Vikings get improbable 33-30 overtime victory over Bills in game of the year
The 2022 Vikings like doing things the hard way. They made Sunday their hardest victory yet in the game of the year.
In a game reminiscent of the Chiefs-Bills playoff game in January, Sunday’s game in Buffalo between the Vikings and Bills wasn’t over until it was over. That came after the fat lady warmed her vocals several times for both teams.
The Vikings finally assured the improbable win on Patrick Peterson’s second interception of Josh Allen in the end zone with 1:19 remaining in overtime. It gave Minnesota a miraculous 33-30 win.
It was the fourth red zone interception for Allen the past two weeks.
The Vikings moved to 8-1, while the Bills fell to 6-3 with their second consecutive loss.
The final two minutes were absolutely nuts.
Minnesota was left for dead with 44 seconds left in the fourth quarter when the Bills stopped Kirk Cousins inches short of the end zone on fourth down, leaving the Bills holding a 27-23 lead. But Allen fumbled the exchange on the next snap, and Eric Kendricks recovered in the end zone for the Vikings with 41 seconds remaining.
It gave Minnesota a 30-27 lead, but the Vikings left the Bills too much time.
Buffalo went 69 yards in five plays, needing only 39 seconds. The drive included a 20-yard reception by Gabe Davis that wasn’t reviewed as the Bills hustled to the line. Fox rules analyst Dean Blandino said the play should have been stopped and overturned to an incompletion on review.
Instead, Tyler Bass’ 29-yard field goal with two seconds left sent the game to overtime.
The Vikings looked like they were going to take the overtime kickoff and win it with a touchdown when Justin Jefferson, one of the stars of the day, caught a 24-yard pass from Cousins to the Buffalo 2-yard line on third-and-10.
The Vikings, though, had to settle for a 33-yard Greg Joseph field goal.
The Bills then reached the Minnesota 20, where they faced a second-and-10, and Peterson made an easy interception of Allen.
The Bills were close to pulling away a couple of times, but Minnesota wouldn’t go quietly into the night.
Buffalo led 27-17 with 10:42 remaining and facing a fourth-and-two from the Minnesota 7. The Bills decided to go for it in hopes of putting the game away, but Allen rolled right, buying time, and finding no one open, threw a ball up in the end zone that Peterson picked.
Peterson returned it 39 yards to the Minnesota 34 before Allen tackled him. Allen remained on the field as the team’s medical personnel rushed to him. He eventually walked off the field and returned to game action when the Bills got the ball back.
Allen entered the game with an injured elbow.
The Vikings went 66 yards in 13 plays with fullback C.J. Ham scoring on a 3-yard run with 4:34 left. Joseph missed his fourth PAT of the season, leaving the Vikings trailing 27-23.
Then, the Bills ended up punting it back to the Vikings with 3:26 left, giving Minnesota a chance to win it.
Jefferson pulled magic out of his helmet, making a miraculous, all-time catch for a 32-yard gain on fourth-and-18 on the first snap after the two-minute warning. He caught the ball over Cam Lewis, who looked like he was going to intercept it, and with one hand, managing to somehow secure it before hitting the ground.
Jefferson then had a 14-yard reception and, with less than a minute remaining, caught a 6-yard pass on third-and-goal that originally was ruled a touchdown. It was overturned on replay, setting up a fourth-down play that looked like it was for the game.
The Bills celebrated as if they had won it after replay upheld the ruling on the field that Cousins didn’t cross the plane with the ball.
But that was hardly the end.
The Vikings ended up being the team celebrating when it officially was over.
Jefferson caught 10 passes for 193 yards and a touchdown, while Stefon Diggs had 12 receptions for 128 yards for the Bills.
Cousins completed 30 of 50 passes for 357 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. Allen was 29-of-43 for 330 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions, while rushing for 84 yards on six carries.
Cook had 119 yards and a touchdown for the Vikings.