Listen to Seattle Sports: Mariners open series at Miami Marlins

AP

Analysis: Vikings, Bucs, Packers, Colts make big statements

Nov 13, 2022, 1:01 PM | Updated: Nov 14, 2022, 8:22 am

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins passes the ball prior to an NFL football game against th...

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins passes the ball prior to an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Joshua Bessex)

(AP Photo/Joshua Bessex)

Bust out the victory chains. The Minnesota Vikings proved they’re for real.

After piling up wins against losing teams and backup quarterbacks, the Vikings earned a signature victory on the road against the Buffalo Bills.

Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers, Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Jeff Saturday and the Indianapolis Colts also made big statements on Sunday.

The Vikings overcame a 17-point, second-half deficit in a difficult environment to improve to 8-1 with a thrilling, improbable 33-30 overtime win over Josh Allen and the Bills.

There’s no doubting Kirk Cousins anymore. He rallied the Vikings to their fifth win this season when trailing with 2 1/2 minutes or less remaining. Cousins threw for 357 yards, including a 32-yarder on fourth-and-18 to Justin Jefferson, who made an incredible, one-handed snag to keep Minnesota’s final drive of regulation going.

Patrick Peterson sealed the win with an interception in the end zone, and took the gold chains from Cousins for the celebration on the flight home.

The Vikings opened the season with a convincing win over the Packers but were blown out by the Philadelphia Eagles in a Monday night game in Week 2. They’ve won seven in a row since that loss, but their only win over a team with a winning record in that span came against the Miami Dolphins minus Tua Tagovailoa last month.

Beating Allen and the Bills (6-3) on their turf solidifies Minnesota’s status as a legitimate Super Bowl contender. Now, the schedule gets tougher for the Vikings. They face the Cowboys (6-3), Patriots (5-4) and Jets (6-3) at home the next three weeks.

Rodgers and the Packers are a long way from thinking about a championship, but they’re not done yet. Trailing by 14 points in the fourth quarter, vintage Rodgers led the Packers back to a 31-28 overtime win against the Cowboys, which have one of the league’s best defenses.

The Packers (4-6) snapped a five-game losing streak but are still 1 1/2 games behind San Francisco for the third wild-card spot. However, Rodgers may have finally found his go-to receiver. Rookie Christian Watson caught four passes for 107 yards against Dallas, including touchdowns of 58, 39 and 7 yards.

If the Packers find a way to get into the playoffs, they’ll be an opponent that teams don’t want to face because of Rodgers.

Another No. 12 seems to have his team back on track.

A week after Brady led a game-winning drive in the final 42 seconds against the Rams, the Buccaneers showed signs of being the dominant team they’ve been the past two years. Rookie Rachaad White and Leonard Fournette combined for 162 yards rushing and Tampa topped Seattle 21-16 in the first NFL regular-season game in Germany.

The defense overpowered the Seahawks and forced a turnover for the first time since Week 4, and the Buccaneers (5-5) took a one-game lead in the weak NFC South.

If the Buccaneers continue to have success running the ball and the defense keeps playing tough, Brady makes them a threat in January.

The Colts aren’t going anywhere in the competitive AFC, but they’re not a laughingstock either. A turbulent week that began with owner Jim Irsay firing coach Frank Reich and taking intense criticism for hiring former All-Pro center Jeff Saturday to be the interim coach ended with Matt Ryan returning from injury to lead a 25-20 upset win at Las Vegas.

Saturday, who took plenty of heat for taking the job without paying his dues as an assistant coach, proved he’s no joke. The Colts’ struggling offensive line played inspired football, paving the way for 207 yards rushing and allowing just one sack.

If the Colts (4-5-1) keep improving, Saturday could end up keeping the job after the season despite all the criticism.

___

Follow Rob Maaddi on Twitter at https://twitter.com/robmaaddi

___

AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]

1 year ago

Joe Jarzynka...

Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]

1 year ago

FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...

Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]

1 year ago

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...

Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]

1 year ago

FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...

Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]

1 year ago

FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...

Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]

1 year ago

Analysis: Vikings, Bucs, Packers, Colts make big statements