If you had “12-3” on your bingo board through 16 weeks of Minnesota Vikings football, you’re a fibber.
Minnesota owns the NFL’s second-best record through 15 games, trailing the Philadelphia Eagles (13-2) and tied with the Kansas City Chiefs (12-3). Indeed, in a season where oddsmakers forecasted the Vikings to win eight or nine games back in August, Minnesota has already rattled off 12 victories, with sights set on Nos. 13 and 14 before the postseason.
Vikings Were Kings of New York in 2022
Along the way, the Vikings were unceremoniously Kings of New York, toppling all teams from the Empire State, including the Buffalo Bills, New York Jets, and New York Giants. The Giants and Jets showdowns transpired at U.S. Bank Stadium, while the win over the Bills occurred at Buffalo. And no one anywhere foresaw the Vikings wild win at Highmark Stadium.
The Bills are the only New York team who physically plays in the state, and Minnesota traveled easterly in November. The Vikings had a 7-1 record entering “the Bills game” and were 6.5-point underdogs. After that, Kirk Cousins and his pals fell behind 27-10 on the scoreboard before it was time to quit monkeying around. Then, one of the wildest games in Vikings history played out, as Minnesota roared back with enough “where were you when” moments to fill a history book. Ultimately, the Vikings outlasted the Bills in overtime and won 33-30.
Four weeks later, the then-upstart Jets trekked to Minneapolis, a team led by out-of-nowhere QB1 Mike White. The Vikings allowed White to resemble Joe Namath, at least per passing yards, carving up Minnesota’s defense for 359. But White also flung two interceptions, which turned out to be the difference-makers as the Vikings won on December 4th by a score of 27-22. Jets kicker Greg Zuerlein was also a God among men, hitting six field goals — two beyond 50 yards.
But wait. There’s more. Last weekend, the Vikings outdueled the probably-playoff-bound Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium, courtesy of a franchise-record-setting field goal from Greg Joseph. Minnesota and New York authored a thrilling game that, of course, went down to the wire, and Joseph walked off Brian Daboll and Co. He hit from 61 yards to end the game, a new Vikings record. Cousins was fantastic, diming 299 passing yards and three touchdowns. The Vikings defense created two turnovers and a blocked punt, and every one of those transactions was needed to edge the Giants.
All in all — yes, the Giants and Jets play in New Jersey but have New York in their name — the Vikings dismantled New York to the tune of three wins and zero losses.
And the Vikings might get “more New York” in a few weeks. The playoffs begin around January 15th, and the Giants could make the trip back to U.S. Bank Stadium for a wildcard tryst. The Vikings could play the Giants, Commanders, Seahawks, Lions, or Packers in Round 1, but the Giants have the best odds to align with the Vikings via playoff seeding.
We shall see, in that case, if the Vikings New York-laden win streak continues.
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 Sal Spice. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).