Our Greatest Playoff Win of All Time Tournament rolls on through the first round, as we’re getting close to the end. Today, we have two playoff games against the same team going head to head, obviously in different years. 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 1974 NFC Championship versus the Los Angeles Rams matches up against the 1977 Divisional playoff, also against the Los Angeles Rams.
1974 NFC Championship against the Rams: Once again, this was a classic ‘Purple People Eaters’ era win. Really strong defense, especially in the red zone, with the game flipping on a big turnover. The Vikes held on to a 7-3 lead when the Rams drove down to the Vikes goal line. But Wally Hilgenberg intercepted a tipped pass in the end zone, the Vikes took the ensuing drive the length of the field and scored a TD, and they held on for a 14-10 win. With the win, the Vikes advanced to the Super Bowl for the second straight year. The video clip is of the whole season, with the NFC Championship highlights about the last five minutes or so, if you’d like to fast forward.
1977 Divisional Playoff, also against the Rams: So if you’ll notice, the Vikings and the Rams had a pretty intense rivalry in the 1970’s. They met in the playoffs in 1974, and then 1976-78. By 1976 the Rams were thought to be the better team, but the Vikings pulled out a big win and went to the Super Bowl.
In 1977, though, the Rams were expected to win, and by a fair amount. They finally got the Vikings at home, as opposed to traveling to frigid Met Stadium in winter, and they had a younger and better team. QB Fran Tarkenton had suffered a season ending injury a few weeks earlier against the Bengals, and was out for the year, and backup Bob Lee got the start. But fate intervened on the Vikings behalf, as torrential rains flooded the turf at the L.A. Coliseum, and the two teams played in 100 yards of slop. The game has gone down in NFL lore as ‘The Mud Bowl’, and when you see clips of football in the 1960’s and ‘70’s, this game always seems to make the highlight reel.
The Vikings found a way to pull the upset, eking out a 14-7 on the legs of Chuck Foreman, who ran for 101 yards and a touchdown on 30 carries. This was the last playoff win of the Purple People Eaters era, as they were pretty much dominated by the Cowboys in the NFC Championship the following week, and in 1978 struggled to an 8-7-1 record, with the Rams finally getting their revenge.
Which game was the better playoff victory?
This poll is closed
1974 NFC Championship against the Rams
1977 Divisional playoff against the Rams