The silence was deafening at U.S. Financial institution Stadium Saturday afternoon. The house group Minnesota Vikings got here into the sport with a 10-3 file, holding a half-game lead over the San Francisco 49ers for the second-seed within the NFC. Their opponent was the Indianapolis Colts, who earlier this yr, turned the laughingstocks of the NFL once they fired head coach Frank Reich and changed him with the extremely inexperienced Jeff Saturday. Though the Colts didn’t falter after Saturday got here on board, they hadn’t impressed both. With Saturday on the helm, the Colts have been 1-3, shifting their season file to 4-8-1. With that information alone, this could’ve been a straightforward win for the Vikes.
Nevertheless, after a sequence of failed fourth down conversions, blocked punts, defensive touchdowns, and different numerous turnovers, Vikings followers have been questioning whether or not or not they need to head to the parking zone. It was 33-0 at halftime. Not even the Minnesota Timberwolves have trailed by that giant a deficit at half all season. For context, the biggest comeback in NFL historical past was 32 factors — a 41-38 overtime victory for the Buffalo Payments over the Houston Oilers within the 1992-93 NFL playoffs. That comeback — engineered by ex-Colts coach Frank Reich — turned often called the “Circle the Wagons” sport. I’m unsure anybody thought such a comeback would occur once more.
The second half began with extra of the identical, a three-and-out from Minnesota that went a grand whole of -8 yards. Nevertheless, the Vikings began kicking issues into gear after that. They scored touchdowns on three straight offensive possessions, spending solely 8:48 with the ball throughout all of these possessions mixed. They have been scoring rapidly, and extra importantly, the protection was lastly stopping the Colts, permitting solely three factors within the second half, and the one purpose the Colts acquired these factors was due to a 48-yard kickoff return from Colts’ return man Dallis Flowers. The Colts’ scoring drive solely went a measly 26 yards, however that was sufficient for kicker Chase McLaughlin so as to add to his group’s level whole.
It didn’t deter the Vikings although. Nothing might. Cousins throws an interception? The Vikings’ protection holds sturdy and the offense scores a landing on their subsequent possession. Turnover on downs? Cousins bounced again with a one-play, 64-yard landing drive capped off with a two-point conversion to TJ Hockenson, the rating that may finally push the sport to extra time. In extra time, after each groups traded underwhelming drives, Minnesota kicker Greg Joseph put the sport on ice with a 40-yard area objective, and the town of Minneapolis acquired their second miracle in 5 years.
The psychological fortitude of this Vikings’ group is unbelievable. I don’t know what was stated at halftime, but it surely should have been essentially the most legendary speech of all time. On the finish of the primary half, the Vikings’ sideline was useless. Folks had their heads down in defeat. The offensive stars didn’t even react when their protection made massive performs. They have been completed. I wouldn’t have been shocked if the Vikings waved the white flag and got here out within the second half with Nick Mullens below middle.
However by George, the Vikings got here out with renewed power and made the unimaginable doable. I don’t know what the chances have been for a Vikings’ moneyline reside guess at halftime, however I’m certain someplace somebody is a really wealthy, pleased man. I is probably not wealthy after that sport, however I can’t assist however smile on the sight. We simply witnessed historical past. I hope you didn’t flip off your TV after the primary half.