The Only Thing That Mattered in Vikings-Colts? Momentum.
Vikings Ride Momentum to a Massive Victory
One of the biggest questions in sports — is momentum real? Does momentum even really matter in the grand scheme of things? After this Vikings game, we can emphatically say that momentum and emotions certainly play a massive role in sports.
I would go as far as to say that emotions and momentum turned the tide against the Colts. Momentum might be the sole reason why they won this game.
If you were watching at home, you likely heard the stadium on the broadcast. If you were lucky enough to be in the stadium of this historic game, you felt the energy. Let me explain from the perspective of a fan in the stadium.
Vikings Ride Momentum to a Massive Victory
To understand, we must start at the beginning of the game.
The Worst Half in Vikings History
As the game was about to begin, you looked around and saw empty seats in every section. This game did not appear to be a high priority for people to attend. Nonetheless, as the Skol Chant began, the fans brought the most energy they could. However, this energy would be zapped almost immediately.
The Colts take the opening kickoff 49 yards and get into excellent field position to start the game. Thankfully, the defense made a stop and forced a field goal.
The Vikings offense gets the ball, and what do you know, a 3 and out occurs like so many times this year. The punt team comes on the field and ends with an atrocity. The Colts block the punt and take it in for a touchdown.
As I sat there, I thought to myself, “Oh, it’s going to be one of those games, huh?” Well, of course, it would be, and then things got so much worse.
The Vikings get the ball back on the kickoff, and Dalvin Cook proceeds to have a huge run — only to fumble the ball away on the very next play. The Colts score a TD on the next drive. All the crowd’s energy is depleting, but there is so much time left.
However, the offense would have two more 3 and outs. Although, the defense only gave 3 points after these drives, and the offense got the ball back. But, of course, Cousins throws a pick-6.
The energy of the crowd is gone. Well, that is not necessarily true. They had plenty of energy to “boo” the Vikings out of the stadium. In fact, they have been booing for a while.
The Vikings take a knee to end the half. At halftime, they are booed off the field while losing 33-0. However, momentum was about to change.
The Greatest Half in NFL History
Vikings fans remained in the stadium. I turned to my wife and said, “They need to score on this opening drive, or the game is over.” At this point, the 3rd quarter Vikings showed up, gained -8 yards, and punted the ball away.
We look around and see people picking up their jackets and leaving the stadium. Very few, if anyone, believe the Vikings can win this game. However, momentum begins to swing in their favor.
After forcing the Colts to punt, the Vikings’ offense methodically moves down the field and scores in less than 3 minutes. The crowd grows slightly more optimistic. Maybe they are just happy to see the offense do anything positive.
Then, they scored another TD with time remaining in the 3rd quarter. The crowd grows louder.
The defense holds the Colts offense and forces a punt to get the ball back. It’s still the 3rd quarter. Time is of the essence. The Vikings go 61 yards for a TD in 2:14 to cut the lead to 15 points on an absolutely filthy route by Jefferson.
My oh my, there are 13 minutes left in this game. The crowd can feel it. The noise grows to its loudest all day. The Vikings can feel it. The energy, emotions, and momentum are fully in their favor now.
You can look at the Colts sideline. They feel it. They know what’s happening. They can no longer hear each other speak.
The Vikings would ride this wave the rest of the way. The defense plays their hearts out. They make huge defensive stops. The Vikings’ offense answered. Scoring another TD and then another.
We all know how this ends. It was like a movie.
How did the Vikings pull off this win? Momentum. Momentum was everything. The 3rd touchdown changed everything. The crowd proved too much for the Colts offense. The Vikings’ fed off this energy and secured the most improbable win in NFL history.
Momentum is real.
Mitch Massman is a lifelong Vikings fan. His first heartbreak was the 1998 NFC championship game. His full-time job is as an economic development professional in rural Minnesota. He fantasizes about the Vikings winning a Super Bowl one day, but until then he will write about the Vikings. Follow him on Twitter @skol_vikings3
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