39 Points. Is That a Good Enough 2nd Half Adjustment for You?!

How Vikings Can Avoid
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

39 Points. Is That a Good Enough 2nd-Half Adjustment for You?!

It’s one of those statistics you probably won’t be able to avoid for the rest of the year. Despite the Vikings 11-3 record, their point differential on the season is only +2, the lowest margin for an 11-3 team in NFL history.

How about another one? The Vikings are now 10-0 in one-score games on the season.

While there is a boatload of factors that have led to these two unique stat designations, the Vikings second-half struggles have been highlighted as one of the main concerns as we near the end of the regular season and the beginning of the postseason.

39 Points. Is That a Good Enough 2nd-Half Adjustment for You?!

Furthermore, coming out of halftime, the Minnesota Vikings have been one of the worst teams in the league. It wasn’t until October 30th, their eighth game of the season, that the Vikings finally scored their first third-quarter touchdown. It’s been the third quarter this season that has often been the bane of the Vikings existence, proving that with all the good he brings to the table, successful halftime adjustments were escaping first-year head coach Kevin O’Connell.

39 Points. Is That a Good Enough 2nd-Half Adjustment for You?!
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Before this weekend, the Vikings offense averaged only 3.9 points per game in the third quarter, coming in at 22nd in the league. And the defense was even worse. In home games this season, the Vikings defense was allowing opponents an average of 9 points per game in the third quarter. It was clear that other teams were making halftime adjustments to combat the Vikings, and whatever attempts at changes the Vikings were making to keep pace simply were not working.

And then Week 15 happened.

By now, we all know the finish. The Vikings completed the largest comeback in the history of the NFL, 33 points to seal a 39-36 victory. The halftime deficit for the Vikings was 33-0. So to have hope that one of the league’s worst third-quarter teams would be to mount a comeback seemed foolish.

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After the game, Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell took us through a bit of the mindset within the Vikings locker room as they were staring up at a 33-point halftime hill to climb.

“I’ll never forget it as long as I live,” O’Connell told the media after the game. “Patrick Peterson told the team, we’re gonna get stops, you just need 5 touchdowns, that’s nothing.”

However unrealistic it may have actually seemed when he said it, Peterson’s confidence flipped a switch in O’Connell and the rest of the team.

“It was probably the most motivated that I’ve been to challenge our players,” O’Connell shared.

And that was that, as if they were a group, nay a “fellowship” of ragtag hobbits, dwarves, elves, and men heading towards the unparalleled powers of Mordor, the league’s worst third-quarter team embarked on a journey to complete the greatest comeback in the history of the league.

It started with their highest-scoring third quarter of the season. Fourteen points coming off a K.J. Osborn touchdown and a C.J. Ham touchdown to bring the game to 36-14 heading into the fourth quarter.

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It continued with the team’s single highest scoring quarter of the entire season, 22 points in the fourth quarter, with scores from JJ, Thielen, and Dalvin Cook, adding in a 2pt conversion to T.J. Hockenson. That tied it up, and the 3 points in overtime sealed the deal for the Purple.

It was the highest-scoring quarter of the season, the highest-scoring half of the season, and their highest-scoring game of the season all rolled into one. More importantly, it should be enough to get the monkey off the back of this team when it comes to failed second-half adjustments. Yes, it was against the Colts, but they’re still an NFL team, and it was freaking historic.

O’Connell told KFAN following yesterday’s game, “This gives us the opportunity to never ever be counted out, and our opponents know that.”

Aj Mansour is a member of The Power Trip Morning Show on KFAN and works for iHeartMedia and the Vikings Radio Network. He’s also a senior writer for VikingsTerritory.com. Be sure to follow him on social media for the latest Vikings news and big opinions – @AjKFAN