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Matt Ryan, Jeff Saturday Torched by Twitter as Colts Blow 33-0 Lead, Fall To Vikings

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVDecember 17, 2022

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Matt Ryan (2) throws a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)
AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Matt Ryan and head coach Jeff Saturday endured no shortage of vitriol from Twitter on Saturday after the Colts blew a 33-0 lead and fell 39-36 to the Minnesota Vikings in overtime.

Minnesota's win marked the biggest comeback victory in NFL history in the regular season or playoffs, breaking the record of a 32-point comeback previously held by the Buffalo Bills, who overcame that deficit in a playoff win over the Houston Oilers in the 1992 season.

The Vikings trailed 33-0 at halftime because of a cavalcade of errors that included a blocked punt returned for a touchdown, a lost fumble by running back Dalvin Cook, a pick-six thrown by quarterback Kirk Cousins and two failed fourth-down conversions.

It was an entirely different story in the second half and overtime, though, as the Vikings scored 32 unanswered points after a Colts field goal made it 36-7 in the third quarter.

Josh Dubow of the Associated Press noted that the Colts are only the second team since 1930 to lead by 30 or more points in a game and lose:

Josh Dubow @JoshDubowAP

Teams leading by 30+ are 1,548-1-1 in regular season and playoffs since 1930. The only teams who didn't win:<br>Oilers vs Bills in 1992 playoffs, led 35-3 and lost 41-38 in OT<br>Bills vs Broncos in 1960, led 38-7 and tied 38-38

There was plenty of blame to go around for Indy's collapse, but much of it fell on Ryan and Saturday.

Ryan now holds the distinction of being the losing quarterback in the biggest comeback in NFL history, as well as the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history, as Ryan's Atlanta Falcons blew a 28-3 lead to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI.

Not surprisingly, people on Twitter took advantage of the opportunity to troll Matty Ice:

Darren Rovell @darrenrovell

The first line of Matt Ryan's NFL career profile has been set:<br><br>Matt Ryan, the opposing quarterback in the biggest comeback in NFL history and the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history...

Football @BostonConnr

"You thought 28-3 was bad? Watch this." - Matt Ryan at halftime

PFF @PFF

😬 28-3<br>😬 33-0<br><br>Matt Ryan in the locker room: <a href="https://t.co/b7YCua41zN">pic.twitter.com/b7YCua41zN</a>

GoPackGo @itzzSKL

Matt Ryan boutta do that thing again <a href="https://t.co/bT1XXu5wvk">pic.twitter.com/bT1XXu5wvk</a>

Mojo Markets @mojo

Matt Ryan has done it again <a href="https://t.co/MDyd43No8Z">pic.twitter.com/MDyd43No8Z</a>

Robinho @Robinho_1979

It could only happen to Matt Ryan.... twice 🀣🀣 <a href="https://t.co/g49GyAbSyx">pic.twitter.com/g49GyAbSyx</a>

While Ryan didn't play a great game with just 182 yards and one touchdown, he didn't turn the ball over either, and it can be argued that Saturday deserves even more of the blame.

The Colts already fired head coach Frank Reich this season and replaced him with Saturday on an interim basis, which was a controversial decision since he didn't previously have any coaching experience beyond the high school level.

Many on Twitter referenced that fact and joked about the Colts potentially firing two head coaches in the same season:

nick wright @getnickwright

So now that Jeff Saturday has blown the biggest lead in NFL history, and hasn't won a single game since beating the Raiders, do those of us that said the hire was an embarrassment *still* owe him an apology, or were we right all along?<br><br>Asking for myself, <a href="https://twitter.com/JoyTaylorTalks?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JoyTaylorTalks</a> &amp; others

FanDuel @FanDuel

Jeff Saturday in the locker room right now: <a href="https://t.co/Oph435Xl1q">pic.twitter.com/Oph435Xl1q</a>

Jeff McLane @Jeff_McLane

Can you fire the interim coach and hire another interim 2.0?

Dane Brugler @dpbrugler

*Hey Google, has an interim head coach ever been fired?* <a href="https://t.co/ulNp8h6k8X">https://t.co/ulNp8h6k8X</a>

Others pointed out the irony that the Colts' former head coach, Reich, is no longer on record as being the winning quarterback in the largest comeback in NFL history due to the coaching performance of his replacement:

John Hollinger @johnhollinger

Haven't seen anyone point this out yet but maybe I just missed it -- the coach who blew the 33-point lead was hired to replace Frank Reich, who QB'd the greatest comeback in NFL history<a href="https://t.co/gzLjabccuq">https://t.co/gzLjabccuq</a>

Reuben Frank @RoobNBCS

So Frank Reich no longer has the greatest comeback in NFL history because the guy the Colts replaced him with blew a bigger lead than Frank overcame.<br><br>That's truly beautiful.

The Colts' season was already essentially over before Saturday's game since even winning out wasn't likely to yield a playoff spot, but now that they are 4-9-1, their fate is sealed.

Meanwhile, the Vikings improved to 11-3 and clinched the NFC North with their win, meaning they will play at least one postseason game at home.

What would have been a hugely embarrassing home loss for the Vikings turned into the ultimate embarrassment for the Colts and left them searching for answers for 2023 and beyond.