Vikings' K.J. Osborn celebrates wild walk-off win over Panthers with helmet toss

·2-min read

Welcome to the the NFL's version of a bat flip.

K.J. Osborn scored the game-winning touchdown on Sunday to secure a wild, walk-off win for the Minnesota Vikings over the Carolina Panthers. 

With the overtime clock under six minutes, Kirk Cousins looked to the Vikings receiver on a sideline route from Carolina's 27-yard line on second-and-13. Osborn reached out to corral the pass near the boundary at the one-yard line, then turned upfield to break the plane of the end zone to secure a 34-28 win for Minnesota. He then grabbed his helmet and tossed it high in the air behind him.

The call was a close one as it wasn't immediately clear if Osborn crossed the goal line before being shoved out of bounds. But his confidence and the call was confirmed on replay, and the Vikings staved off a late Panthers rally to improve to 3-3. The loss was Carolina's third straight after a 3-0 start. 

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - OCTOBER 17: K.J. Osborn #17 of the Minnesota Vikings celebrates after the 34-28 overtime win against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on October 17, 2021 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images)
K.J. Osborn silenced the Panthers crowd on Sunday. (Mike Comer/Getty Images)

Score spoils Panthers rally, bails out Joseph

The touchdown bailed out Vikings kicker Greg Joseph, who missed a 47-yard field goal that would have won the game in the final seconds of regulation. It was his second missed field goal in five attempts against the Panthers. Joseph had already missed one potential game-winner in a Week 2 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. 

It also spoiled a late Sam Darnold-led Panthers drive in regulation that tied the game in the final minute to force overtime. Carolina needed just 1:27 to drive 96 yards as Darnold found Robby Anderson for a seven-yard touchdown to get Carolina within two points. Darnold connected on three passes of 25 yards or longer on the drive, including a 41-yarder to Ian Thomas on fourth-and-10. 

He then capped the drive with a shovel pass to Robby Anderson on a two-point conversion to tie the game. 

But Carolina's defense couldn't hold in overtime as the Vikings took the opening kick and never gave the ball back, capping the win with a 75-yard touchdown drive. Cousins finished the day completing 33 of 48 pass attempts for 373 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. Dalvin Cook tallied 140 yards and a touchdown on the ground. 

Darnold, meanwhile, struggled, connecting on 17 of 41 pass attempts for 207 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

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