K.J. Osborn Sheds More Light on Greatest Comeback in NFL History

Two months ago, the Minnesota Vikings fell behind the Indianapolis Colts at home by 33 points through two quarters in a game that felt like utter misery.

Then, after halftime, the Vikings offense fired up another lifeless drive, all but ending any fans’ hopes of a comeback or respectable second half. The game was over, and the Vikings had laid an egg for the terrible Colts.

K.J. Osborn Sheds More Light on Greatest Comeback in NFL History

Well, that turned out false. Kirk Cousins, Justin Jefferson, Dalvin Cook, T.J. Hockenson, and Minnesota’s defense surged to life, later upending the Colts in overtime, 39-36, marking the largest comeback in NFL history.

Osborn Sheds More Light
Dec 17, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver K.J. Osborn (17) celebrates the win against the Indianapolis Colts after the game at U.S. Bank Stadium. With the win, the Minnesota Vikings clinched the NFC North. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Another essential performer was K.J. Osborn, the team’s WR3, who shredded the Colts defense for 157 yards on 10 catches and a touchdown. And he shed more light recently on the comeback with the season firmly in the rearview.

“Before we went into the locker room, me and Justin Jefferson were speaking, and the year before, we were up on the Steelers something similar, and they came back, and we had to beat them on the last play of the game,” Osborn told the Stacking the Box podcast right before Super Bowl LVII.

one vikings playmaker
Dec 17, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver K.J. Osborn (17) celebrates his touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts during the third quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. With the win, the Minnesota Vikings clinched the NFC North. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Osborn added, “So, when we were walking into the locker room, me and JJ were like, we’ve seen this done against us and we can do the same thing.”

The game mentioned by Osborn occurred late in the 2021 season on Thursday Night Football. The Vikings attacked the Pittsburgh Steelers, jumping out to a 29-0 lead in the middle of the 3rd Quarter before — you guessed it — Pittsburgh raced back in a way that emulated the Vikings against the Colts one year later. Ultimately, Minnesota hung on to outlast Mike Tomlin’s team, 36-28, but it wasn’t without sheer panic from 68,000 Vikings in attendance at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Nov 7, 2021; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) and wide receiver K.J. Osborn (17) react after the play during the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports.

Channeling the Steelers reference from the year before, Osborn basically told Jefferson, If they almost did it to us, we can do it to them.

And that’s what the Vikings did behind 417 passing yards and 4 TDs from quarterback Kirk Cousins in the second half versus Indianapolis.

“In that second half, we just tried to not look at the scoreboard and play each and every play to try and stack plays and build that momentum,” Osborn surmised in the Stacking the Box interview.

Osborn, 25, could eye a WR2 job this offseason if the franchise moves on from teammate Adam Thielen. The game of his life during the biggest comeback in NFL history certainly didn’t hurt his case.


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 Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.

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