The Colts were up 33-0 at halftime against the Vikings in Minneapolis. Yes, 33-0. Matt Ryan threw a touchdown pass, the Colts special teams got a blocked punt return touchdown, and Kirk Cousins threw a pick-six to Julian Blackmon. Minnesota turned it over on downs on 4th and 1. Twice. To start the third quarter, Minnesota went three-and-out and punted it away to the Colts. You would be forgiven for thinking that the Vikings were cooked for the day.
But these are the 2022 Vikings, and they are in the craziest games you’ve ever seen in your life. These are also the 2022 Colts, who are complete doo doo and quarterbacked by Matt Ryan, holder of the biggest collapses in Super Bowl and NFC Championship Game history.
By the end of the 3rd quarter it was 36-14 Colts. Still a big deficit but not impossible to overcome in a 4th quarter when you have Justin Jefferson to depend upon as arguably the league’s best receiver.
Cousins led two more touchdown drives to pull within 36-28 with plenty of time remaining, Vikings DB Chandon Sullivan, who had a touchdown called back because of a bad forward progress call in the 1st half, had a touchdown (and a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty!) wrongly disallowed when Deon Jackson was ruled to have been down by contact. This is the least down by contact anyone has ever been in NFL history.
The fumble stood but the touchdown was disallowed, and the Vikings turned it over on downs. Indy could’ve salted the game away with a couple of first downs, or kicked a field goal. They went for it on 4th and 1 on the outer edge of field goal range but Matt Ryan was stuffed on the QB sneak, giving the Vikings renewed life. Dalvin Cook took it to the house on a 64-yard screen play, and TJ Hockenson tied it up on the two-point conversion.
With seven seconds left, Greg Joseph kicked the winning field goal to cap off the greatest comeback in NFL history. The previous mark was the 35-3 lead squandered by the Houston Oilers against the Buffalo Bills nearly thirty years ago to the day in the AFC Wild Card round. Frank Reich was the Bills quarterback that day and he’s probably happy that he wasn’t the Colts head coach today.
As long as the Vikings keep themselves one game ahead of the San Francisco 49ers in the win column, Minnesota will be the #2 seed. If by any chance the Seahawks qualify for the postseason, they would most likely be the #7 seed taking on whoever finishes as the #2 seed. On one hand, this game may not mean much to us as Seahawks fans, on the other hand... it just might matter?
Whatever the case, what a comeback by Minnesota. They’re 11-3 with a +2 point differential, but they’re tops in the league as far as heart, determination, and late game drama.