Dead in the water, the Vikings pulled off a remarkable comeback to beat the Broncos 27-23 Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Minnesota was horrific in the first half, trailing 20-0 at the half only to flip the script in a dominant second half in which they trailed 23-7 in the fourth quarter before hammering Denver with three touchdowns to take the lead.
Even so, Denver had it first-and-goal at Minnesota's 4-yard line with 10 seconds to play and a chance to win, but quarterback Brandon Allen couldn't complete three pass attempts that would've killed Minnesota's historic comeback bid.
Instead, the Vikings became the first team in the last five years to win after trailing by 20+ points at the half. According to CBS, teams in that scenario were 0-99 before Sunday's thriller.
Kirk Cousins didn't attempt a pass further than 12 yards downfield in the first half, then let it rip in the second half en route to finishing the game 29-of-35 passing for 319 yards and three touchdowns.
He tossed touchdowns to Irv Smith Jr., Stefon Diggs and Kyle Rudolph, with Rudolph's giving the Vikings the lead with 6:01 left in the fourth quarter.
The drive log in the first half to second half is stunning.
- 3 plays, 9 yards - punt
- 3 plays, 8 yards - punt
- 5 plays, -1 yards - punt
- 6 plays, 7 yards - punt
- 1 play, -3 yards - fumble
- 0 plays, 0 yards - fumble on kickoff return
- 5 plays, 17 yards - punt
- 9 plays, 75 yards - touchdown
- 18 plays, 75 yards - touchdown
- 3 plays, 62 yards - touchdown
- 5 plays, 67 yards - touchdown
The win gets the Vikings to 8-3 entering the Week 12 bye, in perfect position to make a run for the playoffs when they face the Seahawks, Lions, Chargers, Packers and Bears in December.
Vikes lose two starters to injury
It wasn't all good for the Vikings as they lost starting linebacker Ben Gedeon to a concussion and safety Harrison Smith to a hamstring injury.
Minnesota played the game without four injured starters: Adam Thielen (hamstring), Linval Joseph (knee), Anthony Harris (groin) and Josh Kline (concussion).
Fortunately, the Vikings are now on a bye week so they'll have two weeks to heal before they're back in action on Monday, Dec. 2 at Seattle.