The Minnesota Vikings (rightfully so) had complaints about the officials. Adrian Peterson had something to say about the Baltimore crowd. The Minnesota Vikings once again managed to drop a game in the final seconds, while the Baltimore Ravens continue to stumble towards the playoffs with the craziest finish to an NFL game we’ve seen in a very long time, winning 29-26.
Adrian Peterson sprained his foot, not lasting very long in the game, but had more to say about the officials and the Baltimore fans after the game – complaining about being hit with snow balls, but more importantly feeling bad about the Toby Gerhart fumble in the first quarter, which probably shouldn’t have been allowed, and the pass interference in the end.
However, in the snow, mistakes come and go, with no one really knowing what he sees and where he is. The pattern is always the same to these games – sluggish start as players get accustomed to what’s going on before all hell breaks loose, usually in favor of the offenses. After only 13 combined points entering the fourth quarter (Ravens leading 7-6), everything seemed to happen in the final three minutes of the game.
Dennis Pitta (season debut, six catches, 48 yards and a touchdown) caught a 4th-and-goal pass from Joe Flacco, scoring a one-yard touchdown to give the Ravens a 15-12 lead with 2:05 remaining. Next up? Vikigns turn. Toby Gerhart runs for 41 yards to score the touchdown and give Minnesota the 19-15 lead once again, finishing the game with 89 yards on 15 carries.
Is it over? Not really. Jacoby Jones returned a kickoff 77 yards to give Baltimore the lead again 19-22, 1:19 remaining. Not really over. Matt Cassel throws a pass to Cordarrelle Patterson, who ends up completing a 79-yard play for the touchdown, giving the Vikings a 26-22 lead they surely can’t drop now, with only 45 seconds remaining.
Joe Flacco threw a pass for 45 yards to start the drive, and then an incompletion. On the next play, on the Vikings’ 45, he throws an interception to the hands of Andrew Sendejo, but the Ravens are saved by a pass interference call on Chad Greenway, moving the Ravens forward 18 yards. Flacco finds Pitta for nine yards, and with four seconds remaining, passes to Malcolm Brown for the dramatic win, as the Vikings allow the fourth touchdown drive in the final minute this season.
While Joe Flacco threw three interceptions, it was his ability on the final two drives that stood out. He was only 17-of-34, throwing all three interceptions against a standard pass rush from the Vikings during the first 12 drives. The last two? He was 6-of-7, throwing a couple of touchdown passes. There was a lot of history being made in that final quarter – the first NFL game with 5 go-ahead touchdowns in the final 2:30 of the 4th quarter; he first game in NFL history with 6 lead changes in the 4th quarter; he most combined points in the final 2:30 of the 4th quarter of any game over the last 50 seasons. Somehow, the Ravens came out with the victory.