clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Greatest Playoff Win of All Time Tournament, Game 3

The 1976 Championship against the 1974 Divisional is our next matchup

Our Greatest Playoff Win Tournament of All Time has two games in the books, and we’re not quite halfway through our preliminary round. 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 continues with our next playoff win match up: The 1976 NFC Championship game against the Los Angeles Rams pitted against the 1974 Divisional playoff game against the St. Louis Cardinals.

1976 NFC Championship against the Los Angeles Rams: The Vikings and the Rams had a pretty significant rivalry in the 1970’s, and it seems like they met in the playoffs every year. If ever a Rams team was going to knock off the Vikes, it kind of felt like 1976 was it. The two teams had played to a 10-10 tie in week 2, and the Rams opened up this game by marching right down the field. But their drive stalled at about the one inch line, and on the ensuing field goal attempt, the kick was blocked and returned 90 yards for a touchdown by Bobby Bryant. That set the tone of the game, as the Rams just seemed to shoot themselves in the foot as much as anything. They managed to get to within 17-13 by the start of the fourth quarter, but a Sammy Johnson 12 yard TD run sealed the game, sending the Vikes to their fourth Super Bowl, and third in four years.

1974 Divisional Playoff against the St. Louis Cardinals: This was kind of a typical Vikings game from back in the Purple People Eaters era. The defense (or special teams) usually made a big play at just the right moment that changed the complexion of the game. In this case, it was a Terry Metcalf fumble that Nate Wright scooped and scored on that gave the Vikes a 17-7 lead, and was the turning point that made a close game a blowout. From there, John Gilliam caught a long TD pass, and the Vikes advanced to the NFC Championship. I also did a show and tell on Tuesday for my third grade class. Had the big picture from the Minneapolis Tribune of Nate Wright’s scoop and score, John Gilliam’s TD pass, everything. It was, by all accounts, the greatest show and tell presentation in the history of the Richfield public school system.


What was the better playoff victory?

This poll is closed

  • 89%
    1976 NFC Championship against L.A
    (394 votes)
  • 10%
    1974 Divisional against St. Louis
    (46 votes)
440 votes total Vote Now