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USA Today Sports Media Group
Tyler Forness

Was the Vikings’ comeback win vs. Colts the best game in team history?

The Minnesota Vikings pulled off something that no team had ever done before: be down 33 points and win the football game. The 39-36 win over the Indianapolis Colts was an incredible way for the Vikings to celebrate their 1,000th game.

The team basked in what they had accomplished after the game, both in their incredible comeback and winning their first NFC North title since 2017.

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The question remains though: was it the best game in the history of the Vikings? At first glance, it’s definitely up there. We went back and found a few contenders that could also be considered

Vikings vs. Colts 9-28-1969

Jan 11, 1970; New Orleans, LA, USA; FILE PHOTO; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Joe Kapp (11) in action against the Kansas City Chiefs during Super Bowl IV at Tulane Stadium. The Chiefs defeated the Vikings 23-7. Mandatory Credit: Dick Raphael-USA TODAY Sports

This game was more about the tremendous play of their quarterback than a competitive game. The Vikings put up 52 points along with 622 total yards but the day belonged to quarterback Joe Kapp. He threw for a monstrous 449 yards but most importantly tied the NFL record with seven touchdown passes. That record still stands today, as it is currently held by multiple players, including the likes of Peyton Manning and Nick Foles.

Brett Favre to Greg Lewis 9-27-2009

Nov 29, 2009; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre (4) passes against the Chicago Bears in the second quarter at the Metrodome. Vikings win 36-10. Mandatory credit: Bruce Kluckhohn USA TODAY Sports

After the Vikings got their first taste of what it had with Favre under center with a 2-0 record, this game ended up being the catalyst for that tremendous season. They were down 24-20 and driving for the winning touchdown. Favre maneuvered the pocket in a way only he could and fired a frozen rope to Greg Lewis in the back of the end zone for a beautiful touchdown. It won the ESPY for best play in 2010 and ended up springing the Vikings to a special season.

Randy Moss erupts on Monday Night Football 10-5-1998

5 Oct 1998: Wide receiver Randy Moss #84 and tackle Korey Stringer #77 of the Minnesota Vikings celebrate during a game against the Green Bay Packers at the Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Vikings defeated the Packers 37-24.

The 1998 season was loaded with special memories, but the biggest one is when Randy Moss made his name to the nation.

That fateful game had both teams heading into it undefeated and the Packers were coming off of back-to-back Super Bowl appearances. Moss didn’t care. He only tortured the Packers for the first time but with 190 yards and two touchdowns on five catches. The game had a 37-24 final but it was mostly a dominant Moss that showed he was a true super freak.

The Miracle at the Met 12-14-1980

The first Minnesota Miracle was the Miracle at the Met where Tommy Kramer led the Vikings from down eight points to get the win with a hail mary to Ahmad Rashad.

In today’s game, that’s not a miracle, but in 1980 the two-point conversion didn’t exist yet. “Two Minute Tommy” led the Vikings to a tremendous comeback with a walk-off to Rashad. That win helped get the Vikings to the playoffs at the end of the Bud Grant era.


Adrian Peterson get 2,097 12-30-2012

Sep 18, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) carries the ball and is injured on the play during the third quarter against the Green Bay Packers at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Vikings defeated the Packers 17-14. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

A running back doesn’t have a 2,000-yard season often, but the 2012 season was special for Adrian Peterson. That final game against the Green Bay Packers wasn’t just so Peterson could potentially break the record set by Eric Dickerson with 2,105 yards, but a win would send the Vikings to the playoffs to play the Packers at Lambeau Field the next week. He put the team on his back as he rushed for 199 yards and a touchdown on 34 carries and provided an exciting week 17.

The Randy Moss moon 1-9-2005

GREEN BAY, WI – JANUARY 9: Wide receiver Randy Moss #84 of the Minnesota Vikings pretends to moon the crowd after scoring a touchdown against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC wild-card game at Lambeau Field on January 9, 2005 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Vikings defeated the Packers 31-17. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The game will be forever known as the Moss moon, but it was also only the second time ever that the Packers lost a playoff game at home. The Vikings got up in this game 14-0 within the first five minutes and the last touchdown brought this glorious picture.

The backstory is simple. When the Vikings’ team bus would pull up to Lambeau Field, the opposing fans would moon them as they arrived. In his final game at Lambeau Field with the Vikings, Moss returned the favor with a fake moon. It was hilarious as a Vikings fan and with the right context, but Joe Buck couldn’t help himself, calling it a “disgusting act.”

Minneapolis Miracle 1-14-2018

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) makes a catch over New Orleans Saints free safety Marcus Williams (43) on his way to the game winning touchdown during the second half of an NFL divisional football playoff game in Minneapolis, Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018. The Vikings defeated the Saints 29-24. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

What most people consider the best moment in Vikings history happened in the divisional round of 2018 against the New Orleans Saints. After jumping out to a 17-0 lead in the first half, they got too conservative and squandered it, ending up down 24-23 with 25 seconds to go.

Nobody will ever forget the play “Buffalo right seventh heaven” which had Stefon Diggs running a deep corner route. He caught the ball on the sidelines but instead of talking him in bounds, Marcus Williams went for the jugular and missed, allowing Diggs to travel 61 brilliant yards for the walk-off touchdown.

Vikings comeback to beat Giants 12-17-1997

Sep 27, 1998; Chicago, IL, USA; FILE PHOTO; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Randall Cunningham (7) in action against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. The Vikings defeated the Bears 31-28. Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

The most recent major comeback came at the hands of Randall Cunningham who was starting in place of an injured Brad Johnson. They went to New York to face the Giants and did not have a great first half. The Vikings got down 19-3 before launching a tremendous comeback that culminated with 10 points in the final 90 seconds to propel the Vikings to win 23-22 and give them a 16-point comeback victory.

Vikings 17-point comeback vs. Bills 11-13-2022

Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson intercepts a Josh Allen pass in the end zone. The Vikings came from behind to beat the Bills 33-30 in overtime.Ag3i9021

Surprisingly enough, the Vikings played a game earlier this season that was on the same level as the Colts game. They Vikings were down in the second half by a score of 27-10 and ended up coming back to beat the Bills 33-30 in overtime.

Numerous plays happened that ended up making this game so memorable

  • Justin Jefferson’s insane catch on 4th and 18
  • Kirk Cousins firing a piss missile to Adam Thielen
  • The failed QB sneak
  • Josh Allen’s fumble
  • Patrick Peterson’s two red zone interceptions

The game was incredible and showed that the Vikings weren’t just a team who would “luck” into close wins, but rather a team who is incredibly scrappy and will fight to win every game.

Where does the Colts game rank?

Dec 17, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (4) looks on after the game against the Indianapolis Colts at U.S. Bank Stadium. With the win, the Minnesota Vikings clinched the NFC North. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s be honest with ourselves. It’s arguably the best of the bunch. For the Vikings to have their 1,000th ever game be so memorable is arguably the most Vikings’ thing ever. Are there other games that could be included on this list? Absolutely! This is incredibly subjective and the Vikings have found themselves in some incredible games. However, it’s going to be hard to top the first-ever 33-point comeback.

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