Did We Just Witness the Best Vikings Game in Franchise History?

The Minnesota Vikings Are Super Bowl Contenders
Nov 13, 2022; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith (22) greets cornerback Patrick Peterson. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings weren’t sure if they were going to face Josh Allen or Case Keenum. They didn’t know if they’d be substantial underdogs, or face a slightly less arduous task on the road. When the dust settled, they very well may have given us the best game in franchise history.

Intrigue all week surrounded quarterback Josh Allen and his availability for Sunday afternoon’s contest. Even during pre-game warmups, it was backup Case Keenum throwing to receivers while Allen was nowhere to be seen. Just moments before kickoff it became apparent the superstar would start and this one was going to be determined on the field.

Minnesota started off quickly with Kirk Cousins finding Justin Jefferson for a 22-yard touchdown to open the scoring. After getting behind thanks to Devin Singletary’s pair of touchdowns, things looked relatively ominous at halftime.

Minnesota couldn’t convert on a drive needing just a yard on third or fourth down. Inexplicably, Kevin O’Connell’s offense never ran the ball in either situation, and the turnover then led to a touchdown for the Bills. A 14-point deficit at halftime was all but a death sentence for the Vikings.

Dalvin Cook had a relatively mediocre game as a whole, and he was in jeopardy of being bested by his rookie brother. Instead, he ripped off an 81-yard touchdown in the third quarter that felt like a spark of hope. That’s where things got wonky.

First K.J. Osborn was able to bull his way for a yard on a critical 4th down conversion. Then the Vikings saw Jefferson make one of the most insane catches in NFL history on a 4th and 18 play that went for 32 yards.

Getting all the way down to the goal line and not being able to punch it in, even a safety would’ve put Minnesota only within two. Instead, and you could watch 100 football games and never see this again, Allen dropped a snap allowing Eric Kendricks to recover for a touchdown.

The defense has been a bend but don’t break unit all year, and in true fashion, they bent hard to end regulation. Prevent defense did nothing, Gabe Davis was credited with a catch on a ball he dropped, and the Bills sent it to overtime. Following a field goal of their own, Minnesota again allowed Buffalo to drive the field just to have Patrick Peterson pick Allen off right in front of the end zone.

As a whole, the entirety of this game was absolute lunacy. Minnesota has been considered as one of the worst 7-1 teams in NFL history and came in as notable underdogs. To have such a momentum swing right before half go against them, and then to come back as they did was nothing short of a miracle.

The Minneapolis Miracle is another game that would rank near this one, but it certainly didn’t have the ebbs and flows of this contest.

When winning a crazy game, you’re always going to have key plays that put you in position. I’m not sure there’s many, if any, other wide receivers that pull off what Jefferson did. I don’t think we’ll see another quarterback botch an under-center snap in the end zone allowing the opposition to score for quite some time. The defense had been gashed most of the day, and yet the veteran corner in Peterson came up with two massive picks.

It’s a regular season game, and while the importance of that can be questioned, that certainly seemed like an all-timer.

Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.