It’s the worst blown lead in NFL History. In 102 years of NFL football, no team had ever come from behind when trailing by 33 points — until Saturday. The Minnesota Vikings trailed the Indianapolis Colts at halftime 33-0 and somehow managed to come away with a 39-36 overtime win.
COLTS BLOW LARGEST LEAD IN NFL HISTORY AFTER LEADING BY 33 POINTS
Yes, that subheading you’re reading is 100 percent real. The Colts, in fact, were up at halftime 33-0. Everything was going their way. Indy had played its best half of the season by far. Every single unit was contributing in a key way and helped the Colts climb to such a massive lead. Cornerback Dallis Flowers started the game with a 49-yard kick return, which would turn into an opening-drive field goal for Indy. The next three possessions resulted in scores for Indy. The first was a blocked punt, the second was a fumble and eventual score by running back Deon Jackson, and the third was a field goal after Minnesota turned it over on downs.
The miscues for the Vikings just kept coming. Down 20-0, Minnesota attempted a fake punt that was unsuccessful and led to another field goal. A few possessions later, Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins threw a pick-six to safety Julian Blackmon. Before you could blink, the Colts eventually went up 33-0.
The Colts were poised to come away with their biggest upset win this season. But the Vikings had other ideas. After the Colts found themselves up 36-0, early on in the third quarter, Minnesota slowly began chipping away at Indianapolis’ lead and went on three straight touchdown drives to get back into the game. The Colts wouldn’t score a single point in the fourth quarter and were outscored 39-3 in the second half. As quickly as they went up 33-0, Indy found themselves tied at 36 with 2:15 left in regulation.
The Vikings would eventually (somehow) find a way to win in overtime 39 to 36, officially erasing a 33-point deficit and crushing whatever small glimpse of playoff hope the Colts may have had left. Just two weeks after Indianapolis collapsed in the fourth quarter against the Dallas Cowboys and were outscored 33-0 in the fourth quarter in primetime, they again collapsed against the Minnesota Vikings and now not only find themselves eliminated from the playoffs for a second straight season but on the wrong side of NFL history.
ALL THREE PHASES START OFF STRONG TO HELP COLTS JUMP OUT TO 33-0 LEAD
As awful of a collapse as Saturday’s game is for the Indianapolis Colts, let’s briefly focus on how they managed to jump out to a 33-0 lead. Every single unit played a massive role in Indy’s hot start. The special teams unit started out strong with a 49-yard kickoff return to set the Colts up with tremendous field position. Bubba Ventrone’s unit blocked and returned a punt for a touchdown by JoJo Domann on the Vikings’ ensuing possession, giving the Colts a 10-0 lead.
On the very next drive, cornerback Isaiah Rodgers recovered a fumble which was forced by linebacker Zaire Franklin. Indy’s fumble recovery eventually led to another touchdown by running back Deon Jackson and a 17-0 lead early on in the first half. Back came Ventrone’s special teams unit with another key stop on a fake punt attempt, leading to another three points and a 20-0 for Indy. Later in the second quarter, safety Julian Blackmon intercepted quarterback Kirk Cousins for a touchdown and gave the Colts a 30-0 lead.
It’s a shame that Saturday’s game won’t be remembered by the Colts having complete control early on and putting together up their best performance in all three phases all season long. Instead, this game will be remembered as an embarrassing loss and a historic collapse for the franchise as a whole. This is the story of Indianapolis’ 2022 season. A season that will be remembered for all the collapses and inability to finish games that ultimately cost them a chance at making the playoffs for a second consecutive year.
At this point, these next three games don’t have much meaning for fans, not after Saturday’s awful finish to yet another game. The 4-9-1 Indianapolis Colts will be sitting at home and watching the playoffs from their couches, which is where they deserve to be after such a disappointing season.