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Greatest Playoff Win Of All Time Tournament, Game 1

it’s the 1969 NFL Championship Browns game against the 1976 Divisional Playoff Redskins Game

Walter Iooss Jr. /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images

Hi kids, are you ready for some Vikings March Madness? Let’s get our tournament started with our first matchup. I’ll give some highlights of each game, and I’ll put a poll at the end. The poll will be open for about 24 hours, you guys get to vote, and the winner by popular vote will advance. Today, our tournament kicks off with our first playoff win match up: the 1969 NFL Championship game against the Cleveland Browns against the 1976 Divisional playoff matchup against the Washington Redskins.

1969 NFL Championship: This was the highwater mark for the 1969 team, who went 12-2 in the regular season, and had squeaked by the Los Angeles Rams a week before in the divisional playoff round. The Vikings flat out dominated the Browns, taking a 24-0 lead at halftime en route to a 27-7 win. They scored two touchdowns in the first quarter, and the Browns couldn’t answer. It gave the Vikings their only NFL Championship, and it was the last NFL Championship game ever, as the NFL and AFL merged the following season.

In the game, Dave Osborn ran for over 100 yards, Joe Kapp ran and threw for a TD, and the game was played in classic ‘Purple People Eaters’ weather, with a wind chill of -6 at kickoff. I’m too young to remember this game, but my Dad always said that if you wanted to understand how good the 1969 team was, watching this game and the Rams playoff game would give you a good sense of what made them so loved by fans who were old enough to remember (I was only 2). If you watch the YouTube video, both the offense and defense were dominant, and the Browns never had a chance.

1976 DIvisional Playoffs: When I rolled this tournament out in the introductory post, I mentioned that I had cut out five playoff games to make an even 16, and this game was the 16th seed. Why? Well, it’s the first playoff game I can remember pretty much beginning to end, rookie WR Sammy White became my favorite player in 1976, and he had a great game. The Vikes jumped out to a 14-3 lead, thanks to three big plays—huge runs by Brent McClanahan and Chuck Foreman, and a fairly ridiculous TD catch by Sammy White, who plucked a batted ball out of mid-air as he was rolling into the end zone. For this 10 year old kid in Richfield, it was the greatest catch in NFL history at the time. Both McClanahan and Foreman had over 100 yards rushing, which I THINK was the first time the Vikes ever had two 100 yard rushers in a game.

They ended up winning the game 35-20, and moved on to the NFC Championship game a week later.


Which was the better playoff victory?

This poll is closed

  • 85%
    1969 NFL Championship vs Cleveland
    (420 votes)
  • 14%
    1976 NFC divisional playoffs vs Washington
    (69 votes)
489 votes total Vote Now