THE MOST INSANE FOURTH QUARTER AND OVERTIME I’VE EVER LAID WITNESS TO. I know, I know. I keep saying I have no idea how to start a post-game reaction for these games, but this game was the ultimate instance of that. The Minnesota Vikings beat the Buffalo Bills in overtime, 33-30. The Vikings move up to (8-1) (!!!), while the Bills shuffle to (6-3). This is exactly the win Minnesota needed to prove themselves as legitimate contenders. Nothing acts as a statement win more than one of, if not THE greatest game in recent years. However, this team absolutely should not have been down by 17 and shouldn’t have almost blown the comeback on multiple occasions.
Offense is first up, and I’m going to focus on one specific group for a little while. Our offensive line needs to be changed, or fixed, just something needs to happen. They allowed Kirk (who also had his fair share of questionable decision making) to get flattened repeatedly, and showed zero drive to win the game. It was always such a garbage fire whenever the Bills even sent five, but enough with the negativity. HOW ABOUT JUSTIN JEFFERSON? 193 yards, a touchdown, and one of the GREATEST CATCHES OF ALL TIME, BAR NONE. A historical performance from someone well on their way to being an all-time great. Adam Theilen and T.J. Hockenson were quiet for most of the game, but still hauled in some critical first down conversions. Dalvin Cook has a strong showing, with 119 rushing yards and a touchdown, with most of that spurring from his electric 81-yard touchdown run to swing momentum and set the Minnesota comeback in motion. One odd but major thing that needs to be fixed is Ed Ingram’s habit of stepping on Kirk’s feet mid-snap. Two different times, the ball was snapped and Ed shifted over and tripped Cousins, one of them leading to a fumble. That’s beyond an accident if it happens twice, it’s an issue. I hope that gets cleaned up before it bites back.
For defense, I mean what a return to form after getting eviscerated in the first half. There are so many people to give props to. Duke Shelley, who was signed to the active roster yesterday, had a game-changing pass break up on Dawson Knox. Players that I’ve never heard of, like Khyiris Tonga, were logging minutes and racking up tackles. I want to make a really big point of this next statement, because it’s no longer a stretch. We are watching the heavenly return of PRIME PAT PETE. He’s already tied for the most interceptions he’s had since 2012 and the most passes defended since 2013. Reminder: He’s only played 9 games so far this season. Two interceptions today, the second sealed the game. He’s playing at a Pro Bowl level, which is unprecedented for a player whose team gave up on them. We did have a few injuries, though. Za’darius Smith and Akayleb Evans both had to leave the game, and obviously I’m hoping neither of them are serious, nagging injuries.
Special teams did pretty well today, spare one man. Ryan Wright kept his rookie season rolling, and Kene Nwangwu had a surprising amount of kick return yards. I’m talking about old Greg the Leg himself, Greg Joseph. Let me illustrate this: this man wakes up every day knowing that he gets paid millions of dollars to just kick a ball between two uprights. And yet, he only has three games where he doesn’t miss any kicks. What’s the deal? Like, is he not getting good sleep? Cramps? I’m very very tentative to leave any games up to him, especially with a playoff appearance all but ours. Overall, though, the exact type of win that this team and franchise needed, top to bottom. This is indescribable momentum that we can take home when we play Dallas.