#16: The Insane Final Minutes of the
Vikings Snow Game
December 8, 2013
How it happened: The bundled-up fans that braved the snow to cheer on the Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on December 8, 2013, were treated to 58 minutes of ho-hum, mediocre football—and, then, to 125 of the most thrilling seconds in NFL history.
“Will we ever see another game like that again?” John Harbaugh asked rhetorically after it was all over. “That was about the best team win a team could ever have.”
With just 2:05 remaining in the fourth quarter, Baltimore took the lead when Joe Flacco hit tight end Dennis Pitta for a one-yard touchdown pass. Ravens’ fans were confident: Minnesota got the ball back with just two minutes left, and the Vikings were without their injured star running back, Adrian Peterson. But the Vikes struck quickly as Peterson’s backup, Tony Gerhart, rumbled 41 yards straight up the middle for a touchdown that put Minnesota back on top with 1:27 left.
A hush fell over the crowd as snow continued to fall and Minnesota kicked off. Would Flacco have enough time to lead the Ravens back? Turns out we wouldn’t need to find out—yet. Jacoby Jones returned the kick 77 yards for a touchdown, once again giving Baltimore the lead. With just 1:16 left, the vaunted Ravens defense would hold this time, right?
Wrong. Somehow Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel was able to connect with Cordarrelle Patterson for a 79-yard score to put Minnesota up by four with just 45 seconds left. It was a defensive collapse Ravens’ fans weren’t used to seeing, but on the sideline Flacco didn’t mope or pout. He knew he had one more shot.
In the last 45 seconds—an eternity in this game—Flacco methodically marched his team down the field, and with 10 seconds left, he hit rookie Marlon Brown for the game-winning touchdown. Even on this historic day, Minnesota didn’t have enough time for another comeback.
In the end, the Ravens and Vikings combined for five touchdowns in the last 2:05 of game time—a new NFL record. The Ravens came out on top 29-26.
“Besides the Super Bowl,” Terrell Suggs says, “that’s probably the most special win I’ve ever been a part of.”
The frozen but delirious fans of Ravens Nation, who stayed to the beautiful-then bitter-then beautiful end, agreed.