Okay, let’s get our last quarterfinal game taken care of. 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 the last spot in our Final Four with our next matchup: the 1987 Divisional game against the San Francisco 49ers versus the 1969 divisional game against the Los Angeles Rams.
1987 Divisional playoff against the 49ers. 1987 was a weird, wild, wonderful year if you’re a Vikings fan. They only went 8-7 in a strike-shortened season that saw three games played by replacement players. The Replacement Vikings were terrible, going 0-3...but the real ones were pretty good. After a wild Thanksgiving overtime win over Dallas, they were 7-1 (minus the strike games), but stumbled at the end, losing three of four. They still made the playoffs, and after whipping the Saints in the wildcard round, got to travel to San Francisco to face the overwhelming Super Bowl favorite 49ers. This was in the middle of their Bill Walsh dynasty, and the 49ers just looked unstoppable. The Vikes were double digit underdogs, and I remember thinking ‘just don’t get embarrassed’.
Oh, it was embarrassing...for the 49ers. Anthony Carter became a Viking God that day, catching 10 passes for 227 yards, Najee Mustafaa (nee Reggie Rutland) had a pick six, and the Vikings dominated the game from beginning to end. In the second half, Joe Montana was so rattled and flustered he was benched for Steve Young. I’d have to go back and double check, but I think that was the only time in Montana’s career that he was benched for a non-injury. Of all the wins in all of Vikings history, both regular and post-season, for me this game is the one I always think of as being right at the top.
1969 Divisional playoff game against the Rams: This was the beginning of the Purple People Eaters era, and the first playoff win in Vikings history. It didn’t come easy, though. The Rams jumped out to a 17-7 halftime lead, and although the Vikes got to within 17-14 in the third quarter, Joe Kapp’s two interceptions opened the door back up for the Rams to take a 20-14 lead. But in the 4th quarter, Kapp led the Vikes on a clutch drive, and when he ran it in from two yards out, the Vikes took a 21-20 lead. Carl Eller added a safety sack of Rams QB Roman Gabriel to make it 23-20, but it wasn’t until an Alan Page intercepted a pass with under a minute left that the Vikings could celebrate the win.
Which was the better playoff victory?
This poll is closed
1987 Divisional game against the 49ers
1969 Divisional playoff against the Rams