All season long, the Minnesota Vikings played things right on the edge, winning an NFL-record eleven games by one score. On Sunday afternoon at U.S. Bank Stadium against the New York Giants, their luck finally ran out.
Thanks, largely, to a defense that couldn’t get off the field and couldn’t get key stops for most of the afternoon, the Vikings’ 2022 season came to an end on Sunday with a 31-24 loss to the New York Giants on Wild Card Weekend.
The Vikings got on the board first in this one, taking the opening kickoff and marching 75 yards for a score, capping the drive with a 1-yard quarterback sneak by Kirk Cousins to take a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
The Giants took very little time to answer, as they scored a touchdown on their first drive as well. Their score came via a 28-yard touchdown run from Saquon Barkley, who took a pitch around the left side for a score. That made it 7-7 with just over five minutes left in the first quarter of play.
New York then scored on their next possession as well, with Daniel Jones connecting with Isaiah Hodgins on a 14-yard touchdown pass to make the score 14-7 with just over a minute left in the first quarter.
The Giants then extended their lead late in the second quarter, as Graham Gano connected on a 25-yard field goal to make it 17-7 with just under three and a half minutes to play in the first half. Then, the Vikings’ offense. . .which was on the sideline for that 11-minute Giants’ possession. . .got an opportunity to answer and did just that, with Cousins finding K.J. Osborn for a 9-yard touchdown pass to make it 17-14 with less than a minute left in the half.
The Giants answered with the opening possession of the second half, as they marched right down the field again and scored on a 9-yard touchdown pass from Jones to Daniel Bellinger to put their lead back to 10 at 24-14.
Cousins once again had an answer, as he led the Vikings down the field with some clutch throws to T.J. Hockenson and Adam Thielen, and eventually capped the Vikings’ drive with a 3-yard touchdown pass to Irv Smith Jr. to make it a 3-point game once again at 24-21.
The Vikings tied things up early in the fourth quarter on a 38-yard field goal by Greg Joseph. Minnesota was going to go for it on a 4th-and-1 and appeared to convert, but Christian Darrisaw was called for a false start to cause the Vikings to go for a field goal instead. But with just over twelve minutes left in regulation, the Vikings got it back to even at 24-24.
The Giants took the lead back on their next possession, courtesy of a 2-yard touchdown run from Barkley to make the score 31-24 with just under eight minutes remaining in the game. After the teams exchanged punts, the Vikings got the ball back at their own 13-yard line with just under three minutes remaining and no timeouts remaining.
The Vikings got to midfield just before the two-minute warning, and faced a 4th-and-8 with time winding down. Cousins’ pass to Hockenson was short, and the Giants ran out the clock for the victory, ending Minnesota’s season.
The Vikings finish their season with a 13-5 mark and will pick 24th in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Thank you to all of you that got their coverage of this game, and every game, this season right here at The Daily Norseman. It was a great season, regardless of how it ended, and we’re happy to have shared it with all of you.