Vikings Have Weird Anniversary on Thursday

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Vikings Have Weird Anniversary on Thursday

The Minnesota Vikings haven’t thoroughly defeated a team in three years as of this Thursday afternoon. The last time the franchise won a game by 17 or more points occurred on December 15th, 2019, when men like Stefon Diggs, Linval Joseph, and Xavier Rhodes were still on the team.

The contest took place in Los Angeles at StubHub Center as the Chargers were pivoting from San Diego to Tinseltown. Philip Rivers was in the final year of his lengthy Chargers career, and the Vikings stomped Los Angeles, 39-10.

And then that was it. Nobody knew it at the time, of course, but that was it — the final time Minnesota defeated a team handily. Since then, the Vikings have played 50 games in the regular season and playoffs, and none of the team’s wins have held a margin of 17+ points.

Vikings Have Weird Anniversary on Thursday
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Kirk Cousins threw a touchdown to Irv Smith, defensive lineman Ifeadi Odenigbo scored, and running back Mike Boone scored twice when the game was out of reach. It was a romp — a romp not seen since.

Vikings Have Weird Anniversary on Thursday

Minnesota has won three games by 14+ points from 2020 to present, the eighth-fewest in the NFL. In the same timeframe, the Vikings have 21 games by eight or fewer points, the most in the NFL since the start of 2020. Sometime after the 2019 season, the franchise decided it was a close-game merchant — and 2022 is emphatically not different.

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In 2022, with a fancy 10-3 record and current ownership of the NFC’s No. 2 seed, the Vikings are 9-0 in one-score games, by far the most sterling mark in the industry. Minnesota hasn’t beaten an opponent by more than one score since Week 1 when Kevin O’Connell’s gang toppled the Green Bay Packers at U.S. Bank Stadium, 23-7. From Week 2 on, when the Vikings lose, they lose decisively or win by a whisker. That is 2022 Vikings football beyond the shadow of a doubt.

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To be sure, the Vikings could end the no-blowouts-ever demons this weekend at home versus the Indianapolis Colts — if they’re in the mood. The Colts own a 4-8-1 record, a green head coach, and need one more loss from inevitable playoff elimination. If the Vikings are to beat any team decisively in 2022 or the playoff tournament, the time is probably now, as the Giants, Packers, and Bears are unlikely to succumb to a Vikings-based shellacking.

Oddsmakers believe Vikings-Colts will be tight, though. Minnesota is only favored by four points, a slightly embarrassing point spread for a 10-3 team hosting a 4-8-1 club.

Plus, if Minnesota is triumphant — via blowout margin or customary within-eight-points-thriller — it will have vanquished Indianapolis for the first time in 25 years. The Vikings haven’t gotten the best of the Colts since 1997, a Vikings team led by Dennis Green and Brad Johnson that was a few months away from drafting a guy named Randy Moss.

It’s been a while for a lot of Vikings endeavors, evidently.

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).