MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Kirk Cousins took the third-and-5 shotgun snap with 3 minutes left and Minnesota holding an eight-point lead.

He decided to run for it.

The San Francisco defense converged as Cousins crossed his 40-yard line Luca Sbisa Jersey , so the most expensive player in Vikings history lowered his head as he tried to power his way past the first-down marker.

Cousins took a shoulder to the back from 49ers linebacker Elijah Lee as he tumbled to the turf and came up just short, a dangerous way for a franchise quarterback to try to move the chains, but his determination to experience victory in his Vikings debut on Sunday afternoon was not to be reasoned with.

“Hey, when the game’s on the line, we’re trying to get the first down. Go for it,” coach Mike Zimmer said. “I’m all in.”

Cousins passed for two touchdowns and the Vikings forced four turnovers, fueling a 24-16 win over the 49ers in the season opener that stuck Jimmy Garoppolo with his first loss in eight games as an NFL starting quarterback .

The Vikings actually kept that late drive alive by a 49ers neutral zone infraction penalty on fourth-and-1, before punting four plays later. Harrison Smith’s interception, the third by the Vikings against Garoppolo in the second half, sealed the game with 1:35 remaining.

Asked afterward about that head-first hustle, Cousins acknowledged the risk of such a play and said he might have been better served with a stutter-step or some kind of move to try to make Lee miss.

“We had played too hard at that point to just slide early and give up on that,” Cousins said.

Cousins completed 20 of 36 passes for 244 yards without a turnover. He faced plenty of pressure, highlighted by DeForest Buckner and his 2½ sacks, and there were a handful of awkward-looking plays produced by the Vikings. Cousins was right on target at just the right times , though, delivering several clutch throws in traffic including the scoring passes to Stefon Diggs in the second quarter and Kyle Rudolph in the third quarter.

“That’s NFL football. I think that if you’re not really accurate and you don’t have that confidence to let it rip, you’re going to be holding the ball and getting sacked, you’re going to be spraying it everywhere,” Cousins said. “If you’re waiting for guys to be open, you’re going to be waiting a long time.”

Cousins, who signed a three-year Womens Antonio Brown Jersey , $84 million, fully guaranteed contract with the Vikings this spring, clearly savored his first regular season contest at U.S. Bank Stadium, where the Vikings are 15-3, including the playoffs since it opened. The last player to emerge from the tunnel during pregame introductions, Cousins said the honor was undeserved and should have been reserved for Diggs, wide receiver Adam Thielen, left tackle Riley Reiff or running back Dalvin Cook.

“It’s just an example of the team welcoming me with open arms, and I’m so grateful for this opportunity that I’ve been given,” Cousins said, “and I just want to make good on it with every chance I get.”

Here are some other key angles that emerged from the game:

GETTING TO GAROPPOLO: Garoppolo finished 15 for 33 for 261 yards and a touchdown pass to rookie Dante Pettis late in the third quarter, but the Vikings sacked him three times. Mike Hughes returned the first pick 28 yards for a score.

“There’s not one word to put on it. We went against a very good defense, and we all didn’t play as good as we could,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “Lots of quarterbacks struggle against that defense. Jimmy did some good things, but by no means was he perfect.”

COMEBACK COMPLETE: Cook had 16 carries for 40 yards and six catches for 55 yards, a productive return to live action after tearing the ACL in his left knee about 11 months earlier. He lost a fumble at the San Francisco 29 after spinning and muscling his way through a crowd of defenders for a 15-yard gain.

Cook declared his knee and body fit for a full season, but his mind was also on his family. His uncle and childhood confidant, Anthony Jones, a running back for Florida International University, was wounded in a drive-by shooting in Miami on Thursday. Cook’s grandmother raised him and Jones, her son.

“Just going out there Matt Calvert Jersey , competing, playing my heart out, that’s what he wanted,” Cook said.

KITTLE’S DROP: Garoppolo and the 49ers had their hands full against the league’s leading defense of 2017, losing wide receiver Marquise Goodwin to a first-quarter quadriceps injury and two right guards to foot injuries. They had success rolling Garoppolo out on misdirection plays, and tight end George Kittle was the biggest beneficiary with five catches for 90 yards.

The one he didn’t make stood out. Wide open up the seam, Kittle had what would’ve been a 30-yard completion fall off his fingers at midfield. The third-down interception by Hughes came on the next play to give the Vikings a 17-3 lead.

“It didn’t end the way we wanted,” Kittle said, “but I feel like we definitely had some momentum going and if we can do that we’ll be a pretty good offense.”

DEFENSE DIGS IN: The 49ers gave Garoppolo an opportunity with three straight three-and-out possessions by the Vikings in the fourth quarter. Rookie Fred Warner, starting at middle linebacker with Reuben Foster suspended, led the team with 12 tackles, including one for loss. He also had one quarterback hurry, one pass breakup and the forced fumble on Cook.

“Middle linebacker is one of the toughest positions to come in as a rookie and play and be effective,” said cornerback Richard Sherman, who made his 49ers debut. “I think he d

Editors:

To help you with planning for the NBA Draft in Dallas on June 21 in New York, here are some of our coverage plans. Please direct questions to Oscar Dixon (odixon(at)ap.org). Plans subject to change. This digest will be updated. All times Eastern.

