NFL teams
Courtney Cronin, ESPN Staff Writer 60d

Minnesota Vikings' Kene Nwangwu breaks loose for 99-yard kickoff return

NFL, Minnesota Vikings

Playing in close games is a specialty for the Minnesota Vikings. So are kickoff-return touchdowns for rookie Kene Nwangwu.

After the San Francisco 49ers kicked a 46-yard field goal with 5:03 remaining in the third quarter to extend their lead to 11, the Vikings' returner took a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown to cut Minnesota's deficit to five.

Nwangwu fielded the kickoff and ran toward the visitors sideline at Levi's Stadium. Two blocks from fellow backs Alexander Mattison and C.J. Ham created a hole for Nwangwu to speed through as the Niners missed two tackles in their pursuit. Once Nwangwu reached Minnesota's 40-yard line, it was too late for anyone to reach him. He ran free into the end zone for the next 60 yards.

This is Nwangwu's second kick-return touchdown this season after he returned the opening kickoff 98 yards for a score in the second half at Baltimore in Week 9. Minnesota is the only team to have multiple such touchdowns this season.

Following Nwangwu's touchdown, Minnesota attempted a 2-point conversion but failed to convert, allowing the 49ers to hold on to a 31-26 lead.

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