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Greg Joseph's Game-Winning 61-Yard FG Shatters Vikings Record

MINNEAPOLIS – It just felt right.

The second Greg Joseph's cleat connected with the ball, he knew it was money in the bank.

Joseph, his teammates and 66,000-plus Vikings fans watched the football sail through the air and between the yellow uprights.

Sixty-one yards. A career-long kick for Joseph. A Vikings franchise record.

And most importantly, a 27-24 Minnesota win in regulation.

Joseph isn't one to seek the spotlight, but he allowed himself to bask in the moment for a few seconds.

"I love celebrating with my linemen because I appreciate them and everything they do. But I think [punter Ryan Wright] pushed me, so I kind of let my momentum take me, and then I just took the moment in and went for a little jog," he said with a smile.

For the second week in a row, Joseph starred in the walk-off field goal to lift the Vikings over their opponent. And for the second week in a row, he was the one lifted onto the shoulders of his teammates.

"It's such a cool feeling just because of how close we all are. I love my linemen; I'm really close with them. So it's cool to see the reciprocation of it," he said. "I don't need, I don't want, to be carried off, but it just shows what it means to the team, and it shows how much they mean to me, because I appreciate it.

"I'm all good with high-fives and head butts, but sometimes when those big boys want to pick you up, you can't really do anything about it," Joseph added, laughing.

The 61-yard field goal was the longest in team history by five yards. Previously this season, Joseph made a 56-yarder in Week 1 that tied with Paul Edinger and Blair Walsh for the benchmark.

But the Vikings have witnessed Joseph make kicks like Saturday's numerous times in practice.

"Never had a doubt in my mind," Vikings outside linebacker Danielle Hunter said. "I knew he was gonna make it."

Safety Harrison Smith professed similar confidence.

"We've seen him make that kick before," Smith said. "It's not shocking. I'm sure it's a little more stressful for him when it's live, but you know, I think we have the mindset of, 'He's gonna make it.'"

Joseph made it and then some, with the ball traveling at least a few yards beyond the crossbar.

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins commented postgame on the play:

"It was a huge kick, and I didn't think we were close enough. I didn't ask for the yardage, but I thought it was closer to 64, maybe, where it was really far," Cousins said. "And when he hit it, it just looked so good. It was straight and it looked long enough from where we were standing.

"You never know, but it felt good right away," Cousins added. "He did end multiple training camp practices with a kick like that. It was so great to see it from August show up here in late December."

Cousins had a notable game himself, tying with Matthew Stafford for an NFL-record eight fourth-quarter comebacks in a season.

The Vikings trailed 13-10 entering the fourth quarter and took back the lead with a T.J. Hockenson touchdown. The Giants then kicked a 55-yard field goal to come within a single point.

With 3:00 left in the game, Cousins connected with Justin Jefferson for a 17-yard touchdown to pull ahead 24-16, shortly after Josh Metellus blocked a New York punt. Less than a minute later, though, Giants running back Saquon Barkley broke loose for a 27-yard touchdown run. Quarterback Daniel Jones then completed a pass to Daniel Bellinger for a successful 2-point conversion.

The Vikings got the ball back just before the 2-minute warning, drove down to the Giants 42-yard line and spiked the ball with four seconds remaining.

"I wanted it. After they scored, even before the 2-point, I said to [punter] Ryan [Wright], 'Let's go win this thing,' " Joseph said. "I wanted the opportunity, I was ready for the opportunity, and it was just some self-talk: 'Hey, let's go. You're gonna get this chance, so go take it.' "

View postgame celebration photos from the Vikings Christmas Eve victory over the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Joseph was confident in the operation from long snapper Andrew DePaola – who this week received his first career Pro Bowl nod – and Wright.

"I had the strength, knew the guys, DePo and Ryan, would do a great job like they've done all year, and I just wanted to put a good foot to it," Joseph said. "I have trust and confidence in myself, and I appreciate the trust and confidence [Vikings Head Coach Kevin O'Connell] has to put me out there.

"That's an awesome team win," he added.

A handful of misses from 50-plus earlier this season (two were blocked) clearly haven't rattled Joseph, who said he and the other specialists practiced from up to 58 yards during pregame.

"Greg locks in every play. He doesn't get too high, doesn't get too low. Just goes out and does his job every time," DePaola said. "I mean, he smoked that thing. That thing was right down the middle. Probably had another solid three, four more yards on it. It was a very impressive kick.

"He just wants to do his job, help this team win and then put all the attention on the other guys. … That's just the kind of guy he is," DePaola continued. "I've got a lot of respect for that guy and just really happy he was able to make that kick for us. For the win, but for him, too."

View game action photos from the Vikings Week 16 Winter Whiteout game vs. the Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium.

The Vikings improved to 12-3 on the season and 11-0 in one-score games.

"It's unbelievable to see the character and the characteristics of the guys we have in this locker room," Joseph said. "We find out something new about ourselves every week, and I'm proud to be a part of this team because of the quality men we have in this locker room. And it goes deeper than football.

"It's pretty cool [to kick the game winner], but nonetheless, it's a team game," Joseph added. "I just want to help the Vikings win games."

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