MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings were barely good enough to win, yet the Kansas City Chiefs found another ugly way to lose.
The defense and rookie wide receiver Stefon Diggs bailed out Teddy Bridgewater for an erratic performance, and the Vikings held on to beat the mistake-prone Chiefs 16-10 on Sunday.
Alex Smith’s 42-yard touchdown pass to Albert Wilson midway through the fourth quarter pulled the Chiefs within three points, but the Vikings (3-2) played well enough early to survive their ragged finish.
Charcandrick West, one of their replacements for the injured Chiefs star Jamaal Charles, lost a fumble down the stretch. The Chiefs (1-5) had eight penalties enforced for 95 yards.
Diggs had 129 yards on seven catches on a day when Bridgewater threw two interceptions and Adrian Peterson, who was on the sideline late in the game with the Vikings trying to put it away, finished with 60 yards on 26 carries.
Bridgewater passed for 143 yards in the first quarter, but a smooth first drive hit a pothole on Ron Parker’s end zone interception, the first by the Chiefs in four weeks.
The Vikings appeared to have a safety three snaps later when left guard Ben Grubbs was called for holding. But referee Jerome Boger announced the infraction did not result in a safety, though replays showed Grubbs halfway into the end zone when Smith’s third-down throw was released.
The Vikings declined the penalty to force a punt, and the yellow flags flew all afternoon, most critically against the Chiefs. Cornerback Steven Nelson was called for roughing the passer on a third-and-6 incompletion midway through the second quarter, extending a drive that ended with Bridgewater’s short touchdown pass to Kyle Rudolph that put the Vikings up 10-0.
The Chiefs blew their best chance late in the third quarter, when Anthony Sherman and Charcandrick West were stymied on third-and-1 and fourth-and-1 at the Minnesota 7.
Tight end Travis Kelce had 88 yards on five receptions after halftime for the Chiefs, spurring the rally. After Marcus Peters picked off Bridgewater, Wilson caught the Vikings in an all-out blitz, turning a short screen pass into a 49-yard score that cut the lead to 13-10 with 8:46 left.
The Chiefs were missing two injured starters from their front seven, nose tackle Dontari Poe (ankle) and inside linebacker Josh Mauga (Achilles tendon, groin), and DE Mike DiVito departed with a concussion late in the second quarter.
They still dominated the line of scrimmage, perhaps the most frustrating part of this result for a reeling team. Peterson found enough room to run around right end for a 23-yard gain in the third quarter, setting up Blair Walsh’s season-long 45-yard field goal, but that was the extent of his success. Bridgewater faced his share of pressure, too, while finishing 17 for 31 with several errant throws beyond the two that were intercepted.
In the two games Diggs has played in, the fifth-round draft pick from Maryland has 216 yards on 13 catches.
The Chiefs lost wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, who walked off the field woozily following a third-down incompletion he dived for prior to the 48-yard field goal by Cairo Santos that gave the Chiefs their first points early in the fourth quarter.