1. Zimmer's blitzing reclaimed momentum

A week after completing a career-high 84.2% of his passes against an Eagles defense that didn't hit him once, Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert was sacked by a blitzing Eric Kendricks on his first pass attempt of Sunday's 27-20 loss to the Vikings at So-Fi Stadium.

"It worked out just how we practiced it," Kendricks said. "I think it surprised him."

Herbert was struggling when he opened the second half completing five of seven passes to five players for 62 yards, a touchdown and a 17-13 lead.

"They were getting on the ball quickly and we were trying to get the perfect calls in," Kendricks said.

After that drive, coach Mike Zimmer went back to the blitz on the next two possessions. Safety Cam Bynum had a third-down sack to force a punt, and linebacker Nick Vigil had a blind-side knockdown to force an incompletion that led to a three-and-out after the Vikings had regained the lead.

2. Linval Joseph has lost a step

Michael Pierce, the nose tackle signed to replace Linval Joseph, missed his fifth straight game. Joseph, now with the Chargers, hasn't missed a start and has played at least 60% of the snaps in all but one game. But … he's not the same force he was in Minnesota. Dalvin Cook got off to a fast start Sunday in part because the Vikings were able to move Joseph. Two 6-yard runs between the tackles helped set up a field goal. Cook also had a 12-yard run early.

The Chargers run defense went into the game ranked last in yards allowed per game (161.6) and per carry (5.03). The Vikings running game wasn't explosive, finishing with 103 yards on 33 carries (3.1). But it was able to get Cook 4 yards on third-and-3 from the 5, a touchdown from the 1-yard line and the game-clinching 4 yards on fourth-and-2 in the closing minutes.

3. Chargers' third-down offense contained

The Vikings won despite having 10 penalties for 118 yards. Cornerbacks Bashaud Breeland and Mackensie Alexander both had pass interference penalties to extend scoring drives. Breeland's 19-yarder led to a field goal early while Alexander's 28-yarder led to a touchdown. But Zimmer came away happy with how his cornerbacks played against a top-five passing offense.

"I really think the corners did a nice job of challenging these guys," Zimmer said. "They have two really good receivers and the tight end's a good player, too."

Herbert threw for only 195 yards a week after throwing for 356. The Chargers also were only 5 of 12 on third downs. Their last attempt was third-and-4 from the Vikings 8-yard line. Breeland challenged and tackled Joshua Palmer for only a 2-yard gain, forcing the Chargers to kick a 24-yard field goal. They never got the ball back.

4. Eddie Yarbrough had to be yanked

Desperate times called for a desperate signing this week as the Vikings lost defensive end Kenny Willekes to the COVID-19 list after already having lost Danielle Hunter for the season. Willekes had played very well against the Ravens the week before in what was the most extensive action of his two-year career. With him out, the Vikings signed Eddie Yarbrough off the 49ers' practice squad, giving them four defensive ends. Yarbrough had played only four games since 2018, all with the Vikings last year.

His stint Sunday was brief. He relieved D.J. Wonnum in the second quarter. The Chargers must have been salivating because they called basically a quarterback sweep to Yarbrough's side, obviously knowing he couldn't set the edge. The run went for 17 yards. Yarbrough was quickly yanked and replaced by Wonnum. The Chargers ended up scoring a touchdown with help from Yarbrough and two defensive penalties.

5. Mattison's catch and run comes at right time

Oli Udoh can't seem to keep his hands to himself. He had two more holding penalties, giving him a team-high 11 penalties on the season. His first put the Vikings in a terrible spot, first-and-16 from their own 7. But that's when backup running back Alexander Mattison had one of his best plays of the season. He refused to go down after grabbing a short pass from Kirk Cousins. His 24-yard gain helped the Vikings go 59 yards on 10 plays to take a 3-0 lead on Greg Joseph's 46-yard field goal. Mattison had only that one catch and only four carries for 16 yards. But it was one of the bigger tone-setting plays in the game. It also gave Cook some time to rest. Right after that 24-yard catch, Cook came back in and had his longest run of the game, 12 yards. Cook had 27 touches, gaining 118 yards.