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How Vikings won overtime thriller over Bills: Breaking down 6 crazy highlights of 2022 NFL Game of the Year candidate

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It’s too early to say for certain, but we may have our NFL Game of the Year in an inter-conference thriller between the Vikings and Bills. The Vikings pulled out a 33-30 overtime win in a game that was as full of twist and turns as one could churn up. 

To call it an emotional roller coaster would be an understatement. From massive fourth-down receptions to devastating goal-line stops to miracle fumbles and game-tying drives, this game had a bit of everything. It’s the kind of game only the Bills could be involved in, as they continue to be one of the league’s most beleaguered teams in big games.

For the Vikings, it simultaneously tells us everything and nothing about them. They failed twice in this game offensively and once defensively down the stretch, but they did enough to win and they’re 8-1 on the season. They’re quite possibly the most chaotic team in football, and they’re more fun for it.

IYER: Happy Tom Brady is back, and the rest of the NFC is in trouble

So, what happens when chaos manifests? Well, we get lists like this one: 

6 craziest moments from Vikings-Bills thriller

1.) Justin Jefferson’s miracle grab on fourth-and-18

Fourth-and-18 may not be fourth-and-26, but Justin Jefferson’s catch is already being regarded as one of the best ever. In the play that kicked off the madness, Jefferson elevated and made one of the most impressive catches the NFL has ever seen by palming a ball away from Cam Lewis to make a miracle catch for a first down.

Words truly don’t do the play justice, nor does that angle.

Jefferson made the catch between a trapezoid of five Bills, and although Cousins’ throw wasn’t perfect, it was exactly good enough for a player of Jefferson’s caliber.

MORE: Justin Jefferson’s Vikings teammates ruin ‘Griddy’ TD celebration

2.) Jefferson scores, TD gets overturned

This play is mostly wild because of how it folds into the rest of the game. On third-and-goal, Cousins found Jefferson over the middle for what looked like a touchdown as he was rolled into the end zone.

After review, however, it was found Jefferson was down at the 1-yard line, forcing fourth down.

3.) Bills jump offsides on fourth down, still stuff Kirk Cousins on ensuing sneak

On the first fourth down attempt, the Bills tried to house the Vikings at the line, but they were clearly offsides. It almost didn’t matter, as the Vikings somehow picked up the rush long enough for Cousins to find Dalvin Cook in the flat, but Cook bobbled the ball and dropped it to force another fourth down attempt.

On the following play, the Vikings ran a QB sneak. Cousins was stacked up at the line and called short, and although it initially looked like he may have gotten in, review confirmed it was the right call.

It was a heartbreaking moment for the Vikings and a turnover on downs, and it looked like they suffered a brutal loss at this point. At this point, the Bills had about a 75 percent chance to win.

4.) The Bills fumble the snap, the Vikings recover and score

Then, we have the moment. The Bills didn’t have the option of just taking a kneel-down, of course. Not from the half-yard line. Josh Allen, however, bobbled the snap and never re-found it, and the Vikings hopped on to score and take a three-point lead after the extra point. The Vikings now had a 95 percent chance to win.

So with everything — the Jefferson reception being ruled short, Cousins not making it in — those things all served to take time off the clock for the Bills and eventually give the Vikings the lead. It was the absolute worst-case scenario for Buffalo.

5.) Bills drive to tie the game, featuring a missed call on Gabe Davis’ catch

This was a good news-bad news situation for the Bills. While the fumble was devastating, Allen and the Bills still had 41 seconds despite not having any timeouts. They went 69 yards in five plays to get into field goal range, although there was some controversy on a called catch by Gabe Davis on the sideline that looked like he bobbled it on the way down.

MORE: Did Gabe Davis actually make diving catch on Bills’ scoring drive?

The Bills would later convert a field goal after a pass interference to make it 30-30 and force OT.

6.) Josh Allen’s interception ends the game

Overtime played out less chaotically, mostly looking like two really good teams slugging it out. However, as the Bills drove following the Vikings’ go-ahead field goal on the opening drive, Allen was faced with second-and-10. Allen tried to throw a laser between multiple Vikings defenders, but Patrick Peterson undercut it for the game-winner.

The end of the game looked like an EKG of Vikings and Bills fans’ heart rates down the stretch.

It’s the kind of slugfest we’ve come to expect from the Bills and the kind of chaos we’ve come to expect from the Vikings in a perfect marriage of weird, wonderful football.

MORE: AFC East standings: How Bills’ loss to Vikings, Dolphins’ win vs. Browns affected top of division

The Bills fell to 6-3 while the Vikings rose to 8-1 on the year, as these teams continue along their way. It’s hard to imagine a game getting much wilder than this. But then, the NFL can always get stranger.


Credit: sportingnews.com

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