As we watched everything unfold on Sunday afternoon between the Minnesota Vikings and the Buffalo Bills, I think a lot of us understood that we were seeing something that we had never seen before. But exactly how rare was what we saw?
Well, as you can imagine, there were a lot of ways of expressing just how rare and/or absurd what we witnessed was. I’m going to do my best to gather as many of them as I can in one place so we can do our best to truly appreciate it.
We’ll start with Bill Barnwell over at ESPN, who did his own piece about the game that you should all check out. My favorite stat from Barnwell’s story is this one, based on ESPN’s Win Expectancy data that goes back to the 2007 season.
When the Vikings failed on their fourth-and-goal sneak attempt from the 1-yard line with 50 seconds left in the game, the Bills were basically a lock to take home a victory, with a win expectancy of 99.9%. And when they promptly fumbled the ball away on a failed handoff to the Vikings for a defensive touchdown, Josh Allen & Co. were left with just a 5% chance of taking home a victory.
Barnwell goes on to declare that the fumbled exchange between Josh Allen and Mitch Morse was the worst offensive play that any team in the NFL has run in the last fifteen years. I don’t care who you are, that’s pretty darn impressive. And a bonus stat in that category that also involves our favorite team:
This is the first time since 2012 that two teams each had a win expectancy of 5% or less in the final minute of a game and sent it to overtime, following a Jaguars-Vikings game in Week 1 that featured big plays by Blaine Gabbert and Christian Ponder.
I mean. . .who can forget that one, right?
Here’s a stat that deals with the fumble recovery itself, one that’s 36 years in the making.
Eric Kendricks' fumble recovery TD to give the Vikings the lead with 0:41 left in the 4th quarter was the first go-ahead, non-offensive TD scored by a trailing team in the last minute of the 4th quarter since 1986, per @EliasSports— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) November 14, 2022
The Vikings are now the second team in over 30 years to win a game after turning the ball over on downs in a goal-to-go situation with less than two minutes remaining. Also the second one in two weeks.
Since 1991, only 2 teams have won a game after turning the ball over on downs in a goal-to-go situation with under 2 minutes remaining:— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) November 14, 2022
2022 Vikings (Week 10 at Bills)
2022 Buccaneers (Week 9 vs Rams)
The FOX crew put this one up on the screen just before the third-quarter kickoff, if memory serves me correctly.
The #Vikings became the first team to beat the Bills at Highmark Stadium when trailing by at least 14 points at halftime.— Ben Goessling (@BenGoessling) November 13, 2022
The last time the Bills lost a home game with a halftime lead of 14 or more was Nov. 10, 1968, at War Memorial Stadium.
And a couple of other stats, just to add them in here, courtesy of Will Ragatz over at Sports Illustrated:
- This was the third game in Vikings history in which both teams had at least 480 yards of offense. The other two were a 1986 game against Washington and a 2013 game against, of all teams, the Chicago Bears. Both of those games went to overtime as well.
- The Vikings are now the second team in NFL history to win seven consecutive one-score games. The 2020 Kansas City Chiefs were the first. If they defeat the Dallas Cowboys by one score on Sunday afternoon, they’ll be the first team to win eight consecutive one-score games.
Has anyone else seen any wild or crazy stats from this Sunday’s insane win in Buffalo? If so, throw them in the comments and I’ll add them to our piece here.