1st Down: One of the three incontrovertible pillars of Minnesota sports disappointment was upheld yet again. Those being: The Twins will never win a playoff game, the Wild will never beat the Blackhawks when it counts, & the Vikings will never make a game-winning kick post-Blair Walsh 2016 Wild Card Game. What more can possibly be said on this topic? Another gut-punch ending.
2nd Down: This may have been the best game Kirk Cousins has played as quarterback of the Vikings. Very reminiscent of that September 2018 barn-burner against the LA Rams (also a loss, regrettably). Because of the defeat, the performance won't change any narratives, but Kirk played very well today. Amazing what can happen when he gets some time to make his reads and isn't behind the down-and-distance battle all game long.
3rd Down: Very poor tackling from the Purple defense. Time after time, it seemed, Arizona backs and receivers would shake free and gain extra yardage. Sometimes it would result in a first down, sometimes it wouldn't, but it always gave them better down-and-distance situations than they should have had. To say nothing of the end-of-the-half debacle that set up Prater's monster kick.
4th Down: Getting into a shootout in the desert is not going to turn out all that well for teams this year, I suspect. That being said, it took the following things to happen--other than the ending and missed XP, of course--for them to sneak by MN:
-A tipped pass that went off the hands of one Vikings player, the helmet of another, and right into the hands of an AZ TE for a long catch-and-run. Just one play, sure, but right at the moment when a stop would have been a HUGE momentum shift towards Minnesota.
-A backpedaling wing-and-a-prayer long 3rd down completion (facing a zero-blitz) from Kyler Murray that I truly believe only he and Patrick Mahomes have a chance at completing.
-A 62-yard field goal.