It’s our Saturday doubleheader, as the quarterfinals of our Greatest Playoff Victory of All Time Tournament continues. 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 1976 NFC Championship against the Los Angeles Rams versus the 2004 Wildcard against the Green Bay Packers.
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.
2004 Wildcard game against the Green Bay Packers. The 2004 season was the Mike Tice era in a nutshell. At times, the VIkings looked like world beaters, while at other times they couldn’t get out of their own way. Needing a win to clinch a playoff spot the last week of the season, they lost on the road to Washington, and Randy Moss infamously walked off the field early. The Vikes still backed in as the last wildcard, though, and went to Green Bay, where no one...not even the most ardent Vikings fans, thought they had a shot. But the Vikes dominated the Packers.
Future Vikings great Brett Favre threw four picks, was sacked four times, and never really got in sync all day. On the other hand, MVP runner-up Daunte Culpepper was spectacular. He threw for 284 yards and 4 TD’s, two of them to Moss. The Superfreak’s second TD over Al Harris essentially ended the game, and culminated in the now legendary ‘Moon over Lambeau’, which in fact was not a disgusting act. The Vikes won 31-17, and for me, this was one of the most gratifying wins in team history. Walking into Lambeau and slapping around their most bitter rival, who was pretty much everyone’s darling to go to the Super Bowl, was just glorious to watch, from the opening kickoff to the final gun.
Which game was the better playoff victory?
This poll is closed
1976 NFC Championship against the Rams
2004 Wildcard against the Packers