For the first five games of the season, the Minnesota Vikings were one of the best teams in the NFL, winning all their games thanks to amazing performances by their defense and special teams.
However, since their bye week, performances began to slip, and they have now lost the past four games in a row, putting them on a record of 5-4 and in danger of slipping out of playoff contention despite a strong start to the year.
Those bad times appear to be over, as the Vikings defense and special teams have once again pulled out all the stops to save their team in their week 11 game against the Arizona Cardinals, specifically cornerback Xavier Rhodes with an incredible pick-six, and wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson with an amazing kickoff return to begin the second half.
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As you can see in the tweet below, the Cardinals had the ball on a third-and-goal on Minnesota's nine-yard line and it looked like they would score another touchdown before halftime. However, Rhodes had other ideas.
Arizona's quarterback Carson Palmer was intended for wide receiver John Brown when it was intercepted by the Vikings cornerback on the goal line and returned it 100 yards for a touchdown, one of the longest plays we have seen in 2016 so far and Rhodes' third interception of the year.
This was surely a much-needed confidence booster for Minnesota as they look to get out of a four-game losing streak, but it didn't last for very long. On the very next drive after seven plays, the Cardinals got a touchdown back through tight end Jermaine Gresham on a 29-yard passing play.
However, as soon as the third quarter began, it all changed once more, as Patterson returned the Cardinals' opening kick-off of the second half for a 104-yard touchdown for his first kickoff return of the season. The wide receiver now has five kickoff returns since entering the league in 2013.
An absolutely outstanding performance by the Vikings defense and special teams so far in this game.