Hi kids, and welcome to the (snowy?!) weekend, at least if you’re in Minnesota. Down here STL way, it’s colder, might get some flurries over the weekend, but yeah...it was 75 yesterday.
Anyway, we’re down to our final four games left to decide the greatest playoff win of all time, and to be honest, it’s the four games I thought would be here. We have four really great ones left, and any one of them would make a fine champion, so may the best game win. Up until now, I’ve given a game summary, but if you click on the ‘Great Playoff Win of All Time Tournament’ link above, you can scroll through and read about those in any of the previous rounds, and catch some YouTube highlights as well. Today, I’m going to change it up, and give you why I think each game is the greatest win ever.
As always, I’ll put a poll at the end, which will be open for about 24 hours. You’ll get to vote, and the winner by popular vote will advance to the final. Our first final four game features the 1969 NFL Championship game against the Cleveland Browns versus the 2004 Wildcard game against the Green Bay Packers.
1969 NFL Championship against the Browns. For fans that are old enough to remember the entirety of the Purple People Eaters era, this was the apex of that era, as a lot of folks think this was the best team Bud Grant ever put on the field. It was the Vikings that people remember—a tough, hard nosed team that played in brutal conditions, creating the best homefield advantage in the NFL. This team was the last official NFL Champion, and the 1969 season epitomized the Purple People Eaters era.
QB Joe Kapp was the unquestioned leader, and represented everything that fans of the Vikings loved: a blue collar guy that didn’t throw a textbook pass, but made up for it with guts and willpower. This era has become somewhat mythical for those who witnessed it, and the 1969 team will always be a special one. And it’s this game that represents what that 1969 team was about.
2004 Wildcard game against the Packers. Was this the best team in franchise history? No, not even close. It was a talented group, but like every team of the Mike Tice era, it was as schizophrenic as Minnesota weather in April. The Vikings really struggled at the end of the year, and couldn’t clinch a plyoff spot on their own, needing a series of breaks to back in to the last wildcard spot. No one gave them a shot against the Packers at Lambeau Field.
Which is why this game merits serious consideration for the greatest playoff win in franchise history. They put it all together and beat their firecest rival, on the road, against a Hall of Fame quarterback running a team many people thought would go to the Super Bowl. And not only did they beat them, they dominated them for most of the game. When you add those things together, and the Randy Moss ‘Moon Over Lambeau’ when the Vikings iced the game, yeah, this win is among the best.
Which was the greater playoff victory?
This poll is closed
1969 NFL Championship against the Browns
2004 Wildcard against the Packers