Vikings cost again from 33-0 deficit to finish largest comeback in NFL historical past

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Vikings simply accomplished the biggest comeback in NFL historical past. Let that sink in.

Larger than the New England Patriots in Tremendous Bowl LI. Greater than the Buffalo Payments within the 1992 playoffs.

Minnesota pulled it off Saturday, turning a 33-0 halftime deficit right into a 39-36 extra time victory over the Indianapolis Colts. Within the course of, the Vikings clinched the NFC North and held a one-game lead for the No. 2 playoff seed over the San Francisco 49ers.

Minnesota Vikings

They will be speaking about this sport for generations in Minnesota. The Vikings did not rating till eight minutes, 25 seconds remained within the third quarter. From that time they outscored the Colts 39-3, successful on Greg Joseph’s 40-yard discipline objective in extra time.

Followers at U.S. Financial institution Stadium, already nervous a couple of workforce that turned an 8-1 begin right into a 10-3 document, rained heavy boos because the workforce went into the halftime locker room. However the majority remained and noticed a day that can dwell in franchise historical past for eternity.

Their earlier frustration was comprehensible. The Vikings’ particular groups allowed kickoff returns of 49 and 47 yards, and in addition had a punt blocked for a landing. Quarterback Kirk Cousins had an interception returned for a rating, and tailback Dalvin Prepare dinner’s fumble within the first quarter ended a promising drive.

Describe the sport in two phrases: Fully historic. It bears repeating. What we noticed Saturday has by no means occurred within the historical past of the NFL

Largest gap within the sport plan: Coach Kevin O’Connell did not account for cornerback Chandon Sullivan returning two fumbles for touchdowns, solely to have each known as again by referee Tra Blake’s crew, one in every half. On the primary one, Blake dominated that the fumble had occurred after ahead progress had been establishing, rendering the play useless. On the second, Sullivan was given credit score for the fumble restoration however dominated down on the 46-yard line. The Vikings didn’t rating on the following possession.

QB breakdown: Cousins managed simply 43 yards within the first half however recovered to throw for 460 yards and 4 touchdowns. In so doing, he engineered his seventh comeback from a fourth-quarter deficit this season. Cousins is the third quarterback in Vikings franchise historical past to throw 4 passing TDs within the second half of a sport, becoming a member of Tommy Kramer (2x) and Fran Tarkenton, in keeping with Elias. — Kevin Seifert

Underrated statistic to know: The Vikings have now received 10 one-score video games, tying probably the most such wins in a season in NFL historical past.

Subsequent sport: vs. Giants (1 p.m. ET, Dec. 24)

Indianapolis Colts

Say this for the Colts: They do not do boring. After giving up a 33-0 run within the fourth quarter of their earlier sport towards the Dallas Cowboys, the Colts allowed the Vikings to finish the biggest comeback in NFL historical past earlier than lastly closing out a win at US Financial institution Stadium.

This sport offered among the greatest proof but of the depths of the Colts’ offensive struggles. They led 33-0 at halftime however their offensive ineptitude confirmed up within the second half, permitting the Vikings to mount a large comeback. Indianapolis managed simply three factors within the sport’s closing 40 minutes (second half and extra time).

The loss took the Colts to 4-9-1 and is their fourth straight loss within the 5 video games below interim head coach Jeff Saturday.

The Colts have discovered new and inventive methods to lose this season, and their current tendency is to crumble in second halves. They dominated a lot of their sport towards the Eagles on Nov. 20 earlier than permitting a game-winning landing on Philadelphia’s closing possession. Additionally they went toe to toe with Dallas earlier than committing turnovers on an astounding 4 consecutive possessions to finish the sport.

Saturday’s sport was a continuation of what is grow to be a theme for the struggling Colts.

Promising development: Kicker Chase McLaughlin had one other spectacular day, booting 5 discipline objectives because the Colts’ offense struggled to complete drives. McLaughlin arrived as a brief answer to the workforce’s kicking dilemma, after the discharge of struggling veteran Rodrigo Blankenship. However McLaughlin has made a robust bid to maintain the job in the long run after making 7 of 10 makes an attempt of fifty yards or longer. He transformed a 52-yard kick within the third quarter on Saturday together with a profitable 49-yard attempt earlier within the day.

QB breakdown: Matt Ryan was removed from dominant on this sport regardless of the Colts’ 36-point output. On the one hand, Ryan managed to keep away from the errors he dedicated in so lots of the Colts’ earlier video games. Ryan did not commit a turnover for simply the third time this season. However Ryan’s 5,5 yards per move try speaks to the Colts’ continued lack of ability to stretch the sphere, a indisputable fact that has made sustaining drives significantly troublesome. The Colts generated simply 102 yards of mixed offense within the third and fourth quarters. Ryan has now been on the incorrect aspect of each the most important comeback in regular-season historical past and Tremendous Bowl historical past. Ryan’s former workforce, the Atlanta Falcons, blew a 28-3 result in the New England Patriots in Tremendous Bowl LI.

Pivotal play: There have been quite a lot of essential performs within the fourth quarter, together with a would-be fumble return for a landing by Minnesota. However there was one other name earlier within the sport that went within the Colts’ favor however might have created wanted momentum for the Vikings. Colts receiver Michael Pittman Jr. appeared to fumble on a third-down catch within the second quarter, with the Vikings recovering and returning for a possible landing. However the officers decided a whistle had blown earlier than Pittman misplaced possession. The Colts led 23-0 on the time.

Silver lining: The Colts entered Week 15 projected to have the seventh total decide within the subsequent NFL draft. A win on Saturday would have negatively impacted Indianapolis’ standing within the draft order, one thing that’s essential for a workforce that’s desperately making an attempt to unravel a yearslong quarterback difficulty. The Colts have had only one top-10 decide since 2012, after they selected quarterback Andrew Luck with the primary total decide. Guard Quenton Nelson was the lone top-10 decide since then, the Colts deciding on him sixth total in 2018. — Stephen Holder

Underrated statistic to know: The Colts’ 33-point halftime lead on the street was their largest since Nov. 12, 1967, when the Baltimore Colts led the Atlanta Falcons 35-0 at halftime in Atlanta.

Subsequent sport: vs. Chargers (8:15 p.m. ET, Dec. 26)