still had the lead despite Mullens throwing two interceptions.

But then came the second half. The Vikings' defense that held the Bengals to just 1.9 yards per play during their final four offensive drives of the first half found themselves giving up multiple large chunk plays to Cincinnati in the final 30 minutes of the matchup.

Minnesota began the fourth quarter leading 17-3, but then the Bengals scored 21 straight points and managed to force overtime.

In overtime, the Vikings quickly forced Cincinnati off the field after just three plays, and it seemed like Minnesota was going to find a way to escape the contest with a win.

But then O'Connell's disaster attempt at a "tush push" resulted in the Bengals getting the ball back with the ability to win the game with just a field goal.

A 44-yard pass by Cincinnati quarterback Jake Browning to wide receiver Tyler Boyd when facing 3rd-and-9 from their own 43-yard line all but sealed the loss for the Vikings.

Three plays later, McPherson converted the game-winning field-goal attempt, and Minnesota will now head back to the Twin Cities with a 7-7 record and playoff chances that continue to get lower as each week passes by.