There was Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater, first taking a cheap-shot hit low and well after the play by a Gregg Williams-coached Rams defender (no penalty) and then taking one in the helmet, a hit that drew a flag but quite reasonably could have earned an ejection.

If the sight of a Vikings quarterback who means a lot to his team getting twisted, slammed and hit in vulnerable positions and after plays were over by a Williams defense looked familiar, there’s a reason, of course. Williams was the Saints’ defensive coordinator in 2009, where he was at the heart of the Bountygate scandal that played out in particularly ugly fashion as Brett Favre took cheap shot after cheap shot from the New Orleans defense in the NFC title game.

The Vikings, of course, lost in heartbreaking fashion.

There was Vikings kicker Blair Walsh lined up for a field goal Sunday that would cinch the win for his team. If it was familiar to see a slightly built Minnesota kicker in this position — to continue this NFC title game misery analogy — there’s a reason. Gary Anderson, 1998.

The Vikings, of course, lost in heartbreaking fashion.

The magnitude of Sunday’s game comes nowhere near to matching the magnitude of those others in which a trip to the Super Bowl was on the line. But there’s this nonetheless: The 2015 Vikings are winning games that the Vikings of my lifetime have not typically won.

Even with Bridgewater knocked out. Even after giving the Rams a reprieve with some questionable offense late in the fourth quarter. Even with all things considered, Zimmer — who gets major kudos for rolling the dice and taking the wind in overtime — got his team a victory that has them 6-2 and now tied for the NFC North lead.

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