Hi Kids, and welcome to not only the weekend, but to the quarterfinals of our Greatest Playoff Victory of All Time Tournament. As always, 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. We had no upsets in the first round, so now we’ll see who gets a spot in our Final Four with our next matchup: the 1969 NFL Championship against the Browns versus the 1973 NFC Championship against Dallas.
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.
1973 NFC Championship against Dallas: In 1972, the VIkings re-acquired Hall of Fame QB Fran Tarkenton, and they went 7-7. In 1973, they drafted RB Chuck Foreman, and those were the two final missing pieces to put the Vikings offense on par with the famed Purple People Eaters defense, and it launched them into the rarified air of the NFL’s elite. Foreman was named rookie of the year, Tarkenton completed over 60% of his passes, and the Vikes pretty much steamrolled through the NFL. This game turned on two big plays, one of which I actually remember. Takenton hooked up with WR John Gilliam on a 54 yard TD pass to give the Vikes a 17-7 lead (the play I remember). In the fourth quarter, with the game still 17-10 in favor of the Vikings, Bobby Bryant picked off a Roger Staubach pass and went 63 yards to pretty much ice the game. The Vikings beat the Cowboys 27-10 on the road, and that win sent the Vikings to Super Bowl VIII.
What was the better playoff victory?
This poll is closed
1969 NFL Championship against Cleveland
1973 NFC Championship against Dallas