I had little hope the Vikings could pull off an upset win in Green Bay on Sunday, but they came damn near close to pulling it off.
The Packers took an early lead in the first quarter after an amazing run by QB Scott Tolzien. But the Vikings came alive, scoring 23 unanswered points going into the fourth quarter.
I watched parts of the game on NFL RedZone, but knowing what kind of season this has been for the Vikings, I expected the other shoe to drop. And it did, courtesy of a Green Bay QB change.
Tolzien was totally ineffective after his TD, and the Packers put in Matt Flynn, the QB recently acquired after Seneca Wallace went down. And Flynn caught fire, leading GB to two fourth quarter touchdowns. (The Pack tried a two-point conversion after the first, and missed. Had they kicked the extra point, they probably win in regulation. Still can't fault the choice, as they were down by 16 points, and two TDs and two-point conversions would have tied it up.)
The Packers tied it up in the final seconds with a field goal, and off to OT the game went. Green Bay took the kickoff and went down the field, and the Vikings defense held them from getting a TD that would have instantly ended the game, and they settled for a FG. The game was still going, as it would only end if the team who got the ball first in ovetime scored a touchdown. And they also went down the field, and narrowly missed winning it, as a pass from Christian Ponder was tipped in the end zone and went off Cordarrelle Patterson's hands. So they also kicked a FG that made it 26-26.
And it stayed that way. Both teams did nothing after that, and wound up punting it back and forth.
The tie was just the fourth in the NFL since 2000, and the Vikings and Packers last played to a tie in 1978.
It was a big day for Adrian Peterson, who showed no signs of his groin injury affecting him, as he rushed for 146 yards and a TD. The team as a group rushed for 232 yards. Christian Ponder had a pretty decent day as well, and went 21-for-30 and 233 yards and 1 TD. He figures to keep his starting job for now.
But both the Vikings offense and defense disappeared in the fourth quarter. The Vikings couldn't add to their 16-point lead, and the let the Packers back in it once Flynn entered. It was a good performance for three quarters by the D, but we've seen that before in 2013.
The tie puts the Vikings at 2-8-1, and it is officially a losing season. Just Jacksonville, Houston and Atlanta are below them in the NFL at 2-9. This season, which looked promising to me in early September, can't end soon enough.