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CINCINNATI — The Vikings lost the game at the end of overtime, but they lost control during back-to-back 36-second possessions in the final two minutes of the first half of Sunday's 27-24 loss to the Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium.

Here's how Kirk Cousins and the Vikings' 36-second possession went: Ugly three-and-out, featuring a drive-killing unnecessary roughness penalty on right guard Oli Udoh. Bengals get the ball back with 1:11 left, 41 seconds after they had tied the game at 7-7.

Now here's how Joe Burrow and the Bengals' ensuing 36-second possession went: Four penalty-free plays capped by a beautiful 50-yard touchdown strike over an outmanned Bashaud Breeland and into the hands of Ja'Marr Chase, Joe's old LSU teammate and fifth overall draft pick this year.

Bengals 14-7 with the ball to start the second half.

"It was two-minute so not only do you want to get points, but you certainly want to run out the clock so that they can't get the ball back and do what they did," Cousins said. "That was one of the ones where we can and will need to be better."

Like a lot of the times last year, Cousins had the good numbers to go with a bad loss. In his defense, the offensive line not only couldn't protect him — giving up one early sack on a three-man rush — but was penalized eight times, six of which were accepted.

Meanwhile, Burrow, the No. 1 overall pick a year ago, showed no ill effects of having not played since tearing an ACL in Week 11 a year ago. He was sacked five times but still completed 20 of 27 passes for 261 yards, two touchdowns, no turnovers and a 128.8 passer rating. Chase finished with five catches for 101 yards and the deep TD that Burrow was salivating over, based on how Breeland was playing.

"They were playing soft coverage on the first couple plays of that drive," Burrow said. "We were kind of dinking-and-dunking our way up the field. I knew Breeland was the more aggressive corner, so I was going to take that matchup. I had a feeling he was going to sit on a short route, and that's what he did."

It was a bad day for Breeland. On the Bengals' previous possession, a 2-yard touchdown pass to Tee Higgins, was set up by a 26-yard pass interference penalty on Breeland.

Of course, it didn't help Breeland that the Bengals had a free play on that one. Nose tackle Michael Pierce had jumped offsides, sending the Bengals' receivers on go routes.

"I've jumped offsides one time in my career," Pierce said. "And that was my rookie year," Pierce said. "I'll be thinking about that one a lot."

The Vikings were out of this game entirely when the Bengals took the second-half kickoff and went 75 yards in 11 plays to take a 21-7 lead. All of the momentum was with the home team. The visitors were slump-shouldered and finished.

Then Bengals coach Zac Taylor made the worst decision of the game. He went for it on fourth-and-1 from his 30 while leading by 14.

Linebacker Nick Vigil tackled running back Joe Mixon for no gain. Four plays later, on fourth-and-4, Cousins hit Adam Thielen on a short slant that went 24 yards for a touchdown against a zero blitz.

What … the … heck, Zac?

"I felt we could go steal a victory right there," Taylor said. "We're up 21-7 and if we can just bang home the momentum right there with a fourth-and-one. I should have had a better play call. Not our best call there."

You should have punted, kept the momentum and continued your assault on the Vikings' leaky line.

Of course, Zac saved himself in overtime when he gave Burrow the choice of two plays on fourth-and-inches from the Cincinnati 48. One was a quarterback sneak. The other was a pass to the tight end. Joe took the latter for 32 yards.

"It's not a complex two-play call there," Taylor said. "But we trust Joe with everything that we're about."