MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — With the Minnesota Vikings huddled in a hole in their humble locker room at halftime, cornerback Patrick Peterson set the tone for a historic escape by assuring his offensive teammates that the defense would do its part to hold off the Indianapolis Colts.
“You need five touchdowns,” Peterson told them. “It’s nothing.”
This rally was definitely something.
The Vikings completed the greatest comeback in NFL history, erasing a 33-point deficit to beat Greg Joseph’s Colts 39-36. 40-yard field goal Three seconds into overtime Saturday to clinch the NFC North in their usual dramatic fashion.
Click the video box on this page to watch the game’s press conference with Kevin O’Connell and Kirk Cousins
Kirk Cousins passed for 460 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Vikings (11-3), who trailed 36-7 late in the third quarter and became just the third team in league history to win 10 games by eight points or less. .
“We’re going to grind it out until they say there’s no more ball to play with,” coach Kevin O’Connell said.
The Colts (4-9-1) landed on the unpopular side of this list ahead of the Houston Oilers in the 1992 postseason. They blew a 32-point lead (35-3) and lost to Buffalo (41-38) in overtime.
“When you have opportunities to put people away, you have to do a better job than we’ve done up until this point,” quarterback Matt Ryan said.
According to available Sporter data dating back to 1930, the Vikings became the second team to win 1,551 regular-season or playoff games from behind by 30 or more points.
Related: Vikings post-game locker room interviews after historic rally against Indianapolis
“Nothing fazes us. We showed that in Buffalo,” said Peterson, who rallied from a 17-point deficit to lead the way to a 33-30 overtime victory over the Bills on Nov. 13. “We showed that again today.”
The Vikings carried the rally into their second overtime possession. Cousins hit KJ Osborne – who caught the first score and had 157 yards – 15 yards. He found Adam Thielen — his second of three fourth-quarter touchdown passes — for 21 yards. He then threw to Justin Jefferson for 13 yards.
Ifadei Odenigbo was called for delay of game for laying on Jefferson to keep Joseph 5 yards short of the winner and prevent the Vikings from setting up the kick.
“It’s a special group, a lot of fighters,” Thielen said.
Colts interim coach Jeff Saturday didn’t exactly get conservative in this slump. Ryan was stopped on a fourth-and-1 sneak at the Minnesota 36 with 2:19 left. Cousins then struck out Dalvin Cook 64-yard touchdown The next play and T.J. On the screen pass about Hawkenson 2-point conversion To tie the game before the 2 minute warning.
“We will finish the game and finish the game,” said Saturday. “I’m in. Everyone’s in. We’re not proselytizing.”
Dec. 4, outscored 33-0 in the fourth quarter of their most recent game, a 54-19 loss to Dallas, the Colts came back fresh from the bye week and stunned the Vikings with a 33-0 halftime lead. The biggest in the NFL this season. On November 6, Cincinnati led Carolina 35–0.
The postseason deficit for Minnesota was the second-largest in franchise history, behind a 45-10 mark in Seattle in 2002.
The Vikings even overcame a pair of fumble returns for touchdowns by Sandon Sullivan. Destroyed by whistle.
“I know there are other games that don’t end like that. It was great to see everyone fight back and I’m happy to share this moment with my teammates,” linebacker Eric Kendricks said, wiping away tears.
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The last team to overcome a deficit of 24-plus points to win a regular-season game was Washington in 2015 against Tampa Bay, when Cousins was the quarterback. The previous regular-season comeback record was 28 points in 1980, when San Francisco rallied from a 35-7 deficit to win 38-35.
Special teams bore the brunt of the Vikings’ brutal start. Tallis Flowers returned the opening kickoff 49 yards, and the Colts scored within seconds.
Odenigbo plowed past two blockers and Ryan Wright deflected the ball with his right hand. Jojo Doman caught the deflected ball and returned it 24 yards for an easy score to make it 10-0.
Then with the Vikings trailing 20-0 on fourth-and-1 from their own 31, Wright’s pass on a ball fake traveled over Jalen Naylor’s head and led to a second straight turnover on downs.
Jefferson left the game twice for brief examinations following a hit to the chest. In the second instance, Stephen Gilmore also put him in the mask and received an unnecessary roughing penalty in the fourth quarter.
After Jefferson left the game twice, Cousins threw to Jalen Reager on the next play and threw an interception after an apparent miscommunication on the routes. Julian Blackmon returned the first play for a 17-yard touchdown that made it 30–0 in the second quarter.
Jefferson had 12 catches for 123 yards and a touchdown and raised his season total to 1,623 receiving yards. Calvin Johnson’s all-time passing record of 1,964 yards was set in 2012 in 16 games.
Colts: RB Jonathan Taylor (ankle) left the game on the opening drive after a tough tackle. He missed three games this season due to injury.
Vikings: LT Christian Tarissa returns from a three-game absence for a concussion. He limped off twice in overtime with leg cramps. Peterson left briefly with the same problem.
Colts: Host the Los Angeles Chargers on Dec. 26.
Vikings: Host the New York Giants on Dec. 24.
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