Vikings clinch NFC North with biggest comeback in NFL history

Vikings clinch NFC North with biggest comeback in NFL history

Move over, Frank Reich. Kirk Cousins, the Minnesota Vikings, are now the new owners of the biggest comeback in NFL history. They turned a 33-0 deficit at halftime into a 39-36 overtime victory over the Indianapolis Colts at U.S. Bank Stadium.

After scoring 36 points in halftime, the Vikings won on Greg Joseph’s 40-yard field with just three seconds remaining in overtime.

The previous greatest comeback in NFL history was Buffalo’s 32-point victory against the Houston Oilers in the playoffs on Jan. 3, 1993. The San Francisco 49ers’ 28 point victory over the New Orleans Saints in 1980 was the previous biggest in NFL history.

The Vikings were laid to rest in their caskets and then buried in their graves. They scored 36 points in the second quarter, including a screen pass by Dalvin Cook that was completed 64 yards for the game-equaling touchdown.

The Vikings won the coin toss in overtime and took the ball. They moved into Colts territory, but a holding call by Ezra Cleveland made it third-and-24 at their 42. Cousins then threw short to Hockenson and the ball was handed to the Indy 39. Instead of trying to kick a 56-yard field goal together with Greg Joseph, who is 1-of-5 from 50 this year, they punted and pinned Colts at 13.

With 4:50 remaining, Indy took control and the Vikings forced a punt at 1:49.

The Vikings made this from their own 18, with 1:41 left and one timeout left.

  • Dalvin Cook – 6-yard run
  • 15-yard pass to K.J. Osborn to the 39
  • 21-yard pass from Adam Thielen to Indy 40
  • They were incomplete with 19 seconds remaining, but Darrisaw injury cost them their last game.
  • Justin Jefferson passes 13 yards to the 27-year-old, setting up the winning field goal

Final game stats

  • Kirk Cousins: 34-54, 460 yards, 4 TD, 2 INT
  • Dalvin Cook: 17 carries, 4 catches, 95 yards, and 1 TD
  • Justin Jefferson: 12 catches, 123 yards, 1 TD
  • K.J. K.J.
  • Adam Thielen: 3 catches, 41 yards, and 1 TD
  • Eric Kendricks: 12 tackles and 4 tackles for loss
  • Defense: 341 yards allowed snaps streak for 5 consecutive games allowing 400

How the comeback happened

The second half began with a terrible three-and-out by Vikings. With 11:23 remaining in the third, Cousins was able to get the ball back to the offense after a defensive stop. Cousins and his team then began to cook.

Cousins hit K.J. Osborn scored a 2-yard touchdown to cap off a seven-play, an 88-yard drive that made it 33-7 with 8 minutes left in the third quarter. C.J. was able to score a touchdown with just 13 seconds remaining in the third quarter. Ham pushed his way past the goal line to make it 36-14.

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With 12:53 remaining in the fourth quarter, a 61-yard drive was completed with an 8 yard touchdown pass from Cousins and Justin Jefferson. It made it 36-21.

The Vikings defense forced a quick 3-and-out to get possession at midfield. Six plays later, Cousins to Adam Thielen scored a 1-yard touchdown. It was suddenly 36-28 with just 5 minutes to play.

With 3:23 remaining, Deon Jackson lost his ball and Chandon Sullivan took it and returned it for what appeared to have been a touchdown. The refs called the runner down, a non-reviewable play, even though it was a clear fumble. Add a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct on Sullivan, and the Vikings had the ball. However, they were starting the drive at their 45.

Cousins missed his next three throws, and then Christian Darrisaw got flagged for a false begin. This put the Vikings in a 4th and 15 situation at the Indy 45. Cousins tried to scramble, but was stopped by the Vikings after a 1-yard gain.

The Colts moved to Minnesota’s 36-yard line. On 4th-and-1 with 2 seconds left – and the Vikings out timeouts – Matt Ryan’s QB sneak was stuffed. The Vikings take the ball back with 2 minutes 19 seconds to play, still trailing by 36-28.

The next play was a magical one: Cook’s screen pass to Cook, which he ran 64 yards to the house to score a touchdown. Minnesota tied the game at 36-26 thanks to a Cousins pass to T.J. Hockenson for the two-point conversion.

33-0: How the Vikings fell behind

The Colts lit up Vikings with 17 points in quarter one. Highlighted by a blocked punt return for a touchdown by Jo Jo Doman, and a Dalvin Cook turnover that set up a short field that allowed Matt Ryan to pass Deon Jackson for a touchdown.

The Vikings were down 23-0. However, momentum seemed to be building when Michael Pittman fumbled. Sullivan then picked up the ball and returned it for a touchdown. Forward progress ruled this play dead, just like the previous one. The play was not reviewed and resulted in a Colts punt which pinned the Vikings at their 5-yard line.

Yes, Sullivan had two defensive touchdowns that were stopped by officials who declared plays dead in questionable fashion.

Three plays later, including one where Jefferson sustained a chest injury that was he returned from, Cousins threw a pass that Julian Blackmon returned for an interception. This allowed Cousins to score a touchdown and gave the Colts a 30-0 lead.

If the Pittman fumble wasn’t ruled to be dead, the Vikings would have had seven more points and the Cousins pick-6 may not have happened.

The Vikings also failed to make a 4th-and-1 at their own 31 yard line. This led to a Colts field goals and a fake punt that Ryan Wright threw incompletely to Jalen Nailor.

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