Vikings vs. Colts score: Minnesota completes largest comeback in NFL history, clinches NFC North

Saturday afternoon became the most unlikely division coronation in NFL history for the host Minnesota Vikings as they trailed 33-0 at halftime, the largest home halftime deficit in franchise history, against a scuffling Indianapolis Colts team that has now lost four in a row. The Colts dropped to 4-9-1 following Minnesota’s 39-36 historic comeback victory in overtime. Thanks to their 33-point comeback, the largest in a single game in NFL history, Minnesota locked down its first NFC North division title since 2017 and also its first playoff berth since 2019.

The game swung from an unmitigated disaster to an unprecedented comeback with the Vikings utilizing a 39-3 run in the second half and overtime to surpass the Buffalo Bills’ 32-point rally over the Houston Oilers in the 1992 AFC Wild Card Game, a game Buffalo won 41-38 in overtime after trailing 32-3. Entering Saturday, teams that trailed by 30 or more points at the half were 0-132 in the Super Bowl Era, since 1966, including playoff games. Make that 1-132 following the newest “Minnesota Miracle” that was completed by kicker Greg Joseph’s 40-yard overtime field goal. The Vikings are now the first team in NFL history to go 10-0 in one-possession games through the first 14 games of a season.

Minnesota’s first seven drives were a textbook way to put the game out of your own reach quickly as they ended with a blocked punt returned for an Indianapolis touchdown, a fumble by running back Dalvin Cook, consecutive turnovers on downs, a punt, a Cousins ​​pick -six and another punt. The Vikings roared back on the strength of Cousins ​​throwing four second-half touchdowns to KJ Osborn, Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, and Dalvin Cook plus a one-yard dive by fullback CJ Ham on the goal line. Cook’s touchdown brought the house down in Minnesota, taking a screen pass 64 yards for what became the game-tying score following the two-point conversion.

For the Colts and particularly quarterback Matt Ryan, Sunday was a gut punch. Week 15 marked the first time this season the Colts have led by double digits in a game, and they scored more points in the first quarter (17) than their 31st-ranked scoring offense had averaged entering the matchup, 16.1 points per game. The majority of the touchdowns came via the Colts’ defense and special teams, thanks to the 24-yard blocked punt return score for the first touchdown of the game and safety Julian Blackmon’s 17-yard interception return for a touchdown.

Ryan accounted for the other score with a one-yard touchdown toss to running back Deon Jackson. The Indianapolis offense was playing with phenomenal field position the entire first half between deep kickoff returns and the Vikings’ two turnovers on downs on their own 31. Ryan is now on the losing end of the biggest comeback in NFL history and the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history, the Atlanta Falcons’ 28-3 collapse to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI. The best game of Colts kicker Chase McLaughlin’s career went to waste as his five field goals, four of which came in the first half, stand as his new single-game career high and tied the Colts franchise single-game record.

Up next, the Vikings host an NFC wild card hopeful in Brian Daboll’s New York Giants. The Colts return home to host Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers on Monday Night Football in Week 16.

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