The Vikings came out on top of the Indianapolis Colts 39-36 in an overtime thriller. By getting the victory in this game, the Vikings completed the biggest comeback in NFL history as they were down 33-0 at halftime.
This was a game of two halves as the Vikings looked miserable in all phases of the game in the first half. They turned things around in the second half after a long completion to K.J. Osborn sparked the offense and the team. There are many different takeaways from today’s game but I will stick to my regular ten.
1. The Vikings’ Defense Looked Pitiful For Most Of The First Half
The Vikings’ defense gave up points on five of the six possessions that the Colts had in the first half. The Colts also scored on a blocked punt and an interception. The defense made some stops to get the Colts to settle for field goals, but the Colts moved the ball at will for the most part.
2. Penalties Killed Drives For Both Teams
The Colts were penalized 11 times for 103 yards and the Vikings were not much better with nine penalties for 74 yards. Several of these penalties stalled drives or helped to prolong drives that should have ended much earlier.
3. Kirk Cousins Made Some Mistakes But Still Led This Team To Victory
There were several times throughout today’s game that it seemed like Kirk held onto the ball just a little bit longer than he should have. This led to seven sacks for the Colts and he also threw two interceptions.
Even with all of those mistakes, he was able to get 460 yards through the air and threw for four TDs as well. He stayed calm and led this team to the biggest comeback in NFL history.
4. K.J. Osborn Was The Spark This Team Needed In The Second Half
Osborn had a career day with ten receptions for 157 yards and one touchdown. His longest reception of 63 yards put the Vikings in scoring position, and he was rewarded with a two-yard TD reception a couple of plays later.
His performance in the second half, along with other guys getting going, brought this victory to the Vikings. They never gave up and just kept on fighting.
5. Special Teams Was A Weakness In The First Half But Flipped The Script In The Second
Just like the offense and defense had their struggles in the first half, the special teams’ units struggled as well. The Colts’ first touchdown of the game came on a blocked punt by former Viking Ifeadi Odenigbo that was returned for six.
Wright’s other punts did not get blocked but he still was not as effective as usual. He did not get any punts downed inside of the 20-yard line. The Vikings’ offense was so inept in the first half that Greg Joseph did not even get any field goal attempts.
On one of Wright’s punts in the second half, Jalen Nailor was able to down the ball at the two-yard line. This was at the end of the fourth quarter and ultimately pushed this game into overtime.
Greg Joseph was able to make a 40-yard field goal with time running out in overtime to seal this victory for the Vikings. He also made all of his extra points in today’s game.
6. The Vikings’ Offense Turned It On In The Second Half
The Vikings struggled to gain any sort of meaningful yardage in the first half but they turned it around in the second half. Dalvin Cook led the way with 95 yards on the ground and another 95 yards and a TD through the air.
K.J. Osborn put up career highs with ten catches for 157 yards and one TD while Justin Jefferson was as reliable as ever with 12 catches for 123 yards and one TD.
7. Vikings’ Defense Is Still An Issue
The defense tightened up and played well in the second half but they still gave up way too many yards to a subpar Colts offense. They gave up over 340 yards and one passing TD, and they also gave up 171 yards on the ground. This was even with Jonathan Taylor leaving the game in the first quarter with an injury.
8. Vikings’ Offensive Line Without Darrisaw Is Miserable
It is not very often that one player can make a drastic difference on the offensive line, but that is the case with Christian Darrisaw. They looked great and were moving the defensive players out of the way for runs when he was in, but looked awful when he left a few times with an injury.
Cousins was sacked a total of seven times in today’s game but I do not believe that all of those can be blamed solely on the line. Kirk was hit a total of 11 times and the Vikings are very fortunate to have somebody as tough as him that can withstand all these hits.
9. Chandon Sullivan And Duke Shelley Are Exceeding Expectations
Many people were ragging on Chandon Sullivan earlier this season and saying that he was not playing well this year. He changed that in today’s game where he had a fumble recovery and almost got a TD on a different play as well.
Duke Shelley made several big stops and continues to play much better than you would expect somebody that had been released by the Bears. He had two passes defended on very important plays in today’s game.
10. Kevin O’Connell’s Locker Room Speech Needs To Be Shared
Whatever Kevin O’Connell said at halftime worked. The Vikings turned the game around. They were able to come out on top due to the excellent execution of the plays put forth by the offensive and defensive coordinators.
This was another nerve-wracking victory for the Vikings but it is still a victory. They improve to 11-3 on the season and have locked up the NFC North division title. Nobody could have predicted this comeback but as a lifelong Vikings fan, I certainly do appreciate it.
Thanks for checking out my Ten Takeaways and please keep coming back to stadiumrant.com for all of your NFL news needs!