The Minnesota Vikings didn’t have many national pundits convinced of their status as a contender until their November 13 game.
The Vikings’ 33-30 overtime victory over the preseason Super Bowl favorite Buffalo Bills 6-3) put Minnesota on the map and tied with the Philadelphia Eagles for the best record in the league at 8-1.
And now, Vikings loyalists are sounding off.
Hall of Fame wide receiver Cris Carter sent the league a strong message following the team’s win.
Cris Carter Tells NFL World to Shut Up After Vikings’ Win Over Bills
Following the Vikings’ gutty win over the Bills, Carter, who has a career as a broadcaster after a 16-year playing career, didn’t mince his words on social media.
“Hey football world @Vikings finally get their signature win. Shut up now,” Carter tweeted.
Carter’s point is one that’s needed addressing for weeks. The Vikings, who fell flat in a Week 2 prime time loss to the Eagles have since won seven straight games — but many of those games have been tagged with asterisks.
Vikings Finally Find ‘Signature Win’ Over Bills
It was first a string of games that came down to final play against lesser teams like the Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions and New Orleans Saints. Then it was beating a Miami Dolphins team that was missing its starting quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa.
But since the bye week, the Vikings are playing with some of the league’s more well-respected teams, notching single-possession wins over the Arizona Cardinals, a Washington team that just upset the previously undefeated Eagles, and, finally, upsetting the Bills on the road.
No game this season has come in convincing fashion. Minnesota has struggled to show consistency this season, yet the Vikings have become the team nobody wants to face in the fourth quarter.
That’s a 180-degree transformation from last year’s team, which seemed to invent new ways to allow their opponents to score inside the two-minute mark of each half.
“The Vikings allowed 93 points in the final two minutes before halftimes this season and an NFL-record (since the 1970 merger) 128 points inside all 2-minute warnings — which has a direct correlation to winning and losing football games,” Vikings.com Craig Peters wrote of the 2021 Vikings.
The 2022 Vikings instead are riding any spark of momentum when they can conjure it. Kirk Cousins has led a career-high five game-winning drives this season, while the defense has come up with timely turnovers when the opposing offenses have tried to strike back.
And if there are any more signs of encouragement coming out of Buffalo, it was the Vikings never saying die in a game that was largely an uphill battle.
Minnesota mounted a 23-point comeback that started with an 81-yard touchdown by Dalvin Cook with under two minutes left in the third quarter. The Bills, loaded with premier playmakers at every key position, found ways to zap the energy out of the Vikings throughout their comeback effort, but every time it took just one play to spark the team’s competitive spirits.
That’s something that was lacking last season but has continued to surface every week with Kevin O’Connell at the helm.