The Minnesota Vikings rallied from a 33-point deficit to beat the Indianapolis Colts 39-36 in overtime to win the NFC North.
The previous greatest comeback in NFL history was when the Buffalo Bills, led by Frank Reich, whom the Colts fired as head coach in early November, rallied from a 32-point deficit to beat the Houston Oilers in the wild-card round of the 1992 season.
A huge fourth quarter for the Vikings sent it to overtime
Trailing 36-28 in the fourth quarter, Kirk Cousins threw a screen pass to Dalvin Cook, who ran 64 yards for the clutch touchdown.
Cousins then found TJ Hockenson for the 2-point conversion to send the game into overtime.
After both teams failed to score on their first possession in overtime, the Vikings drove into field goal range and Greg Joseph hit a 40-yard field goal to complete the historic comeback.
According to NFL Research, the last team to overcome a deficit of more than 24 points in a regular season game was the 2015 Washington team led by Kirk Cousins in Week 7, with his iconic “You Like That?” to win
It looked bleak for the reigning NFC North champions
The Colts haven’t won under interim head coach Jeff Saturday since their first game together more than a month ago, but they’ve been poised to end that skid since the Vikings delayed the coin toss.
Starting with an impressive 49-yard punt return, the Colts kicked a field goal on their first drive. After the defense forced a three-and-out, former Vikings quarterback Ifadi Odenigbo blocked the next point and JoJo Domann scooped up the loose ball for a 24-yard punt return, giving the Colts a 10-0 lead.
The Vikings couldn’t seem to get a break as Dalvin Cook broke off a 40-yard run and then fumbled.
The Colts converted on a Matt Ryan touchdown run to lead by 17 points, their most all season. Two more field goals made it 23-0.
With almost 6 minutes left in halftime, Julian Blackmon took a pass intended for Jalen Raygor and ran it in for a touchdown. One last field goal before halftime put Minnesota up 33-0.
The momentum shifted in the third quarter
The tides began to turn with nine minutes left in the third quarter when K.J. Osborne made a big tackle to put the Vikings in position for their first points of the game, and scored when Cousins found him again in the end zone.
The Vikings then stormed back down the field and C.J. Ham scored back-to-back touchdowns with a minute left in the third quarter.
Vikings star wide receiver Justin Jefferson, who left the game briefly in the second quarter after a big hit by Colts quarterback Bobby Okereke, threw a touchdown to start the fourth quarter and make it 36-21.
The Colts went nowhere on offense in the second half and Cousins found Adam Thielen for a 1-yard touchdown with 5:30 left to put the Vikings within a score.
Three minutes left: Chandon Sullivan appeared to return a punt for a touchdownbut it was disallowed after the umpires inexplicably ruled it a dead ball after he took possession.
That call appeared to be a breakthrough for the Vikings, as Sullivan threw his helmet onto the field and received a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Minnesota failed to convert on a fourth-and-15, giving the ball back to the Colts with just under three minutes remaining.
But after Cook’s 64-yard touchdown run sent it into overtime, that dramatic moment became a distant memory as the Vikings battled to win.