We’re still sort of coming down from celebrating the Minnesota Vikings’ huge comeback victory over the Denver Broncos in Week 11 of NFL action. But, since we like pointing these sorts of things out, we wanted to put this stat up there while it was still fresh.
The Vikings were down by as many as 20 points in this game, as they trailed 20-0 at halftime. Minnesota’s win over the Broncos in this one is tied for the fourth-largest comeback in team history, and just the fifth time in team history the Vikings have come back from a deficit of 20 or more points.
Here are the five biggest comebacks in Vikings’ history, according to Pro Football Reference.
The biggest comeback in Vikings history came at Metropolitan Stadium in December of 1977. It actually featured two different quarterbacks, as Bob Lee got the Vikings on the board first with a touchdown pass to Brett McClanahan, and Tommy Kramer put up three fourth-quarter touchdowns, including a 69-yarder to Sammy White that ultimately gave the Vikings the win.
The second-biggest comeback in Vikings history wasn’t just a second half comeback, it was entirely a fourth quarter comeback, as the purple were down 23-0 going into the final frame. The Vikings got three fourth-quarter touchdown passes from Wade Wilson and a fumble return for a touchdown by Willie Teal, scoring 28 unanswered in the fourth quarter to give Minnesota a win.
#3 - 24 October 1965 at San Francisco 49ers, 21 points (down 35-14 at halftime, won 42-41)
This one was a wild one at Kezar Stadium, as the home team took a 35-14 lead into the locker room after three touchdown passes from John Brodie, a defensive touchdown, and a short rushing score. Minnesota came roaring back in the second half, paced by three touchdown passes from Fran Tarkenton, including two to Paul Flatley. The Vikings got their lead to 42-38, and the Niners added a field goal in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to one, but they could not get themselves a win.
You might remember this one as the “Oh my goodness I think Mike Ditka might murder Jim Harbaugh” game. Minnesota was down 20-0 going into the fourth quarter, until Harbaugh called an ill-fated audible that resulted in a pick-six for Todd Scott. Two more fourth quarter touchdowns, including a pass to Cris Carter from the guy that was calling today’s game, Rich Gannon, and a rushing touchdown by Terry Allen allowed the Vikings to escape with a win at Ditka’s favorite stadium.
Note: I originally had this game in December of 1992, not October. My apologies for the error.
#5 - 17 November 2019 vs Denver Broncos, 20 points (down 20-0 at halftime, won 27-23)
And we all saw what happened today.
What an outstanding victory for the Vikings and a heck of a note to go into the bye week on. We’ll have plenty more of on this one over the next couple of days.