I only got to watch the last few minutes of this game, as the local (Buffalo) channel was the Bucs-Bills game and even the Winnipeg station that usually carries Viking games had the Colts-Bengals game on. Even at that, the game lasted just long enough that Fox cut away from the game with four seconds left on the clock to begin broadcast of the Seahawks-49ers game. In that slightly-more-than two minutes, I saw most of the scoring in the game.
Initial reports on Twitter indicated this might be a 0-0 tie, with neither team able to generate much for the first few series. By halftime, the score was 7-3 in Baltimore’s favour. The big story of the half was Adrian Peterson’s injury, with all kinds of rumours flying about the relative seriousness (at one point, he was reported to have been sent by ambulance to a local hospital). Peterson was seen on the sideline later in the game, wearing shoes and no obvious cast, brace, or walking boot, so we can hope the injury will not impair his ability to finish the season. Another injury had nearly as much impact on the Vikings, as offensive guard Brandon Fusco left the game with a knee injury and didn’t return. Fusco has been the most consistent player on the line this season. Tight end John Carlson and cornerback Xavier Rhodes were also injured during the second half.
The weather was a factor in the game, but not as much as the game in Philadelphia, where up to eight inches of snow was reported at midfield. The TV announcers made several comments about the grounds crew not clearing the snow, so @Justin_Rogers posted a summary of the NFL’s rules on snow removal. @ArifHasanDN screencapped the most relevant portion:
It’s common for fans to decry the officials over the course of a game, but it’s rare for players to do so. Adrian Peterson was upset enough about the officiating that he probably will be getting a fine from the league over this tweet he sent out near the end of the game:
Wow talking about bad officiating & the worst fan base I've ever experience! They threw snow balls the entire 4q like lil kids. Smh
— Adrian Peterson (@AdrianPeterson) December 8, 2013
Another tweet from Eric Thompson explains why the Vikings can claim to be a bit better than their actual record:
Since the TD didn't come in the last minute this time I have to adjust my stat: If games were 57:55 long, the #Vikings would be 8-5.
— Eric Thompson (@eric_j_thompson) December 8, 2013
From just before the two-minute warning to the end of the game, with the Vikings leading 12-7 the score sheet goes like this:
- Baltimore TD after 4 minute drive. Add two-point conversion. Score 12-15.
- Minnesota TD on a 41-yard Toby Gerhart run. (Only the third time this season Baltimore has given up a rushing TD.) Score 19-15.
- Baltimore TD on a 77-yard kick return by Jacoby Jones. Score 19-22.
- Minnesota TD on a 79-yard catch-and-run by Cordarrelle Patterson. Score 26-22.
- Baltimore TD after a terrible pass interference call against Chad Greenway which wiped out what would have been the game-clinching interception. Final score 26-29.
The 5 TD's scored in 2:01 in Vikes-Ravens game is the FASTEST 5 TD's scored in a game since 1983…before all 5 of those players were born.
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) December 8, 2013
After a wild finish like that, it’s almost anti-climactic to say that the loss pushes the Vikings out of post-season contention (with only three wins on the season, it would have taken a few miracles for them to get into the playoffs anyway).
Adding further insult, the Vikings couldn’t even get out of Baltimore without further problems:
Pete Bercich tells me Vikings plane was run into by catering truck, so another plane is coming in from Detroit to Balt. Can't make this up!
— Mark Rosen (@WCCORosen) December 8, 2013
1500ESPN rounded up a couple of homeless guys to do their post-game wrap up: