Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins throws touchdown passes to Smith-Marsette, Jefferson

ByCourtney Cronin or Jesse Rogers via ESPN logo
Sunday, January 9, 2022
ESPN

MINNEAPOLIS - The Minnesota Vikings are getting a look at their future at wide receiver in a no-stakes game against the Chicago Bears.

On the Vikings' opening drive of the second half, quarterback Kirk Cousins found rookie Ihmir Smith-Marsette down field and launched a deep ball on third-and-13 that went 44 yards for a touchdown to cut Chicago's lead to 14-10.

Smith-Marsette lined up in the slot at the Chicago 44-yard line. As he crossed over the middle of the field, a Bears defensive back fell down, leaving the rookie receiver singled up when he caught the ball near the end zone.

The former fifth-round pick has two catches for 84 yards and a touchdown in the Week 18 finale. This was his second career touchdown. His first came three weeks ago when the Vikings beat the Bears on Monday Night Football.

Justin Jefferson entered Sunday needing 124 yards to set a new Vikings' single season receiving yards record (1,632) that was previously held by Randy Moss. It didn't look promising for the second year wide receiver, who had 36 yards on three catches through the third quarter.

Then, on third-and-short at midfield with 13:44 to play in the game, Jefferson ran a go route down the Bears sideline and turned what Chicago safety Eddie Jackson thought was a dead play into a 45-yard touchdown reception.

Jackson tracked Jefferson in coverage and stopped shy of the goal line, where Jefferson caught a deep ball from Cousins to tie up the game 17-17 after the point-after attempt. Jefferson is now 43 yards away from breaking Moss' record.