The Vikings’ status as contenders was in question the entire season.
But no more.
Minnesota extended its winning streak to seven games by dispatching the Bills on the road on November 13. Kirk Cousins put forth a clutch performance with the help of Justin Jefferson, who staked his claim as the league’s most dominant wide receiver, securing 10 catches for a season-high 193 yards and a touchdown.
Meanwhile, the Vikings defense was not solved by quarterback Josh Allen, who was a gameday decision with an elbow injury. Allen was thought to be hampered by his injury, but the superstar quarterback looked every bit himself, playing with a grittiness akin to a postseason thriller.
Too many twists and turns for the faint of heart led to the game’s final play, an interception by Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson that sealed the victory.
In what’s undoubtedly the game of the year, NFL observers sounded off on social media with reactions almost as wild as the ups and downs witnessed at Highmark Stadium.
NFL World Reacts to Vikings’ Upset Over Bills
On Sunday, Twitter saw reactions from all areas on the platform — from avid NFL fans to NBA superstars to members of Congress.
To summarize: Cousins led a 12-play drive where he connected with Jefferson on a 32-yard connection that will be up for catch of the year.
The Vikings continued to march downfield, setting up an eventual fourth-and-inches where Cousins attempted a quarterback sneak but was stopped short of the goal line.
NFL Next Gen Stats had the Vikings with just a 0.9% chance of winning after that stop.
Game over, right?
Not so fast. On the ensuing play, Allen fumbled the snap from his center, sending Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks diving for the ball in the end zone for a touchdown. Minnesota took a three-point lead with 41 seconds remaining.
However, Allen and the Bills answered back, marching 69 yards on five plays to set up the game-tying field goal to force overtime.
On their final offensive play, Gabe Davis caught a ball along the sidelines that was ruled a catch. Whether it was a catch is up for debate. The ball bobbled as Davis hit the ground, however, it was not reviewed.
The non-review on Davis’ catch would have been a boiling point for Vikings fans, however, one fan called that it may have given Minnesota a karmic advantage heading to overtime.
Cousins led one more scoring drive to the 2-yard line but couldn’t punch it in, leading to a field goal giving Buffalo a chance to answer. Allen again led his offense into scoring range but had his comeback chance foiled by Peterson.
With the Vikings leaving Buffalo with their fourth road win of the season, Cousins’ chain ritual which escalated to him taking his shirt off last week could see another level on Sunday night.
NBA superstar Lebron James called it the game of the year.
Pat McAfee tweeted: “This Vikings/Bills game deserves a statue in Canton.”
Minnesota representative Ilhan Omar even caught wind of the wild game in Buffalo, sending “good vibes” to the Vikings.
The game even caused a pause in Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell’s press conference.
The game wasn’t just drunk… it was on an adventure of a bender.
Sports bettors, be warned.
The Vikings and Bills, two teams that have made an NFL record four Super Bowl appearances without winning a title, put forth a matchup that was worthy of The Big Game stage.
Justin Jefferson Makes Another Statement With Performance vs. Bills
Whether Jefferson lands in the Pro Football Hall of Fame later in life remains to be seen — but his performance in Buffalo will surely land on his highlight reel.
Shooting for 2,000 receiving yards this season, Jefferson posting a season-high 190 receiving yards on Sunday sets his season total at 1,060 yards on 69 catches. His average of 117.7 receiving yards per game extrapolated across the final eight games of the season would be 2,002 yards this season, putting him in a position to make a serious case for reaching that mark.