HomeSportsVikings' brutal mistakes lead to worst first-half deficit in 20 years

Vikings’ brutal mistakes lead to worst first-half deficit in 20 years


The Minnesota Vikings entered Saturday’s home game with a lot going for them. One more win clinched an NFC North title and a trip to the playoffs. They were also facing a team that was averaging 16 points per game.

The Vikings lost last week to the Detroit Lions, so Kirk Cousins ​​& Co. was looking to get back to winning ways in their home building.

The Indianapolis Colts had the exact opposite in mind.

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Indianapolis Colts linebacker JoJo Domann (57) celebrates scoring a touchdown during a game against the Minnesota Vikings on December 17, 2022 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
(Bailey Hillesheim/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

In what was one of the worst first-half performances in history, let alone this season, the Vikings entered the locker room down 33-0 after the first half, leaving a sold-out crowd at US Bank Stadium. in shock.

The deficit was so big because the Vikings got hurt and it started right away in the first quarter.

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After the Colts had a strong opening drive that led to a Chase McLaughlin field goal, the Vikings were looking to respond. But they only managed four plays before sending the punt team back to return the ball to the Colts.

Instead, an Indianapolis player tore through the Vikings’ blockers and got a hand on the punt, sending him skyrocketing. The Colts’ Kemoko Turay caught it and ran for a touchdown to make it 10–0.

It looked like the Vikings were going to respond quickly after that mistake, when Dalvin Cook ran for 40 yards on the first play of Minnesota’s next possession. Then he fumbled on the next play during a four-yard run.

The Colts drove down the field and scored a Deon Jackson touchdown from one yard out to make it 17–0.

Indianapolis Colts' Julian Blackmon (32) returns the ball for a pick-six against the Minnesota Vikings during the second quarter of a game at US Bank Stadium on December 17, 2022 in Minneapolis.

Indianapolis Colts’ Julian Blackmon (32) returns the ball for a pick-six against the Minnesota Vikings during the second quarter of a game at US Bank Stadium on December 17, 2022 in Minneapolis.
(Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

Minnesota continued to get in their way from there. They were consecutive units that resulted in a rotation of casualties. In the first, they couldn’t convert a 3-and-1 and 4-and-1 chance at their own 31-yard line. McLaughin kicked a field goal after that turnover on downs.

Then Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell called a fake punt on the ensuing drive, but punt Ryan Wright missed his target on an incompletion throw. McLaughlin kicked another.

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Cousins ​​then threw an interception to Julian Blackmon, who brought it home for a 17-yard pick-six to make it 30-0.

McLaughlin added his fourth field goal of the half just before the whistle blew, and it’s safe to say Minnesota was glad to get off the field at that point.

Kirk Cousins ​​of the Minnesota Vikings after a play against the Indianapolis Colts during the second quarter of a game at US Bank Stadium on December 17, 2022 in Minneapolis.

Kirk Cousins ​​of the Minnesota Vikings after a play against the Indianapolis Colts during the second quarter of a game at US Bank Stadium on December 17, 2022 in Minneapolis.
(Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)

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It was the biggest halftime lead for the Colts since they beat the Miami Dolphins 34-0 in 1997, according to ESPN.

It was also the biggest deficit the Vikings have faced in 20 years, when they trailed the Seattle Seahawks 45-0.



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