GREG JOOOOOOOOOSEPH. Greg “The Leg” Joseph hits a 61-yard field goal as time expired to win the game for the Minnesota Vikings, 27-24 against the New York Giants. Minnesota fights to (12-3), and New York falls to (8-6-1). A more traditional blood-pressure-riser, this game was back and forth for the majority of the match. The league records continue to pile up for this enigmatic, nearly nonsensical squad, and they just keep winning.
The offense is first up, and it was a mixed bag. Don’t get me wrong, I’m plenty happy with 27 points in a game, but there were some dry playcalling spells that really puzzled me. On a possible game-sealing drive into the Giants’ redzone, Coach O’Connell called back to back wide receiver screens. Why? You need to score, knowing you have subpar blocking talent, and you end up with a third and eleven because you’re stubborn? A weird one for sure. Kirk Cousins caught a few massive breaks, one of which fully calling back an interception that was 100% on him. Even with that, Kirk got nearly 300 yards and three touchdowns, with almost half of his yards going to the best wide receiver in football. Justin Jefferson continues to stride towards Calvin Johnson’s single-season receiving yards record, racking up another 133 yards and a touchdown. T.J. Hockenson had an incredible game with 109 yards and two touchdowns, even more surprising since he had a pretty shaky start to the game. Even though the offense (as they’ve repeatedly done this season) vanished for the entire third quarter, it was an overall solid performance.
Hm. The defense. I’m very confused on what to take from them in this game. Sure, we won the game, but the secondary allowed three Giants wide receivers to go for over 75 yards. Patrick Peterson had an uncharacteristically bad game outside of a clutch interception, and Ed Donatell was and will always be Ed “Big Shell” Donatell. One highlight for me was Brian Asamoah forcing and then recovering a fumble and running it 12 yards back. He’s been one of my favorite prospects on this team and it was awesome to see him come in and make a big play. Three sacks as a team is still quite underwhelming, but 11 QB hits is a nice sign that Donatell is finally at least trying to bring pressure. Some of the effort seemed a bit uninspired, which obviously needs to change going into the postseason. They could’ve been better, and I hope they make the adjustments to get better.
Greg. Joseph. The game-winner he kicked this afternoon was five yards longer than his career best, and he still pinned it with some extra yards to spare. He’s really redeemed his season, and I couldn’t be happier. Ryan ROTY Wright didn’t put together his usual punting clinic, but still a good game other than one less-than-impressive attempt. Regardless of how many fraud claims they carry, how little they make sense logistically, they just keep winning games. It’ll be exciting to see if this magic can sustain into the playoffs.