Last Year’s Vikings Fired Up A Hilarious Statistic

Kirk Cousins Riddle
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

The 2022 Vikings were a historical football team because nobody had ever seen a team like them. Finishing with a 13-4 record despite having a negative point differential is a ridiculous accomplishment, and the explanation is straightforward. The losses were by a large margin, and the wins were close nailbiters. That led to some insane statistical results.

Last Year’s Vikings Fired Up A Hilarious Statistic

Hilarious Statistic
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

It is well-known that the purple team finished the regular season with an 11-0 record in one-score games, ironically, just to lose a one-score game in the postseason. That game was a huge letdown, but it shouldn’t erase everything the Vikes did in that campaign.

Kevin O’Connell took over a dysfunctional Vikings ship, preached collaboration, and lived by it. The result was a team whose players were happy and actually believed to be able to do the impossible. One of those impossible things was the historical comeback in which the team erased a 33-point deficit against the Colts after having one of the worst first halves imaginable. Patrick Peterson said, “All we need is five touchdowns,” further evidence of a team that never quit.

O’Connell’s operation also beat the Super Bowl favorites Buffalo Bills, despite the 17-point deficit late in the third quarter. All of those comebacks and close contests led to the following statistic posted by NBC Sports on Twitter:

Thirty more points than the next-best team in the fourth quarter alone is absolutely fabulous. And if you think, well, it didn’t amount to much, you’re wrong, and here’s why. The Vikes are fantastic late in close games, and why should that change in the upcoming season? O’Connell preached the word “situational masters” all offseason and will continue to do so. The team will be ready when the battles begin in September. They will continue to believe in the impossible.

Why Has the Vikings Pass Defense Faltered Lately?
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Fans should also recognize that their fourth-quarter heroics led to some moments many people will never forget. It is fine to enjoy the moments of a season and a game, even if the team didn’t ultimately win a Super Bowl. That doesn’t take away from your memories of special moments.

Kirk Cousins led the league in passing touchdowns in the fourth quarter with 13. It was his second season throwing for 13 passing touchdowns in the fourth (he also did it in 2020), and he became only the second player to record 13 or more passing TDs in a single season (the statistics date back to 1994). The other one was Peyton Manning.

Vikings Star Discusses Desire
Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson intercepts a Josh Allen pass in the end zone. The Vikings came from behind to beat the Bills 33-30 in overtime. © JAMIE GERMANO / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Minnesota posted the second-best offense in the fourth quarter per EPA/play and the second-best passing attack. Something they should look to improve in the upcoming season is the 28th rushing offense.

But not only the offense deserves praise but also the defense. They didn’t do much well in 2022. But they were pretty good in the final quarter of games, fielded the sixth-best defense in the fourth quarter, and ranked seventh against the pass and second against the run.

It is now on the Vikings to continue their fourth-quarter domination while staying as good or even improving the first three parts of the games. Doing the same thing in the playoffs this time would also be nice. The addition of Jordan Addison could help.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt