Sunday’s game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Buffalo Bills appeared to be won by each team typically by multiple points before the Vikings celebrated a 33-30 overtime win in Week 10. Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson, the eight-time Pro Bowler and three-time First-Team All-Pro, flashed his pedigree in the clutch when the 32-year-old came through for his second end zone interception from Bills quarterback Josh Allen to end the game in overtime to finish after the Vikings fired a field goal in their opening drive extra time.
It was a historic comeback as Minnesota became the first team to defeat Buffalo at Highmark Stadium when the Vikings were at least 14 points down at halftime when the Vikings fell 24-10 at the break. The last time the Bills lost a home game by a halftime margin of 14 or more was also in Week 10, but it happened at War Memorial Stadium during the 1968 season.
Minnesota, who improved to 8-1 with a seventh straight win, won their third game of the season while trailing 10 or more points in the fourth quarter, making them the third-most comeback wins in a season in the 21st The Vikings have left play eight games. They miraculously overcame double-digit fourth-quarter deficits on the road for consecutive weeks. They beat the Washington Commanders in Week 9 – winning 20-17 after a game-winning field goal with no time from a 17-7 deficit – and the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. However, unlike Week 9, Minnesota’s rally wasn’t enough to usually decide the game.
Minnesota was 27-10 down early in the fourth quarter, tearing down 20 straight points to take a 30-27 lead with 41 seconds remaining in regulation. Vikings running back Dalvin Cook started the rally with an 81-yard scoring sprint down the left touchline that was the longest career carry and longest rushing touchdown by a Vikings player since Adrian Peterson in Week 15 of the 2012 season ( 82 yards) against the Rams. A huge play from an expected source, in contrast to the Vikings’ next touchdown – a five-yard rush from full-back CJ Ham – which was only the second rushing touchdown of his career and the first since his rookie year in 2017. The banal result came back and had a big impact on the outcome of this thriller: Vikings kicker Greg Joseph pocketed his point after a right post try, preventing Minnesota from coming within three draws as they then went 27-23 and 4-34 ahead final.
Minnesota’s defense stiffened to force a punt from Bills, giving the Vikings offense back the ball to their own 24 at 3:23 and a 27-23 deficit. That’s when the drama began. After that, Bills linebacker Von Miller came through for his first sack of the game to put the Vikings in a fourth and 18 situation when the two-minute warning hit. However, wide receiver Justin Jefferson had plans to present his hypothesis as to why Minnesota won Stefon Diggs’ trade in 2020 and a seventh-round pick for the Bills in exchange for four draft picks, one of which left Jefferson 22nd overall in the following NFL became draft. The third-year wideout ended with 10 receptions, a career-high 193 yards and a touchdown in Week 10, including the game-extending 32-yard gain at number four and 18th, which put Odell Beckham Jr. on a one-handed catch against the Dallas Cowboys looks years ago like child’s play.
His performance on Sunday broke multiple NFL records as he completed his 20th career game with 100 or more receiving yards and his seventh career game with 150 or more receiving yards. Both are the most games of its kind in a player’s first three seasons in NFL history, and Jefferson has eight more games to play this season. His 193 receiving yards was the most for any Vikings since teammate Adam Thielen’s career-high 202 yards in Week 16 of the 2016 season in a 38-25 loss at the Green Bay Packers. Jefferson made sure his career day wouldn’t be wasted as he caught two more passes on the drive to put Minnesota in the Buffalo with a minute remaining. He briefly had his second touchdown and appeared to win the game before a replay review decided he was a yard short.
The Vikings appeared to have fallen short in their quest for a win after quarterback Kirk Cousins’ sneak was stuffed into fourth without a win and a turnover on downs occurred with 50 seconds remaining.
The game turned around for the purple visitors in the very next game when Allen, secured in his own end zone, fumbled a snap under center on his own sneak attempt, taking linebacker Eric Kendricks for the go-ahead touchdown, 30 , recovered -27.
