The Vikings Have Clinched Their First Winning Season Since 2019

With a 33-26 Thanksgiving Night win over the New England Patriots, the now 9-2 Minnesota Vikings will have their first winning season since the 2019 campaign.

The focus now for the Vikings is clinching the NFC North, which could happen as early as next week given that the team’s magic number for the team is currently at 2. In order to hit the magic number, the Vikings need a win against the New York Jets, in addition to a loss by the Detroit Lions against the Jacksonville Jaguars. If they don’t clinch the North in Week 13, a Vikings win over the Lions in Detroit in Week 14 will clinch the division.

The win over the Patriots didn’t come easy, as first half struggles from the Vikings offense and defense led to a 16-all halftime draw before New England grabbed a quick second-half lead on the opening possession of the half. Kene Nwangnu’s kickoff return touchdown following the touchdown tied it at 23-all, and then the Vikings proceeded to outscore the Patriots 10-3 for the remainder of the game, highlighted by another insane Justin Jefferson catch and key defensive stops in the fourth quarter.

Special teams also played a huge role in the second half. In addition to Nwangnu’s kickoff return score, punter Ryan Wright pinned the Patriots deep in their territory on their final two possessions, both of which ended in a turnover on downs. Wright also drew a roughing the kicker penalty on the Vikings’ final touchdown drive of the game. Conversely, Patriots punter Michael Palardy shanked a punt on the team’s second to last drive of the game that set up the Vikings with great field position. Though they would punt on that drive, Wright pinned the Patriots offense back deep at their own one-yard line with no timeouts left, and they ran out of time to tie the game as a result.

After two years of watching this team battle through injuries, poor coaching, and multiple heartbreaking losses, the light at the end of the tunnel has come. That light we are seeing is a winning season, with an upcoming NFC North title on tap. It’s been a wild ride since 2020, which is expected being a Vikings fan, but this season has been totally worth it.
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