The Most Heartbreaking Vikings Losses of the Past Three Seasons

It’s no secret over the past three seasons the Vikings have had a ridiculous amount of games that have come down to the wire and ended on the last play. Prior to 2022, most of those games ended in losses, leading to fan heartbreak. Now, It’d be impossible to narrow this list down to just five games, so I’ll list off a few honorable mentions. First off is a 31-30 loss to the Tennessee Titans during Week 3 of the 2020 season. Eight weeks later, the Vikings’ three-game win streak was snapped by a 31-28 loss to the Cowboys. Lastly, I feel that I have to mention the infamous Dan Bailey game in Week 14 of 2020 against the Buccaneers, where Bailey missed 3 Field Goals and 2 Extra Points. There are two games from the 2021 season that I feel are worthy of an honorable mention, starting with a Week 1 loss against the Bengals where the team lost 27-24 in the last seconds of overtime after a Dalvin Cook fumble, and the second being a Week 8 loss to the Cooper Rush led Cowboys on Sunday Night Football, ending a Vikings winning streak.

Week 9 of 2021 at Baltimore Ravens (34-31)
To start off the list, I went with a game that I feel isn’t talked about enough and that’s the Vikings overtime loss against the Ravens in 2021. This was a wild back and forth game, with each team constantly taking and losing the lead eventually heading into overtime. The Vikings had many chances to score and win but failed. On the team’s last possession, kickstarted by an Anthony Barr interception, the Vikings went three and out, and Justin Tucker kicked a game winning field goal to give the Ravens the 34-31 win.

Week 5 of 2020 at Seattle Seahawks (27-26)
After starting out 1-3, the Vikings went to Seattle to play the undefeated Seahawks. This game started off in the Vikings favor with them taking a 13-0 lead at halftime, but the Seahawks fired back immediately in the second half by scoring three straight touchdown giving them a 21-13 lead. However, the Vikings then scored two touchdowns bringing their lead to 5 points at 26-21 with only 7 minutes left in the game. After the Vikings failed to convert on 4th & Inches at the Seahawks 5 yard line with 1:57 remaining, the Seahawks had to go 95 yards and they did with ease giving the Vikings 15 seconds and after a very questionable fumble call, the clock read double zeroes and the score was 27-26 in favor of the Seahawks.

Week 13 of 2021 at Detroit Lions (29-27)
After a disappointing loss the week prior against the 49ers, the Vikings looked to get back on track against the winless Detroit Lions, but trailed 20-6 at halftime. After an incredible second half for Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson the Vikings took the lead at 27-23 with 1:50 left to play, but the Lions strolled down the field hungry for their first win. Although the Vikings forced the Lions into a 4th down with just two seconds on the clock, Jared Goff fired a dime to a wide-open Amon-Ra St. Brown after Mike Zimmer failed to bring pressure the whole drive.

Week 2 of 2021 at Arizona Cardinals (34-33)
To start off, I want to say that this was an incredible game of football, like many Vikings one score games, but this one was on another level. In the first half both teams took turns scoring one after another with the first half ending with Matt Prater drilling a 62 yard Field Goal to give the Cardinals a 24-23 lead at halftime. The Second half kicked off with Nick Vigil intercepting Kyler Murray and taking it all the way back for a Touchdown giving the Vikings the lead back, but that didn’t last long as the Cardinals quickly scored a Touchdown to give them a 31-30 lead with 9:07 remaining in the 3rd Quarter. From this point forward, however, both teams started to play excellent defense for the first time all game with only 6 points total being scored in the last 24 minutes of this game. After the teams traded field goals in the 4th quarter, the Vikings had the ball with 2 minutes remaining and marched down the field, leaving Greg Joseph with a very manageable 37 yard field goal with two seconds remaining on the clock. However, Joseph missed the kick wide left, ending the game and giving the Cardinals a 34-33 Win. This left the Vikings with an 0-2 record, with both games ending on the last play.

2022 Wild Card Round vs. New York Giants (31-24)
This seems like an obvious choice due to the stakes at hand in this game. Unlike 2020 and 2021, all these one score “heart attack” games were won by the Vikings, and this loss just felt like it was due. Many Vikings fans, including myself saw this coming a mile away, and of course this game was down to the wire, with Daniel Jones completely decimating the Vikings defense and putting the nail-in-the coffin of Ed Donatell as Vikings Defensive Coordinator. Garrett Bradbury and the rest of the interior offensive linemen was completely destroyed by Dexter Lawrence and the Giants Front 7. Although the Vikings felt mismatched in this game, they still stuck in until the last moment to make this a one score game that came down to the last play. The Vikings had a very successful 2022 season, but unfortunately all anyone will ever remember is the Kirk Cousins checkdown pass to Hockenson on 4th & 9 with the game on the line.

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