Vikings Down 49ers with Improvised Touchdown Drive & 2-Point Dive 28 Aug 17

MINNEAPOLIS — Jerick McKinnon’s 108-yard kickoff return sparked the Vikings in the third quarter, and Taylor Heinicke orchestrated an improbable comeback drive in a 32-31 win over the 49ers on Sunday night at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Heinicke made plays with his arm and legs on the drive and combined the pair on the final play of the game, a 2-point conversion attempt. Heinicke scrambled to his right, found running room and reached the ball in the front right corner of the end zone, winning a race inside the pylon and flipping forward.

The play caused a stream of Vikings teammates from the sideline to mob Heinicke, who didn’t enter the game until 2:44 remained.

Heinicke completed passes to Cayleb Jones, Nick Truesdell, Isaac Fruechte, Rodney Adams and Stacy Coley during the drive. After Coley drew a pass interference call in the end zone, Terrell Newbypowered in from the 1-yard line as regulation ended.

The dramatic ending provided an encore performance to the end of the third quarter when the Vikings scored 14 points and the 49ers scored seven in the final 1:43 of the period.

Adams caught a side-arm pass from Case Keenum and wound his way into the end zone for a 9-yard touchdown to pull the Vikings to a 17-10 score.  

Raheem Mostert, however, converted a third-and-22 with an 87-yard catch-and-run after a short pass from C.J. Beathard to put San Francisco up 24-10 with 49 seconds left in the third quarter.

McKinnon answered with the electric kickoff return, weaving through defenders and kicker Robbie Gould, turning on the jets near the 50-yard line.

The Vikings improved to 2-1 this preseason and 14-2 in exhibition contests under Head Coach Mike Zimmer. The Vikings close the preseason by hosting the Dolphins at 7 p.m. Thursday.