E Point Perfect

The Biggest Moment of the Vikings Season to Date


The Biggest Moment of Vikings Season to Date
Oct 2, 2022; London, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings own a 5-1 record atop the NFC North in a season stuffed to the gills so far with rollercoaster games.

In fact, onlookers of the team aren’t quite sure if Minnesota is a decent team getting lucky or a damn good team gradually becoming great. The next 11 weeks will reveal a verdict.

Still, one definitive moment was the most significant for the Vikings to date — a missed field goal by New Orleans Saints kicker Will Lutz in London.

Other events have mattered substantially, too — dominating the Green Bay Packers in Week 1, closing out the Detroit Lions in Week 4, Cameron Dantzler’s fumble yank-away versus the Bears, Dalvin Cook’s 53-yard touchdown rumble in Miami, etc. — but the miss from Lutz set a tone for the season.

Vikings Voodoo Changed

PurplePTSD: Cine's Injury, Saved by a Kick, Special Teams
Oct 2, 2022; London, United Kingdom; New Orleans Saints placekicker Wil Lutz. Mandatory Credit: Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports.

Mathematically, it was not remarkable that Lutz missed a 61-yard, potentially game-tying kick in London against the Vikings. With less than two minutes remaining in the 4th Quarter, Lutz drilled a 60-yarder to tie the game. Not even Hall of Fame kickers are automatic from beyond 60 yards in succession.

So, Lutz missed — no big deal, right?

Wrong. In Vikings seasons of yesteryear, Lutz indeed would’ve connected from 61 yards away — mathematics be damned. Vikings voodoo is rarely advantageous, so a big boot from Lutz sending the game into overtime would not have stunned already cynical-from-birth Vikings fans.

However, Lutz’s football banged against the uprights — twice — with an outcome now affectionately called a “double doink” by every broadcaster worldwide. For once, Minnesota was not snakebitten, finishing off the faux-rival Saints, 28-25, to stay undefeated in London games.

2-1 vs. 1-2

Explained: 8 Takeaways from Vikings Win in London
Oct 2, 2022; London, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Don’t forget what happened to the fresh-look, Kevin O’Connell-led Vikings the week before Lutz double-doinked.

The Vikings were thoroughly embarrassed at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, one week after convincingly downing the Packers at U.S. Bank Stadium. For eight days, Vikings faithful believed they had a contending football team on their hands, but the spanking in Pennsylvania severely pumped the brakes on playoff aspirations.

Had Lutz made the field goal at the end of regulation and the Saints later won in overtime, Minnesota could’ve entered Week 4 with a 1-2 record, a win-loss mark akin to the 2020 or 2021 Vikings. In that vein, under a new head coach, the season would’ve offered “here we go again” vibes, implying Minnesota was again on a train toward MediocrityVille.

That wasn’t the case, though, as Lutz missed, and the Vikings grabbed a 2-1 record, not a basement-dwelling 1-2. Beating the Saints — even thanks to an opposing kicker’s miss — built momentum and confidence that the Vikings could return home and knock off the Lions, which they did.

And after the Saints game, all the Vikings did was rattle off three more wins — all featuring suspense not unlike the win in England. Defeating New Orleans across the pond established a trend.

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Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).


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