Vikings Stun With Biggest Comeback in NFL History

Minnesota trailed by 33, won 39-36 in overtime
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 18, 2022 5:31 AM CST
Vikings Stun With Biggest Comeback in NFL History
Minnesota Vikings kicker Greg Joseph celebrates with teammates after kicking the game-winning field goal in overtime against the Indianapolis Colts.   (Carlos Gonzalez/Star Tribune via AP)

With the Minnesota Vikings gathered in their humbled locker room at halftime in a huge hole, cornerback Patrick Peterson set the tone for an historic escape by promising his offensive teammates the defense would do its part to hold the Indianapolis Colts. “You just need five touchdowns,” Peterson told them, per the AP. “That's nothing." This rally sure was something, though. The Vikings completed the biggest comeback in NFL history, erasing a 33-point deficit by beating the Colts 39-36 on Greg Joseph's 40-yard field goal with three seconds left in overtime Saturday. ( has a video recap here.)

Kirk Cousins passed for 460 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Vikings (11-3), who trailed 36-7 late in the third quarter and became just the third team in league history to win 10 games in a season by eight points or fewer. The Colts (4-9-1) landed on the infamous side of this list, just ahead of the Houston Oilers in the 1992 postseason. The Oilers blew a 32-point lead (35-3) and lost to Buffalo (41-38) in overtime. According to Sportradar data, the Vikings became only the second team in 1,551 regular-season or playoff games since 1930 to trail by 30 or more points and still win.

"I know that there's other games that don't end like that. It was just cool to see everybody battle back and I'm just happy that I get to share this moment with my teammates," linebacker Eric Kendricks said, wiping away tears. The last team to overcome a deficit of 24-plus points to win a regular season game was Washington over Tampa Bay in 2015, when Vikings QB Kirk Cousins also was the quarterback. The previous regular season comeback record was 28 points in 1980, when San Francisco rallied from down 35-7 to win 38-35. With Saturday's victory, the Vikings clinched the NFC North.

(More NFL stories.)

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