MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — All of the second half heroics from Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins would mean absolutely nothing if not for the defense.

The Denver Broncos found some holes in the Vikings’ defense in the first half, but they were plugged just in time to stop the Broncos from trotting out of U.S. Bank Stadium with a victory.

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And for the second week, defensive back Jayron Kearse was one of the brightest points on the Vikings’ defense, preventing Denver from stealing the game away in the last few seconds.

“It all attributes to a team win. Defense did what they had to do at the end of the game. Jayron Kearse made some huge plays,” wide receiver Stefon Diggs said.

Kearse says Diggs is like a brother to him and it was a big deal having everybody supporting him after he prevented a last-second touchdown.

“When I have the opportunity, I have to seize the moment. Just so happened that last week I had the chance to make a play on the ball, I did. Today, I had a chance to cover a nice tight end, a good tight end, at the end of the game at crunch time and I just happened to make some plays.”

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He wasn’t the only one. Minnesota’s defense made a stand when it counted.

“We made some crazy plays,” linebacker Eric Kendricks said. “They were on four-down territory, so they were going to go for it, but a lot of those were really close. A game of inches.”

But for everything Kearse has been through in this season, he gets the praise he’s due when putting in hard work.

“Those were big time plays,” Kendricks said. “At that point in the game, someone has to step up and make a play. They knew what we were in, we knew what they were going to try to do. It was about mono e mono, you know, about getting the job done. We were resilient.”

That’s two straight weeks Kearse has made the clutch play. Kearse picked off the final throw in Dallas in the end zone to seal the win in Week 10. He says he’ll continue his relentless play style.

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“I’m just playing football and the refs have a job to do. They’re going to do their job. If they would have threw (the flag), we would have lined up for another play and that’s what it would have been. They didn’t throw it, so ballgame,” Kearse said.

Norman Seawright III