The Minnesota Vikings rallied from 33 points down to beat the Indianapolis Colts 39-36 in overtime and clinched the NFC North in doing so.
A massive fourth quarter for the Vikings sent it to overtime
Led by Jeff Saturday, the Colts had lost six of their last seven games and were clearly looking to end that streak from the moment the Vikings deferred the opening toss.
Starting with an impressive 49-yard kick return, the Colts took advantage of a productive first drive with a field goal. After the defense forced a three-and-out, Former Vikings defensive lineman Ifeadi Odenigbo blocked the punt and JoJo Domann scooped the loose ball up for a 24 yard return touchdown.
Opposite a 10-0 lead with 8:12 left in the first quarter, the Vikings couldn’t seem to catch a break as star running back Dalvin Cook broke off a massive 40-yard run and then fumbled, resulting in a Matt Ryan touchdown to give the Colts a 17-point lead, their largest all season.
The Vikings were able to hold the Colts to another field goal and the score improved to 20-0.
The Vikings ran a fake punt. Ryan Wright sailed a pass. The Colts had the ball in Vikings territory and came out with another field goal for a 23-0 lead.
When it seemed things couldn’t look any bleaker for Minnesota, NFL leading receiver Justin Jefferson went down after a hit from Bobby Okereke toward the end of the second quarter and boos from fans stopped or the first time until he cautiously rose and headed to the medical tent.
With almost 6 minutes left in the second quarter, Julian Blackmon picked off a pass intended for Jalen Reagor in the red zone and ran it in for a touchdown.
A brief moment of hope arose and faded for the Vikings as KJ Osborn made a big catch that the Colts successfully challenged.
Momentum shifted in the third quarter
The tides began to turn with nine minutes left in the third quarter when Osborn made another big catch to put the Vikings in position for their first points of the game and scored when Cousins dished him the ball again in the end zone.
After a Colts field goal, the Vikings marched down the field and CJ Ham made it over the line for back-to-back touchdowns with a minute left in the third quarter.
Jefferson scored a touchdown to start the fourth quarter and bring the score to 36-21.
The Colts were nowhere to be found on offense in the second half and Cousins found Adam Thielen for a 1-yard touchdown with 5:30 left.
With three minutes left Chandon Sullivan appeared to make a fumble return touchdown that was null due to a dead ball call, a situation Sullivan faced for the second time that day.
That call seemed like the absolute breaking point for the Vikings as Sullivan threw his helmet on the field and coaches screamed while teammates held him back.
After Cook's clutch touchdown to send it to overtime, that dramatic moment became a distant memory as the Vikings fought to pull out the win.