The Vikings continue to impress the NFL, now sitting at 8-1 after a comeback win Sunday against the Buffalo Bills. But how have they gotten here? There’s a lot of important pieces to unpack when looking at this torrid team. Here’s a few notes I’ve found interesting.
For one thing, this team is getting impressive production from its big names on both sides of the ball. Kirk Cousins, who’s led five game-winning drives this season, has posted over 2300 passing yards and 14 touchdowns to 8 interceptions.
Dalvin Cook looks to be in his normal self with 145 carries for 727 rushing yards and 6 scores.
And the three-headed monster receiving corps of Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, and K.J. Osborn have combined for more than 1700 yards. Jefferson alone has 1060 yards after only 9 games.
On the defensive side of the ball, the free-agent acquisitions have proven their value. Linebacker Jordan Hicks leads the team with 77 tackles while defensive end Za’Darius Smith has racked up 9.5 sacks.
There really hasn’t been a whole lot of bad news to talk about with this team. However, bad injuries seem to come up at inopportune times. And, as Yardbarker notes, Cam Dantzler is on the injured reserve thanks to an ankle issue. Christian Darrisaw and rookie corner Akayleb Evans left the most recent game. Za’Darius Smith also had to miss time.
It’s interesting to note that despite the 8-1 record, the Vikings are being outgained in total offensive yards. Cousins also ranks in the bottom half of NFL quarterbacks in completion percentage, posting the 19th-best rate at 64.1%.
The Really Surprising
In their last two wins, the Vikings have had to overcome road deficits to come out on top. In Washington, it was a 10-point fourth-quarter disadvantage that turned into a 20-17 win for Minnesota. Sunday, as Dustin Baker notes, there was a bit of history involved:
On December 1st, 1985, the Vikings entered the 4th Quarter at Veterans Stadium against the Eagles down 23-0. They rattled off 28 points in the final period and won 28-23. Minnesota had a 5-7 record at the time and didn’t qualify for the postseason tournament a few weeks later.
That was the last time the team circumvented a 14+ halftime deficit on the road in a regular season game. Yes, 37 years.
Greg Joseph was the hero again, as he hit the game-winning field goal with 3:45 left in the overtime period. With the Bills driving in the final seconds, Patrick Peterson jumped the route on a Josh Allen pass and intercepted it in the end zone to seal the deal.
It wasn’t pretty, but it was still a win. And it certainly could have a case for a Game of the Year candidate. So, yes, the Vikings continue to impress and shock the NFL through 10 weeks of the 2022 season.
But now, a big test looms next week. Next Sunday, Nov. 20, with America watching, how will the Vikes fare against Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys? The train is still rolling, but only time will tell as to where this incredible momentum takes the Vikings.