The Minnesota Vikings played the typical Minnesota Vikings game on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills, and the result was one of the most thrilling games in team history with an absolutely improbable finish.
After a sequence of events that can charitably be described as “chaotic,” Greg Joseph’s 33-yard field goal in overtime provided the difference as the Vikings got an improbable victory over the Bills at Highmark Stadium by a score of 33-30.
After forcing a three-and-out on Buffalo’s first possession, Minnesota took an early lead on a 22-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins to Justin Jefferson. Jefferson had a big 46-yard reception earlier in the drive to set up the score, and less than five minutes into the game the Vikings had an early 7-0 lead.
Buffalo answered quickly on their next drive, courtesy of a 5-yard touchdown run from Devin Singletary to tie things up at 7-7. After a three-and-out from the Vikings’ offense, Singletary found the end zone again, this time from a yard out to make the score 14-7 just before the end of the quarter.
Cousins then got intercepted by Bills’ CB Christian Benford and the Bills had the ball back in the Minnesota red zone in rapid fashion. The Vikings’ defense finally stood up and limited the damage to a 34-yard field goal from Tyler Bass to extend the lead to 17-7 early in the second quarter.
The Vikings cut into the lead midway through the second quarter on a 27-yard field goal from Greg Joseph to make it 17-10. Then, the Vikings’ defense came up with a huge play, as rookie Akayleb Evans forced a Singletary fumble that Camryn Bynum recovered and took into Buffalo territory.
Akayleb Evans gets his shoulder on the ball to force a huge turnover for the Vikings in his first start pic.twitter.com/fORu0BQmBP— Shawn (@syedschemes) November 13, 2022
The Vikings failed to take advantage of the turnover, however, as they turned it over on downs, coming up short on 4th-and-1 from the Buffalo 28. That gave the Bills the ball back, and they took advantage, marching down the field with no resistance and got into the end zone on an 11-yard touchdown pass from Josh Allen to Gabriel Davis to increase the lead to 24-10 going into the locker room at halftime.
On the Vikings’ first drive of the second half, Cousins threw his second interception of the day, this one directly into the arms of Dane Jackson on what might have been the worst pass he’s thrown as a Viking to end what appeared to be a promising drive.
Buffalo extended their lead late in the third quarter on a 45-yard field goal from Tyler Bass, making it 27-10 with 1:51 remaining in the third quarter. Then, the Vikings got the fastest possible answer as Dalvin Cook took a handoff from Kirk Cousins and did all the work, taking the ball 81 yards for a touchdown. It was the longest run of his career and a big play the Vikings sorely needed to make it 27-17 with a minute and a half left in the third quarter.
Dalvin Cook 81 yard TD on what looks like mid zone to the B gap bubble. C and LG double to the LB, WR blocks the rotating S, and Cook is his own blocker to make 1 miss and erase the angle for a TD pic.twitter.com/0fiCxBeX6S— Shawn (@syedschemes) November 13, 2022
The Bills looked like they had a chance to salt the game away, but on a 4th-and-2 from the Minnesota 7-yard line, Allen had a pass intercepted in the end zone by Patrick Peterson, who took the ball back out to the Minnesota 34-yard line.
Minnesota cashed in on the turnover, putting together a long drive that ended with a 3-yard touchdown run by C.J. Ham! The extra point was. . .missed by Greg Joseph, which was huge because it made it a four-point game at 27-23 rather than a three-point game.
The Vikings forced a three-and-out from the Bills to get the ball back, and it looked like hope was lost on 4th-and-18 in Vikings territory. . .until Justin Jefferson made what might be the single greatest catch in NFL history.
That kept the drive alive, and it eventually came down to a 4th-and-goal from inside the 1 on a play where Jefferson was ruled down short of the goal line. Cousins ran a quarterback sneak and was ruled down short of the goal line, even though it looked like he might have been in. That was a turnover on downs and gave the ball back to the Bills with less than a minute remaining for them to kneel out the clock.
But instead, Josh Allen fumbled the snap from center and Eric Kendricks recovered the loose ball for a Vikings’ touchdown! That’s right. . .somehow, the Vikings grabbed an improbable lead, 30-27, with 41 seconds remaining.
After a huge 4th and goal stop for the Bills, Eric Kendricks recovers a fumbled snap to take the lead pic.twitter.com/hl1cB2M1Oe— Shawn (@syedschemes) November 13, 2022
The Bills still had some time left on the clock to try to get into field goal range, and that’s what they did, getting Tyler Bass into position for a 29-yard field goal attempt to tie things at 30 and send the game to overtime.
Minnesota won the overtime coin toss, and got on the board courtesy of a 33-yard field goal by Greg Joseph to make the score 33-30 with 3:45 remaining in overtime. But that meant that Buffalo got another shot with the football, and got down to the Minnesota 20-yard line, but Patrick Peterson intercepted Allen in the end zone again to seal it for the Vikings.
P2 with pick #2 today. The game-winner: pic.twitter.com/JiWU4YjgA0— Sean Borman (@SeanBormanNFL) November 13, 2022
The Vikings move their record to 8-1 on the year, running their winning streak to seven games, and will host the Dallas Cowboys in the late Sunday afternoon window next week. The Bills see their record drop to 6-3 and will host the Cleveland Browns next week.
The Minnesota Vikings win one of the wildest regular-season games in team history, defeating the Buffalo Bills in overtime by a final score of 33-30. Thank you to everybody that got their coverage of this week’s game right here at The Daily Norseman!