What is choking? Choking refers to the belief that a team or player cannot maintain a lead. They can't win close games and they don't have the ability to finish off their opponents.
For years, the Minnesota Vikings and their quarterback Kirk Cousins have been called chokers. The Vikings are synonymous with missed kicks and missed field goals ever since Blair Walsh's game-winning field goal against Seattle in 2016. The Vikings are the team that fails, even with moments like the Minneapolis Miracle supporting them.
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The Vikings have not been choke artists in the last half-decade. Since Blair Walsh's missed kick, the Vikings have been 45-0 leading into the fourth quarter. Forty-five wins, zero losses. Do you think that sounds like a team that cannot hold a lead.
I would argue that the Vikings have had more come-from-behind wins in the fourth quarter than any other blown victory. The Vikings came back in Week 2 to tie the Packers at 13 in Green Bay. Although it was not a win, the tie with the Packers after the fourth round in Green Bay showed that the Vikings are statistically more successful at winning while trailing than they have at blowing wins while leading.
Who isn't perfect in leading the fourth week? Two losses by Tom Brady since 2017, Week 1, 2017 v KC & week 5, 2020 @ CHI), Aaron Rodgers (2 losses since 2017) and Russell Wilson (5 losses since 2019 WC @ DAL, Week 2, 2021 v TEN, Week 7, 2020 @ ARI, Week 10, 2018 @ LAR; Weekly 5, 2018, v LAR). They are not all chokers. Their teams are not cursed. However, the Vikings have held 4th-quarter leads for the past half decade better than any of their three opponents statistically.
Although I am aware that Vikings' kickers have missed some game-winning kicks in recent years, this Sunday's game against the Panthers was a brutal one to see, but the Vikings won. They did not lose it. They won the game, just as they have done every quarter. The Vikings aren't world-beaters. The Vikings are not part of the elite of the NFL. Kirk Cousins has clearly had his issues playing on Monday nights, not to mention the concept of transmissible diseases. However, these Vikings don't seem to be the chokers many media and fans make them out to appear to be. They are just like their nameake. They love to hold the line and you can bet your bottom dollar that if I have the chance to livebet that the Vikings win, it will be when they're leading going into the fourth.