Over the weekend, our friends over at Vikings Territory found what I think is a pretty impressive stat, and one that I think needs to be shared with a greater audience. So, in the event that you didn’t see it there, you can see it here.
Throughout their history, the Minnesota Vikings are a team that has gotten a reputation for falling apart at the worst possible time. . .and, for the most part, it’s pretty well-earned. However, no team has been more “money” with a late lead than Mike Zimmer’s squad.
Since the start of the 2016 season, the Vikings have taken a lead into the fourth quarter of a game (regular season and postseason) 42 times. Their record in those 42 games? 42-0.
Yes, the Vikings have not blown a fourth-quarter lead in five seasons.
Over those five seasons, the Vikings have an overall record of 48-35-1, counting their 2-2 postseason mark. That means that they’ve only put together six victories in games that they trailed or were tied in going into the fourth quarter. Those six games?
- Week 14, 2016, at Jacksonville (trailed 16-12 entering the fourth quarter, won 25-16)
- Week 11, 2017, vs St. Louis (tied 7-7 entering the fourth quarter, won 24-7)
- Week 13, 2017, at Atlanta (trailed 9-7 entering the fourth quarter, won 14-9)
- Week 11, 2019, vs Denver (trailed 20-7 entering the fourth quarter, won 27-23)
- Week 10, 2020, at Chicago (tied 13-13 entering the fourth quarter, won 19-13)
- Week 12, 2020, vs Carolina (trailed 21-10 entering the fourth quarter, won 28-27)
All of the Vikings’ other victories during that stretch saw them carry a lead into the final quarter of play.
As Dustin Baker points out in his article over at VT, the last time the Vikings blew a fourth-quarter lead was one that I’m sure that everyone remembers. It happened on that fateful day at TCF Bank Stadium on one of the coldest days in NFL history when the Vikings hosted the Seattle Seahawks on Wild Card Weekend. The Vikings went into the fourth quarter of that one with a 9-0 lead, but gave up 10 points in the final quarter and watched Blair Walsh’s 27-yard field goal attempt sail way, way wide to the left to lose by a final score of 10-9. Since then, however, the Vikings have not blown any fourth-quarter leads.
It may not be a whole lot to hang your hat on, but at least we can be assured that if the Vikings can actually get to the fourth quarter with a lead, they’re going to win the football game. Hopefully, this is a trend that will continue going forward.