Another week, another frighteningly close battle for the Minnesota Vikings.
Tight games have become commonplace in the NFL these days. So far there have been 113 games this season that have resulted in a one-score margin (prior to Monday night's game between Tampa Bay and New Orleans). The Vikings have been responsible for nine of those, including tying an NFL record of seven consecutive one-possession victories.
Despite those down-to-the-wire finishes, Minnesota has done just that: finish. The Vikings currently have an unblemished 9-0 mark in one-score games, which has helped them construct the second-best record in the NFL at 10-2. Minnesota also has a chance to clinch the NFC North division next week with a victory at Detroit.
So where do the Vikings need to go from here? Dane Mizutani of the St. Paul Pioneer Press looked at Minnesota's most recent one-score victory, a 27-22 win Sunday against the New York Jets and what the Vikings next steps should be in the coming weeks.
Mizutani wrote Minnesota is still searching for that convincing victory, something that hasn't been achieved since the season opener against Green Bay.
That has proven to be elusive as the Vikings have allowed good teams and bad to hang around and make it interesting.
On Sunday against the Jets, the Vikings looked like they were in cruise control in the first half, utilizing a 17-point second quarter to build a 20-6 halftime lead. But another dismal third quarter allowed New York to climb back into the game despite only getting field goals from kicker Greg Zuerlein and a late touchdown run by quarterback Mike White.
Minnesota's defense also allowed White to throw for 369 yards on 31 of 57 passing. But just like it has on multiple occasions this season, the Vikings came up with the big play when they needed to, getting a turnover on downs at the goal line and an interception by safety Camryn Bynum with 10 seconds remaining to seal the victory.
View postgame celebration photos of the Vikings following their 27-22 win over the Jets at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Mizutani wrote if the Vikings "continue to play with fire, they are going to get burned at some point" and they should "develop a killer instinct." He also pointed to Minnesota's loss to Dallas two weeks ago as a crucial lesson.
In a humbling 40-3 loss to the Cowboys, the Vikings were thoroughly dominated from start to finish. If they were ever thinking about a comeback in that game, the Cowboys scored on the opening possession of the third quarter to effectively put the game out of reach.
That's what good teams do. They leave no doubt. As soon as they smell blood in the water, they go in for the kill. That's the next step for the Vikings, and there are a handful of games coming up that offer a chance.
View frame-by-frame photos of S Camryn Bynum's game-sealing interception vs. the Jets at U.S. Bank Stadium on Dec. 4, 2022.
Former Vikings RB Chuck Foreman selected to 2022 ACC Honors Class
Chuck Foreman already has his name etched into glory as a member of the Vikings Ring of Honor and the Miami Sports Hall of Fame. This past weekend, he got to hear his name get called again for another prestigious honor.
The former Vikings running back and Miami Hurricane was inducted into the 2022 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Honors Class Friday evening as part of the ACC Football Honors program.
"Tonight was one to remember. I had such a great time at the ACC Football Honors ceremony being honored with other great players! #ItsAllAboutTheU," Foreman posted on Twitter Friday.
At the University of Miami, Foreman totaled 3,355 all-purpose yards, which ranks seventh all-time in school history. As a cornerback, running back and wide receiver, Foreman rushed for 1,631 yards and caught 56 receptions for 732 yards. He also had 992 yards as a returner and was named a first-team All-American in 1971.
During his seven-season career with Minnesota, Foreman rushed for 5,887 yards (third in Vikings history) and 52 touchdowns (tied for second). He also hauled in 336 receptions (12th in team history) for 3,057 yards (18th) and 23 touchdowns.
Foreman was named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 1973, the NFC Offensive Player of the Year in 1976 and earned five Pro Bowl selections. He was also named one of the 50 Greatest Vikings in 2010.