BALTIMORE — The Vikings have witnessed their share of weird moments and goofball happenings this season. A “home” game in London, a quarterback carousel, a string of last-second collapses, a game that ended in a tie.
Nothing like Sunday, though. Nothing like those final 125 seconds on a frozen field when everything went completely berserk.
“This is a first,” defensive end Jared Allen said. “The best way to describe it is, I don’t know what happened.”
What happened was equal parts exhilarating and maddening, and left everyone associated shaking their head in disbelief. The Vikings and Baltimore Ravens combined for five touchdowns in the final 2 minutes, 5 seconds of regulation.
They traded rapid-fire blows, back and forth, like a pingpong match played inside a snow globe.
The Vikings looked like they might lose, then win, then lose, then win, then … the final haymaker.
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco found Marlon Brown in the back of the end zone for a 9-yard touchdown pass with 4 seconds left to end the flurry and escape with a 29-26 victory at M&T Bank Stadium.
It was the first game in NFL history with six lead changes in the fourth quarter, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
“A lot of things occurred,” said Vikings coach Leslie Frazier, emotionally drained. “A lot of stuff in a short period of time.”
The loss officially eliminated the Vikings (3-9-1) from playoff contention and added another chapter in a season that feels like the twilight zone.
“Probably one of the craziest games I’ve ever been a part of,” quarterback Matt Cassel said.
Said fullback Jerome Felton: “That was definitely one of the wackiest games I’ve ever been a part of.”
Wacky and eventful. Heavy snow fell throughout the game and blanketed the field, causing severe footing problems and difficulties for both offenses. The snow stopped in the third quarter and was replaced by freezing rain.
MVP running back Adrian Peterson suffered a sprained right foot in the second quarter and did not return. He’s scheduled to have an MRI on Monday morning.
Vikings coaches and players were livid with the officials after the game because of a controversial fumble by Toby Gerhart in the first quarter and two pass interference penalties in the fourth quarter.
And to top the day off, the team plane had a problem with one of its doors, causing a long delay while another plane was dispatched to bring the team home.
And, of course, those final 125 seconds.