Vikings

Top 10 Vikings Games to Rewatch on NFL Game Pass: Nos. 5-1

Please Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

As many people prepare to stay indoors for the foreseeable future, the NFL has made the decision to make NFL Game Pass available for free until May 31.

NFL Game Pass is traditionally offered to football fans at $100 per year. The service includes game replays from the past 11 seasons — going back to 2009 — and NFL original shows such as RedZone and Hard Knocks.

Click here to subscribe for free through May 31.

With the status of the NFL Draft — and perhaps the entire 2020 NFL season — hanging the balance, this is a nice distraction for football fans during some challenging times.

Click here to read the previous list with Nos. 10-6.

Vikings fans can now watch some of the team’s best wins from the past 11 years and relive some of their favorite moments rooting for the purple and gold.

Below are Nos. 5-1 on my list of the Top 10 Vikings games that fans should re-watch using NFL Game Pass.

5. Vikings vs. Packers — Week 17, 2015

The 2015 season was a pleasant surprise for Vikings fans. Mike Zimmer’s defense vaulted to the top of the ranks and Adrian Peterson found the fountain of youth for one more rushing title. The 2015 season was also Teddy Bridgewater‘s first full season as a starter and he performed admirably, despite weak pass protection and a less-than-desirable receiving corps.

Minnesota’s 2015 season culminated with a Week 17 trip to Lambeau Field with the NFC North division title on the line. Minnesota’s defense led the way to a victory, holding the Packers offense to 13 points. Cornerback Captain Munnerlyn also returned a fumble for a touchdown in the third quarter that put the Vikings up 20-3.

Green Bay made a late run and had a chance to win before Xavier Rhodes intercepted a pass in the end zone to seal the NFC North title with a 20-13 win. This game isn’t as entertaining in terms of offense. Rather, the entertainment comes from winning at Lambeau Field to clinch the NFC North.

Also worth noting: Adam Thielen was Minnesota’s leading rusher with 67 yards on two carries.

4. Vikings vs. 49ers — Week 3, 2009

The original Minneapolis Miracle. It’s the moment every Vikings fan fell in love with Brett Favre.

The Vikings entered this game with a 2-0 record, earning both of those wins without demanding too much from Favre. However, Shaun Hill of all quarterbacks kept the 49ers competitive at the Metrodome in Week 3. Ultimately, San Francisco should have won this game.

Minnesota trailed by four points with just over a minute remaining and no timeouts. Favre rallied the troops and drove the Vikings to the San Francisco 32-yard line with 12 seconds to go.

Then, Greg Lewis entered the game and the rest is history.

Verdict: 27-24 Vikings.

3. Vikings vs. Saints — Wild Card, 2019

It’s the signature win of the Kirk Cousins era in Minnesota. The Vikings were underdogs by more than a touchdown entering the week. New Orleans was one of the few teams in NFL history to finish 13-3 and not earn a first-round bye. It was not looking good for the Vikings.

However, Zimmer’s defense had found success against Drew Brees, Sean Payton and the Saints offense in the past few meetings and that trend continued. The most effective player for the Saints offense in the game was none other than third-string quarterback Taysom Hill. Michael Thomas, who broke the single-season record for receptions in the 2019 regular season, was held to seven catches for 70 yards.

Kirk Cousins made two of the best throws in his career during Minnesota’s game-winning drive in overtime — one found Thielen for a cold-blooded 43-yard connection to set the Vikings up at the two-yard line, and the other was a perfect fade pass to tight end Kyle Rudolph for the walk-off score to win 26-20.

The Vikings have made a habit of ending the Saints’ season in dramatic fashion in recent years.

2. Vikings vs. Saints — Divisional Round, 2017

The Minneapolis Miracle 2.0. One of the best football games I’ve ever watched. The Vikings dominated the first half. The Saints dominated the second half. It looked as if the magic behind Minnesota’s 13-3 season behind quarterback Case Keenum had run out.

As we know, there was plenty of magic left. The Keenum-to-Stefon Diggs connection for a walk-off touchdown as time expired sent U.S. Bank Stadium into a frenzy.  It’s one of the most iconic plays in the history of the NFL and it gave the Vikings a 29-24 win.

And for Vikings fans, it felt really nice to come out on the positive end of one of those plays.

1. Vikings vs. Cowboys — Divisional Round, 2009

This might be a controversial choice as the number one choice for this list. But, for me, it’s about the Dallas Cowboys and the brand as “America’s team.” Get all the way out of here with that. Every season they get more attention than they deserve. And the 2009 season was no different.

It felt really good to see the Vikings put a butt-whooping on the Cowboys. Tony Romo had no answer for the Vikings defense. Meanwhile, the Cowboys defense had no answer for Sidney Rice, who scored three touchdowns in the 34-3 route.

Perhaps my favorite part is that the Vikings scored the last touchdown of the game with under two minutes remaining on fourth down. They completely ran up the score on the Cowboys and I am here for it.

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Where Have You Gone, Pat Elflein? Vikings Nation Turns Its Lonely Eyes to You

Please Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

For the second straight week the Vikings’ overall O-line play was in the C-/D+ range. With a typical Mike Zimmer defense that might be enough; with the defense's current level of play, it’s nowhere close. Here's a look at the positives — yes, there were some — and negatives of life without Pat Elflein along the Vikings' offensive line, with a glance ahead to what's in store next (spoiler: it rhymes with "Jadaveon Clowney").

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