THURSDAY, JUNE 21

BKN–NBA DRAFT

NEW YORK – The Phoenix Suns have the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft, with big men Deandre Ayton, Marvin Bagley III and Michael Porter Jr. among the top prospects along with Luka Doncic, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Trae Young. By Basketball Writer Brian Mahoney. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Developing from 7 p.m. draft.

With:

– BKN–NBA DRAFT-THINGS TO KNOW. By Brian Mahoney. UPCOMING: 650 words Authentic Pekka Rinne Jersey Kids , photos by 5 a.m.

– BKN–NBA DRAFT-THE LATEST, real-time updates on the NBA draft

– Individual stories from each NBA team.

FRIDAY, JUNE 22

BKN–NBA DRAFT-HUERTER’S NIGHT

CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. – The Associated Press spends the NBA draft with early entrant Kevin Huerter, as he waits for the phone to ring and the next step in his basketball life to be decided. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos, video planned by 4 a.m.

SENT PREVIOUSLY:

Features:

BKN–NBA DRAFT-BEST EVER PICKS

Ever wondered who the best picks of the NBA draft were at every draft slot? Wonder no more. From No. 1 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to No. 30 Spencer Haywood, a look at the players whose footsteps will be followed by the new NBA players selected on Thursday night. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. SENT: 1,000 words, photos on June 20

BKN–NBA DRAFT

NEW YORK – Luka Doncic is already a pro, and he has already won championships. A day after capping his brilliant stay in Spain with another title, the Slovenian guard heads the list of international players expected to be selected in the NBA draft and remains perhaps the most accomplished and intriguing player in Thursday’s festivities. By Basketball Writer Brian Mahoney. SENT: 700 words, photos on June 20

BKN–NBA DRAFT-LEBRON FACTOR

CLEVELAND – LeBron James won’t be picking any players in this year’s NBA draft. Not directly anyway. With the three-time champion’s future still uncertain, the Cleveland Cavaliers, who have the No. 8 overall pick, enter this year’s draft not certain if they’re taking a player as a complementary piece to James, to develop without him or perhaps trade to land another All-Star player. At this point, everything seems in play. By Tom Withers. SENT: 600 words, photos on June 19

BKN–NBA DRAFT-HAWKS-TRADE TALKS

ATLANTA – With four picks in the top 34, including No. 3 overall, the Atlanta Hawks are in position to move up or down in Thursday’s NBA draft. GM Travis Schlenk says he’s getting a lot of calls but says there is space on the rebuilding Hawks roster to carry four rookies next season. By Charles Odum. SENT: 550 words Womens Ryan Kerrigan Jersey , file photos on June 19

BKN–NBA DRAFT-THE INTERVIEW

CHICAGO – When teams are deciding who to take in the NBA draft, the off-court interview still carries enormous weight. What happens on the floor obviously is of great importance as well, but the half-hour chats at the draft combine might be just as critical to teams that need to choose which players merit multi-million-dollar investments. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. SENT: 800 words, photos on June 18.

BKN–NBA DRAFT-UNDRAFTED LIFE

There’s going to be dozens of players left out in the cold at next week’s NBA draft, players who will not hear their names called by the time the night is over. Udonis Haslem knows how they’ll feel. Undrafted in 2002, Haslem – a Miami native who has spent his entire NBA career with his hometown Miami Heat – has been in the league longer than just about any other active player. Next season will be his 16th in the NBA. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. SENT: 850 words, photos on June 14.

BKN–THE OFFSEASON

There are a slew of questions that need to be answered in the NBA this offseason. There’s the obvious one: What will LeBron James do? But there are plenty of others, including the future for Kawhi Leonard, the next moves for Chris Paul and Paul George, and whether the league has seen the last of Dwyane Wade. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. SENT: 950 words, photos on June 9.

Profiles:

BKN–NBA DRAFT-SEXTON

NEW YORK – A year ago Collin Sexton had just graduated from high school and was about to embark on his college career at Alabama. The talented point guard chose an unusual route to start his journey to the NBA but after only one year in the shadows of the pre-eminent college football program in the nation Sexton is only the second Crimson Tide freshman to declare for the NBA draft – and the first under the one-one-done rule. By Terrin Waack. SENT: 650 words, photos on June 20

BKN–NBA DRAFT-YOUNG

Trae Young’s numbers in his lone season of college were ridiculous. He led the nation in scoring and assists. He had NBA stars tweeting about his every move. But where he’s going to end up in the draft on Thursday night remains a bit of a mystery, for reasons that Young doesn’t fully understand. By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds. SENT: 700 words, photos on June 19

BKN–NBA DRAFT-PORTER

Someone is going to gamble on Michael Porter Jr., and he insists it’ll pay off. There is an element of danger involved with every NBA draft pick, in that nothing is guaranteed. There isn’t a player that epitomizes the risk versus reward thinking in this draft more than Porter Jr., who some think http://www.officialusafootballs.com/baltimore-ravens