OK, so maybe it wasn't the outcome some wished for, but the Vikings' loss to the Ravens Sunday in Baltimore sure was fun. WIth the snow, and the crazy lead changes and the unbelievable spurt of scoring to end the game at 29-26.
In fact, Fox Sports North says the game was historic, saying "five touchdowns in the final 2 minutes, 5 seconds offered a crazy finish, no matter the weather. The NFL announced it was the most fourth-quarter lead changes in a game in NFL history."
ESPN concurs, quoting the Elias Sport Bureau, which tracks such sports things, "according to Elias, the five touchdowns in 2:01 were the fastest that five touchdowns have been scored in the last 50 seasons -- by more than 3½ minutes."
In fact, ESPN offers a win probability breakdown during the lead changes in the last 125 seconds of the game:
2:01: 1-yd Pass TD Flacco-Pitta - 26.9% win probability change, to Ravens 74.3%
1:27: 41-yd Rush TD Gerhart - 40.8% win probability change, to Vikings 88.8%
1:16: 77-yd KO ret TD Jones - 69.1% win probability change, to Ravens 84.0%
0:45: 79-yd Pass TD Cassel-Patterson - 75.4% win probability change, to Vikings 96.4%
0:04: 9-yd Pass TD Flacco-Brown - 59.4% win probability change, to Ravens 98.4%
What does that mean? It means there's no way either team should have lost. Or won. Or something.
The Baltimore Sun just chalks it up to plain old dumb luck: "This is not to say the Ravens were totally lucky because they made good calls and had several big plays in crunch time, but in the watered down NFL the difference between a contender looking for the sixth seed is luck. Or fate. Or whatever you call it."
The Sun also has this winner of a quote from Baltimore QB Joe Flacco: "Was it unlikely that we win this game today?" Flacco asked. "Probably, but we did."
Comcast SportsNet has another notable quote from the Ravens side: ''I've never seen a game like that before,'' Baltimore linebacker Terrell Suggs said. ''Besides the Super Bowl, that's probably the most special win I've been a part of. Crazy game.''
Yahoo! Sports asks Adrian Peterson if his injury will shut him down for the rest of the season: ''Not at all. You should have seen me in here trying to get back out there. I kept my pads on, too, until the third quarter I finally was just like, 'I'm not ready to go.'''
And this from Jared Allen: ''It was kind of fun out there. We don't get to play in these conditions often,'' he said. ''Everybody was having a good time.''
Here's another stat from ESPN: "The Ravens hadn't scored three touchdowns in an entire game since Week 3 (Sept. 22) and they reached the end zone a total of two times in their past two games. Baltimore entered the game as the 25th-ranked scoring team, averaging 20.8 points per game. On Sunday, the Ravens scored 22 points in the fourth quarter alone."
Another ESPN story notes that a few awful officiating calls went against the Vikes, and that Adrian Peterson will probably hear from the league about tweeting it out loud. But defensive end Brian Robison played it straight: "I'm not going to say anything to get on Roger Goodell's list."