The Bills regained possession by 36 seconds and with no three-second timeout, an eerily similar scenario to Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs against those Bills in the AFC divisional round last year. Allen made his best impression of Mahomes’ back-to-the-wall performance by getting kicker Tyler Bass within range for a game-winning 29-yard field goal with five seconds remaining in just five games. It was a contentious possession, however, as Bills wide receiver Gabe Davis bobbed a 20-yard completion on the left touchline. Allen displayed some veteran skill, catching the ball quickly before the umpires could call for a replay.
Heading into overtime, the Vikings won the coin toss and went for the reception with the potential to win the game on a touchdown, which would have left Allen and the Bills feeling the same way they did at the end of the 2021 playoffs. Jefferson made it look like Minnesota’s first possession would go that way when he saved a 24-yard ball to put the Vikings on the two Bills. From there, however, the Vikings went backwards as Cook was stuffed for a five-loss on his first down run, followed by Cousins, who absorbed a 10-yard sack on second-and-goal. Minnesota went for a 33-yard field goal and needed a final stop.
After back-to-back Allen scrambles gained 38 total yards, the quarterback hit Diggs for two straight seven-yard gains, and suddenly the Bills were in the redzone at the Vikings 20. The former Viking tied his season-high 12 catches to go along with 128 receiving yards. It was game over two games later when Peterson intercepted a scrambling Allen in the end zone for the second time.
In the end, it was a sloppy performance for both Cousins (30 of 50 passes for 357 yards, one passing touchdown, two interceptions) and Allen (29 of 43 passes for 330 passing yards, one passing touchdown, two interceptions). ). The win takes the Vikings to 8-1 overall as their seventh straight win allows them to match the 8-0 Philadelphia Eagles in Monday night’s game against the Washington Commanders. The Bills fall to 6-3 overall and from first place in the AFC East after back-to-back losses.
Here are some takeaways from the wild OT win.
Why the Vikings won
The Vikings are the NFL’s never-sag-die team for the 2022 season. Three wins from double digits behind confirm their mental toughness under head coach Kevin O’Connell in their freshman year. However, it certainly helps to have a player who can make almost any catch at any moment and, like Jefferson, can wipe out a complete failure on downs one through three. His 32-yard catch in fourth and 18th place was the first of many saving plays in Minnesota. While the Vikings’ defense also deserves plenty of credit, it limits the NFL’s third-ranked offense to just three points in the fourth quarter and overtime, leaving room for Jefferson’s heroics.
Minnesota finished 6 of 8 in one-possession games a season ago in Mike Zimmer’s last campaign as head coach and lost the most games of that kind in the league. Now the Vikes are 7-0 if a game is decided by the same margin under O’Connell, who had the most wins in the NFL this season with the New York Giants. Those seven one-possession wins in the first nine games are the highest by any team in nine games since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970. New coaching staff, new season, new mood.
Why the Bills lost
One of Josh Allen’s greatest strengths is his ability to pull explosive plays out of thin air with both his arm and legs. That same big game hunt, however, wounded the Bills at critical points in their loss. Allen threw his first interception after Cook’s 81-yard total in fourth when even an incomplete would have been beneficial as the Vikings’ offense would have taken the field with their own seven. Peterson returned his first pick for 39 yards, and the Vikings scored another touchdown to draw within four. The last one lost the game. First-year offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey and Allen have to sit down to talk about a happy medium between big games and forcing football into bad times. The Bills quarterback now leads the NFL with 10 interceptions, six of which have come in the last three games.
After the Vikings went fourth and four goals down at the end of regular time, it seemed like the Bills had won the game. Eric Kendrick’s fumbling recovery of Allen’s snap changed the game and put the Vikings ahead for the first time since opening position as they led 7-0. That game turned Vikings from surefire losers into eventual winners on Sunday.
game of the game
The game of the game could be none other than Jefferson’s 32-yard catch that saves the game. Yes, it’s only a week 10 game, but the game’s difficulty and necessity immediately make a catch’s one-handed arm wrestle one of the best the NFL has seen.
The schedule doesn’t get any easier for the Vikings as they return home for a Week 11 showdown against the Dallas Cowboys, one of the NFL’s best defenses. The Bills are staying home to host the struggling 3-6 Cleveland Browns in front of Bill’s mafia next week.