The Minnesota Vikings are the real damn deal.
Doubting and discrediting the Vikings had been a trendy position to take throughout the team’s march to a 7-1 record. The Philadelphia Eagles smashed them. They beat the Miami Dolphins‘ second-string and third-string quarterbacks. The NFC North is as soft as it’s been in years as the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears continue to struggle.
But the haters will have a much tougher time lining up the Vikings in their social media crosshairs after Minnesota wiped away a 17-point deficit Sunday to defeat the mighty Buffalo Bills on the road in overtime. During his postgame press conference, veteran cornerback and eight-time Pro Bowler Patrick Peterson sent a message to all those who would dare still to try.
“Look at us now,” Peterson said. “We’re not trying to prove ‘them’ or ‘they’ wrong, we just wanna continue to prove ourselves right each and every time we step out on the field because we feel that we are a really, really good football team that believe in one another, and it showed again today.”
“If we’re not a good football team, how could you come back from that [17-point] deficit?” he continued. “Look at us now.”
Peterson had about as much right to call out his team’s detractors as anyone in the Minnesota locker room after he picked off Bills quarterback and MVP candidate Josh Allen twice in the game, including one interception in the end zone that slammed the door on Buffalo’s own comeback efforts.
“The last interception to seal the game, that was a really big play obviously,” Peterson said. “I just undercut the dig and sealed the game.”
The three-time All Pro defender now has 34 tackles, 12 passes defensed and three interceptions through nine games this season, per Pro Football Reference.
Kevin O’Connell Says Vikings Learning to Win One Game at a Time
Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell was also beaming about his team’s performance following the win.
“It’s a confident locker room in there,” O’Connell said. “I’m so dang proud of this team. I love this team — the way they battle, the way they come together. It was a really big day for us, kinda confirming who we think we are as a football team. A lot to improve on, like I said, but this is a huge win for us here against a really good football team.”
The general consensus afterwards was that the contest was far and away the game of the NFL season through 10 weeks. O’Connell acknowledged it was one of the most compelling outings of which he has ever been a part, adding that the outcome confirmed to the Vikings much of what they already believed about themselves.
“Pretty unbelievable football game to be a part of,” O’Connell said. “Our team’s ability over these last few weeks to win football games … I think that allowed us to have the confidence we needed to just try to make one more play and keep that football game alive.”
Justin Jefferson Makes Unthinkable Catch to Help Vikings Seal Win
As great as Peterson was and as much of a team win as the Vikings secured Sunday in Buffalo, the undisputed star of the game was wide receiver Justin Jefferson.
The wideout nabbed 10 catches for a career-high 193 receiving yards and a touchdown. Jefferson also made perhaps the best catch in NFL history on a 4th and 18 play with fewer than two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter that helped Minnesota extend the game.
Reporters asked Jefferson afterwards how he was able to make the catch, and he was just as flabbergasted by his feat as the millions of people who saw him accomplish it live.
“I couldn’t even answer that question for you,” Jefferson said. “God, honestly.”
“It was so crazy,” Jefferson said of the win, while giving credit to his teammates. “It felt like it was unreal. It felt like a movie.”