As Greg Joseph was waiting to attempt the winning field goal against the Lions last Sunday, Minnesota Vikings fans had torn emotions. Was this going to be the Joseph who had kicked three field goals in the game and who had also nailed a clutch kick in Week 1 against Cincinnati to send the game into overtime?

Or was this the Greg Joseph who had just kicked a 49-yard air balloon that was short of the goalposts? And who could forget his whiff on a kick against Arizona in the desert in Week 1? So, Vikings fans were consumed with the twin emotions of hope and fear. Then just like that, Joseph calmly drilled a 54-yarder for the win and the Purple and Gold rejoiced.

The Lions Launch a Comeback

The kick was necessary due to a series of chaotic plays and mistakes that saw the Vikings blow a 10-point lead with just over three minutes remaining. After Joseph’s aforementioned miss, and with the Minnesota Vikings ahead 17-7, the Lions mounted their comeback.

Lions quarterback Jared Goff promptly engineered a six-play, 39-yard drive that resulted in a 40-yard field goal by kicker Austin Seibert. This cut the Vikings lead to seven. There was only 2:30 left to play in the game and everyone was bracing themselves for the inevitable onside kick. To everyone’s surprise, the Lions kicked the ball deep to Ameer Abdullah who fielded a ball that was clearly going out of bounds.

Abdullah was tackled at the Viking’s 18-yard line and the Minnesota Vikings took possession hoping to run out the clock. After two running plays that only netted the Purple three yards, the Vikings handed the ball off to Alexander Mattison for a run off left tackle. Mattison, while struggling for extra yardage, did the inexplicable and fumbled the ball. The Lion’s defense was only too happy to pounce on the ball at the Viking’s 20-yard line.

The Minnesota Vikings Have Their Backs to the Wall

Then three plays later, the dagger was inserted in the Vikings’ back. Lions running back D’Andre Swift took the handoff and ran off right tackle for a seven-yard touchdown. The score stood at 16-15 Vikings with just over a minute left in the game. Lions coach Dan Campbell then threw the Minnesota Vikings and their fans a curveball.

Opting to forego the PAT, Campbell decided to go for two. If successful, the Lions would be well on their way to their first victory of the season. Goff dropped back, found wide receiver KhaDarel Hodge open in the endzone and the catch was made. All of sudden, the Lions led 17-16. That thud you heard was Vikings’ fans’ chins dropping over the prospect of another loss. A loss that almost certainly would have dashed any potential playoff hopes.

Marshall Kirk Cousins

But Marshall Kirk Cousins still had a few tricks up his sleeve. Starting the drive at the Viking’s 18-yard line with 33 seconds left to play, he coolly led them down the field. Wide receiver Adam Thielen caught his first two balls of the day and fellow wideout Dede Westbrook added another and this brought the ball down to the Lions’ 36-yard line. There were three ticks left on the game clock. Fast forward five minutes and the jubilant Minnesota Vikings are carrying their overjoyed kicker off the field after a hard-earned victory. Whew!

So as the Vikings prepare for their game next Sunday against the Carolina Panthers, they are filled with pleasant thoughts. For they witnessed a play they have not seen in a long while. That of a Vikings kicker hitting the winning field goal with the clock expiring. Feels good, doesn’t it?

Read the Vikings Beat weekly at Belly Up Sports. Follow me on Twitter for more of my articles. In addition, check out other NFL articles by the Belly Up Sports Pigskin Team. 

About Author

Greg Simbeck

Freelance writer who loves telling an informative, creative, and compelling story. I am open to write about anything, but my emphasis is on sports in the Midwest. I look forward to telling you a good story and receiving your comments.

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