The Minnesota Vikings sure know how to keep things interesting.
After completing the largest comeback in NFL history, they earned yet another dramatic win on Saturday over the New York Giants, improving to 12-3 with a 27-24 victory.
After the Giants tied the game with two minutes to go, Kirk Cousins managed to get his Vikings to the opposing 42-yard line, and that’s all he needed to do.
Greg Joseph drilled a 61-yard field goal as the clock hit zeroes to win the game.
It was Joseph’s second-straight walk-off field goal, and it’s the third time since 2017 that the Giants have lost on a walk-off field goal of over 60 yards.
The Vikings took an early 10-0 lead, but Big Blue was able to score 13 unanswered points and lead by six with 9:13 to go in the third. But the Vikings still had Justin Jefferson and T.J. Hockenson. A Cousins interception was reversed on the drive, and after Jefferson caught three passes for 38 yards on the drive, Cousins found a leaping Hockenson for a 15-yard score to take a 17-13 lead with 4:31 to go in the quarter.
The Giants were threatening early in the fourth, but they had two consecutive drives halted by ugly third-down drops, and the Vikings scored another touchdown, this one by Jefferson, and led 24-16 with three minutes to go.
But Big Blue gave Minnesota a run for their money. Daniel Jones found Darius Slayton on 3rd and 3 for a 33-yard gain, and after Jones scrambled for eight yards on a 3rd and 10, he handed it off the Saquon Barkley who only needed two yards to keep the drive alive, but he found a hole and took it 27 yards into the end zone to trail 24-22. On the two-point conversion, Jones rolled out right and found rookie tight end Daniel Bellinger, who lost a fumble earlier in the game, to tie it up with 2:01 to go.
But on the Vikings’ game-winning drive, Jefferson made two huge catches for 33 yards to put the Vikings past midfield. He finished with 12 catches for 133 yards and a score.
JUSTIN JEFFERSON BREAKS VIKINGS’ SINGLE-SEASON RECEIVING YARDS RECORD HELD BY RANDY MOSS
Earlier in the game, the third-year receiver broke Randy Moss’ franchise record for most receiving yards in a single season, surpassing his 1,632 yards from 2003. Jefferson now sits at 1,756 on the season, just 208 yards shy of Calvin Johnson’s all-time single season record of 1,964 receiving yards from 2012. Keep in mind, Jefferson, unlike Johnson, will have a 17th game to play, so it will be shocking if Jefferson does not break it at all, but he is currently on pace to set the record in 16 games anyway, just for good measure.
Hockenson added 109 receiving yards on 13 catches, two of them scores. His baker’s dozen receptions were a career-high (previously 10 back on Oct. 31, 2021). Cousins threw for 299 yards on 34-of-48 passing.
Jones was 30-for-42 with 334 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. Richie James and Isaiah Hodgins, despite their costly, game-changing drops, each had eight catches. The former had 90 receiving yards, while Hodgins had one fewer. Barkley rushed for 84 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries.
The loss didn’t kill the Giants, though. They still control their own destiny for a playoff spot, as both Detroit and Seattle lost on Sunday, so the Giants still remain 1.5 games ahead of them, with two to play. The Giants will host the 4-9-1 Indianapolis Colts next week before traveling to Philadelphia, who may rest everybody, in Week 18.
The Vikings moved to 12-3 with the victory. They head to Green Bay (6-8) next week and then to Chicago (3-12) to finish the season.
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