Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Minnesota Vikings

Vikings’ Five Best Games Of 2022

The Vikings caused their fans heartbreak once again, but not before giving SKOLnation all sorts of epic moments. Here are my top five games, which ones stood out to you?

Vikings

The Vikings were eliminated in Wild Card Weekend, but to take a break from moping, I’ve decided to relive some of my favorite games from this past season. In a season full of exciting football for our Vikings, here are my top five.

Number Five: Vikings Vs. Packers Week One

One of two victories for the Vikings that was by more than one possession, the purple started the season with high hopes after a 23-7 victory over the rival Packers. New signing Za’Darius Smith made an impact, and Justin Jefferson made the Packers’ secondary look silly.

In my elation after the victory, I made the claim that the Vikings had become the best team in the NFC North. Thankfully, they backed me up by winning the division, but this game was more than that. It was the tone-setter for a magical regular season, and even after the Vikings’ late-season loss to the Pack, I do think they are still the class of the north. In fact, Detroit scares me more than Green Bay next year as the Vikings defend their division title, but that is a conversation for another day.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Number Four: Vikings Vs. Bears Week Five

I’m not sure how many would choose this game for this list, and for good reason. The Bears were much too close for comfort throughout, and there was definite fear the Vikings would lose this game. But, a clutch late drive to take a 29-22 lead was this team’s M.O. in a lot of their wins.

Further, the game-sealing strip by Cam Dantzler on former Vikings’ wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette was awesome.

Dantzler was on his way to a great season before battling injuries throughout, but this play was representative of his aggressive improvement. Additionally, it was one of many statement moments by this Vikings’ squad that proved their resiliency on numerous occasions.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Number Three: Vikings Vs. Patriots Week 12

In Week 11 the Vikings were methodically dismantled by Tony Pollard and the Dallas Cowboys. They were clobbered 40-3 and there were virtually no positives to take from this game. Then, they had a prime time bout on Thanksgiving against a Patriots team that boasted a great defense and playoff aspirations.

It was another close game, but the Vikings edged the Pats at home, 33-26. This game was huge for many reasons, but here are the three I will put at the top of the list:

  1. Kene Nwangwu had a 97-yard kick return for a touchdown, and it tied the game at 23. This was a huge play at the time, and was representative of this team’s clutch gene throughout the regular season.
  2. Kirk Cousins played well in prime time, which is important because there are still some who think he cannot complete passes after five in the afternoon. He threw for 299 yards and three touchdowns in this one.
  3. The defense gave us hope. The Vikings’ defense wasn’t good in this game, but the outcomes of the Patriots’ fourth-quarter drives were 1) Punt, 2) Punt 3) Turnover on downs, and 4) End of game. The defense was not as good as it needed to be, as per usual, but it showed the fans that it could come up in the clutch, albeit against a below-average offense.

Number Two: Vikings Vs. Colts Week 15

Somehow, the greatest comeback in the history of the NFL is not the Vikings’ best game of the 2022-23 season, but it came darn close. In Week 15, the Vikings were coming off of a tough loss to their division-rival Detroit Lions in which the Lions were clearly the better team. Then, they started what should have been their “get right” game by spotting the Colts 17 points after a slew of early miscues.

A fake punt and a pick-six added to the Colts’ lead, and at halftime the Vikings found themselves down 33-0. But in the second half the Vikings finally started to play. I am going to give the game ball to K.J. Osborn, who had a monstruous 10-catch, 157 yard day. Here are all of his highlights, and at the :30 mark of the Youtube video you can see the play that I think sparked the whole comeback for the Vikes. The amount of “championship vibes” I got from this game was insane, which is about as insane as thinking the Vikings had “championship vibes” throughout the season.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Number One: Vikings Vs. Bills Week 10

The most unforgettable (I guess that means best?) game for me was the Week 10 masterpiece in Buffalo. The game had everything: big plays, clutch moments, mistakes, and of course, the catch.

I couldn’t resist including more highlights, but the catch is at about the 1:20 mark of the video. The crazinesss of the game, combined with Jefferson’s catch, made this game one of the best Vikings’ games I’ve seen. And when you factor in the statement it made for a Vikings team still looking for respect, it is quite possibly the single greatest regular season Vikings game in my lifetime. While many would say they were still frauds and that they were lucky to get the win, they still went into Buffalo, came from behind, and beat the Josh Allen-led, Super Bowl-contending Bills. This was a no-brainer for me as the best game I saw all season.

Honorable Mentions

Week 16 versus the New York Giants. It didn’t make the cut for me because I was already thinking playoffs, and I was a little worried at how competitive the Giants were. My fears were realized in the playoffs, but the fact that we won this game on a franchise-record, 61-yard field goal, was great. Greg Joseph has had his issues, and so has everyone who has kicked in a purple-and-gold uniform, so it was great to see him come through.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Week Nine versus the Washington Commanders. This game may get forgotten in years to come, but I look back fondly now on this ugly win. The Commanders were a weird team all year, but when they were on, their defense was colossal. We struggled against their front all game, but found a way to eke out a win in the end, on another Greg Joseph field goal of course. Last, I’m giving this honorable mention to call out anyone who thinks the Vikings got lucky all year, because we would not have had to kick a game winner if the Commanders hadn’t gotten this lucky play.

You Play To Win The Game

I am all too used to the feeling of falling flat in the playoffs, but as I mentioned at the beginning, I’m trying to take a break from moping and criticizing this team’s playoff performance.

Instead, I want to focus on the regular season we had that was full of wins that were not easy to obtain. This Vikings’ squad was resilient, poised under pressure, and a hell of a lot of fun to watch. If the core guys come back next year hungry, and with (obviously) an improved defense, I think this team will give us less crazy regular season memories, and instead a deep playoff run.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

How would you rank the games this season? Have you moved on from the playoff loss? Let me know, @Jlime8 on Twitter, and keep coming back to Stadium Rant during the off-season!


Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.
Written By

I am a lifelong Vikings fan who ascribes to the maddening cliche, "There's always next year." As an eternal optimist I fully expect the Vikings to win the Super Bowl each and every year, so that should give you some understanding as to the level of my delusion. This delusion may, at times, sneak into my articles. If that's bothersome, my apologies. I am also a passionate husband, father, and teacher, and I enjoy writing about the Vikings for Stadium Rant!

Stadium Rant Recommends

NFL

The Philadelphia Eagles are set to host the NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers. Who will win?

NFL

Which big-name NFL players will be cut this offseason?

NFL

The NFL Draft is over three months away but number one pick is already up in trade talks.

New England Patriots

The Patriots are bringing back this former offensive coordinator  After the 2022 season, it was evident that New England needed to make changes to...

Advertisement