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Colts' Jeff Saturday: 'Plenty of Blame to Go Around' After Historic Loss to Vikings

Adam WellsDecember 17, 2022

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - DECEMBER 17: Head coach Jeff Saturday of the Indianapolis Colts looks on during the first half of the game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium on December 17, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)
Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

Indianapolis Colts interim head coach Jeff Saturday didn't pinpoint one specific thing that went wrong for his team in its historic 39-36 overtime loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Saturday.

Speaking to reporters after the game, Saturday said there is "plenty of blame to go around" after the Colts blew a 33-point lead, the largest cushion to be relinquished in NFL history.

Amid an already-disappointing season, Saturday's loss may be the low point for the Colts in 2022.

They did take advantage of sloppy play from the Vikings, returning a blocked punt and an interception for touchdowns en route to a 33-0 lead at halftime.

Even after the Vikings got their first touchdown midway through the third quarter, Indianapolis had a win probability of 99.6 percent.

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

Here's a complete look at the win probability via ESPN Analytics.<br><br>The Colts had as high as a 99.6% chance to win. That came at 6:59 in the 3rd quarter, when it was 33-7. <a href="https://t.co/8pjzozcuEK">pic.twitter.com/8pjzozcuEK</a>

Since 1930, teams that have led by at least 30 points were 1,548-1-1 in NFL history coming into Saturday, per the NFL Network telecast. The Vikings scored 36 points in the second half to force overtime. Greg Joseph's 40-yard field goal as time expired capped off the largest comeback in league history.

The Colts joined the Houston Oilers as the only teams to lose a game they led by at least 30 points. The Oilers' loss was "The Comeback" playoff game against the Buffalo Bills in January 1993.

Buffalo scored 35 points in the second half to erase a 35-3 deficit. Steve Christie kicked the game-winning field goal in overtime to send the Bills to the AFC Divisional Round.

The Colts had multiple opportunities to put the game away in the fourth quarter. Deon Jackson fumbled the ball on 1st-and-10 with 3:28 remaining, and Vikings cornerback Chandon Sullivan recovered it.

After Indianapolis' defense forced a turnover on downs, the offense got into Minnesota territory with under three minutes remaining in regulation. Saturday called for a quarterback sneak on 4th-and-1 that would have allowed the Colts to run out the clock if they picked it up, but Matt Ryan was stopped on a quarterback sneak.

On the next play, Dalvin Cook took a screen from Kirk Cousins for a 64-yard score to make it 36-34. Cousins found T.J. Hockenson in the end zone on a two-point conversion to tie the game.

The Colts gained a total of 128 yards on 10 offensive possessions in the second half and overtime, including a kneel down on the final play of regulation.

The past two games have been devastating in very different ways for Saturday and the Colts. They allowed the Dallas Cowboys to score 33 points in the fourth quarter to turn a 21-19 game into a 54-19 blowout.

After having a bye last week, the Colts responded with the most improbable loss the NFL has ever seen.