Something Was Lost in Shuffle of Vikings Crazy Win

Keyshawn Johnson
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Something Was Lost in Shuffle of Vikings Crazy Win

The Minnesota Vikings underwent a regeneration on Saturday that a planarian would admire.

Down 33 points at halftime, the Vikings barnstormed the 3rd and 4th Quarters, plus overtime, to defeat the Indianapolis Colts 39-36 in one of the daffiest sporting contests imaginable. Kirk Cousins dimed 417 passing yards and 4 touchdown passes in the 2nd Half, and the yardage mark was the most by a player in the 2nd Half of a game in 45 years.

Wowzers.

Something Was Lost in Shuffle of Vikings Crazy Win

Something Was Lost in Shuffle of Vikings Crazy Win
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

But while the comeback was remarkable — well, totally remarkable — something was nearly lost in the shuffle. Because the Vikings won the NFC North with the win over Indianapolis, they’ll host a home playoff game for the first time since the Minneapolis Miracle.

The Vikings ownership opened the glass place, U.S. Bank Stadium, in 2016. And in six seasons, the franchise has played just one playoff game in the building, a depressing statistic because the team is quite good at home. In fact, since the joint opened, Minnesota owns the NFL’s fourth-best homefield advantage, with a 39-18 (.684) cumulative record at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Comparatively, the Vikings are gangbusters at home, but the squad has played just one playoff game at home since 2016. It’s wild.

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

Well, the mini-drought is kaput. Minnesota is guaranteed to play at U.S. Bank Stadium, likely on Wildcard Weekend, against the Detroit Lions, New York Giants, Seattle Seahawks, or Washington Commanders. Those are the teams competing for the NFC’s sixth and seventh seeds, and the Vikings will probably snag the No. 2 or 3 spot.

Then, depending on the outcome of Vikings-Lions, Vikings-Giants, Vikings-Seahawks, or Vikings-Commanders, Minnesota could host two games at U.S Bank Stadium in the postseason. The only “catch” is that Minnesota must win the first game, of course.

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Overall, for context, that was the level of wildness on display against the Colts. The Vikings traveled back from down 33 points to win 39-66. Folks were so mesmerized, shocked, and befuddled that guaranteeing a home playoff game was a footnote — if that can be believed.

Assuming the Vikings hang onto the No. 2 seed — which is a large assumption because the San Francisco 49ers look hotter than Death Valley — they’d probably play the Lions in Round 1. Yet, Sunday night’s game between the Commanders and Giants will clarify low-seed NFC situational status.

The Vikings take on those very Giants next Saturday — Christmas Eve — in a game that no sensible fan knows what to expect. Minnesota could bully the Giants, fresh off the steam of upending the Colts. Or — the Vikings could get down 33-0 at halftime, and few fans would bat an eye.

That’s the 2022 Vikings, a flummoxing batch of goodness interlaced with “what is even going on” on vibes throughout pretty much every game.

Still, the confounding group will host a home playoff game in January. It cannot be stripped.


Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

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