Vikings return to Baltimore eight years after 'crazy' game played in snowstorm

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  • Baltimore Ravens
    Baltimore Ravens
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  • Minnesota Vikings
    Minnesota Vikings
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  • New York Jets
    New York Jets
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Nov. 6—The last time the Vikings played at Baltimore there was a snowstorm during the game and a blizzard of points scored in the final few minutes.

It was Dec. 8, 2013, and a freak storm dumped a bunch of white stuff on the field at M&T Bank Stadium. So it wasn't a surprise that it was a defensive struggle for most of the game, with the Ravens leading 7-6 before the Vikings scored a touchdown in the first minute of the fourth quarter to take a 12-7 lead.

Well, that all change soon enough. In the final 2:05 of the game, with the snow no longer falling but the field a sheet of ice, the teams combined to score five touchdowns. The Ravens got the final TD on 9-yard pass from Joe Flacco to Malcolm Brown with four seconds left to win 29-26.

With the Vikings heading back to Baltimore for Sunday's game against the Ravens, memories were rekindled about their last visit.

"The main thing I remember is that it's one of the few games I've been in where the snow was that thick," said offensive coordinator Klint Kubiak, then a Vikings quality control assistant under head coach Leslie Frazier. "It was a fun game. I know it came down to the wire, and we didn't get it done."

Vikings special-teams coordinator Ryan Ficken was then the team's assistant special teams coach. Wanting to cover all bases in preparation for Sunday, he recently watched the 2013 game.

"It was a lot of crazy, a lot of ups and downs," he said.

Defensive end Everson Griffen is the only player on the current Vikings roster who played in that game. Safety Harrison Smith was on injured reserve then with a toe injury, and wide receiver Adam Thielen was on the practice squad.

Kubiak remembers wide receiver Greg Jennings would "skate around and (was) not letting the elements hurt him too much." And he recalls then-rookie wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson "going off and making some huge plays" and "scooting across the yard multiple times."

Patterson had a big game, catching five passes for 141 yards. And he played a part in the wild ending.

The madness started when Flacco threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Dennis Pitta and a two-point conversion pass to Torrey Smith for a 15-12 Ravens lead with 2:05 left.

"It was a really good football game," said John Harbaugh, who was then and remains Baltimore's head coach. "I remember getting the lead with like two minutes left and thinking it was OK. Then, all of a sudden, the field looked like an ice rink. All of a sudden, our guys are sliding around (and) we couldn't tackle."

With 1:27 left, Toby Gerhart scored on a 41-yard run to give the Vikings a 19-15 lead. But Jacoby Jones returned the ensuing kickoff 77 yards for a touchdown to put the Ravens up 22-19 with 1:16 remaining.

Back came the Vikings. Patterson took a screen pass from Matt Cassel and cut across the field for a 79-yard touchdown with 45 seconds left for a 26-22 Minnesota lead.

"I was like, 'Ah, it's a touchdown. They won,' " Harbaugh said.

Not so fast. Flacco brought the Ravens down the field and then hit Brown with a pass in the back of the end zone for the win.

"Five teams won that day, but we won the last time, and that's the one that counted the most," Harbaugh said with a laugh.

Not surprisingly, at the end of that season, NFL Network named it one of the 10 best games of 2013.