THE LARGEST COMEBACK IN NFL HISTORY. The Minnesota Vikings steal a historic win against the Indianapolis Colts, 39-36. Minnesota climbs to (11-3), while the Colts continue to slide to (4-9-1). This game was a whirlwind, and for three of the Vikings’ five rallying touchdowns, I was… asleep. I have a good reason, just hang with me for a second. This team, after getting crushed by their division rivals last week, looked completely uninspired going into halftime. I had woke up at 5:30 A.M. for my internship, and my lack of sleep was killing me. The last thing I saw was Minnesota score what seemed like a meaningless touchdown early in the third quarter. I’d wake up from that nap in the middle of the greatest comeback seen on an NFL gridiron. Enough about me, though. What even happened?
The big theme with this team as a whole today was adversity. The scoreboard couldn’t lie about this offense; the first half (33-0) was one of the worst sequences of football I’ve seen out of this team. Seriously, it had nothing to celebrate. The best play in the first half was K.J. Osborn almost hauling in a 30+ yard bomb. Speaking of Osborn, he’d do more than just rebound from that drop. He pulled in a career-high 157 receiving yards and added a touchdown as icing on his breakout day. Justin Jefferson was almost as good with 123 yards and another touchdown. Dalvin Cook had 95 yards of both rushing and receiving yards, a true dual threat performance. Cousins Cousins had to overcome the adversity of the Minnesota Vikings offensive line, managing to toss for 460 YARDS. He also had four touchdowns and two interceptions, and those two picks were thrown in the first half. Cousins also muscled these stats out while being sacked seven times. SEVEN. TIMES. Overall, the offense reached near their potential for the first time in a long time after the worst half of Minnesota professional football ever.
It sounds like it’d be impossible to outperform the offense’s second half, right? All I’m going to say is I’m very interested in what was said at that halftime pep talk. After getting turned to pig slop by 37-year-old Matt Ryan and an offense bound for a near-top five draft pick next year, Minnesota’s defense held the Colts to a single field goal not only for 10 minutes, not a quarter, not a half, but for the REST OF THE GAME. From halftime to the final whistle at the end of overtime, Indianapolis scored three points. The game should’ve honestly been won handily by the Vikings, but TWO scoop-and-scores got called back on less than impressive terms by a referee crew ascended from the dark, burning pits of hell. Eric Kendricks had an incredible game with 12 total tackles, four TFLs, and a sack. Minnesota’s front seven got decent pressure for the first time in months with three sacks and seven QB hits. Duke Shelley has shown himself to be a really serviceable player, especially considering we signed him off of a practice squad, knocking away two passes. The ferocity of the defensive side in the second half was absurd, and absolutely led Minnesota to victory.
Like the other two units, special teams got it together at half. In the first half, there was both a blocked punt returned for a touchdown and a failed fake punt on fourth down. After half, both punter and kicker put on their A-game. Ryan Wright pinned the Colts deep to end regulation and GREG THE LEG WINS IT. He really has come a long way and, more than anyone else, he deserves an apology. This whole team might deserve an apology for finally showing the level of resolve a playoff team needs to have.