On Sunday afternoon at Allegiant Stadium, the Minnesota Vikings truly won ugly against the Las Vegas Raiders, as the game was scoreless for over 58 minutes before Greg Joseph connected on a 36-yard field goal to give the purple a 3-0 victory.
This marked the second time in franchise history that the Vikings had won by a final score of 3-0. To find the first time, you have to go back to the 1971 season and their game at Metropolitan Stadium against the Green Bay Packers.
In that game, the Packers had moved deep into Vikings’ territory late in the game, pushing down to the Minnesota 8-yard line. The Packers probably could have salted the game away by running the football, but instead chose to throw with quarterback Scott Hunter getting intercepted in the end zone by safety Charlie West. West then returned the interception to midfield, and Dave Osborn carried several times after that to set up a 25-yard field goal by Fred Cox to give the Vikings the victory.
If you thought the Vikings’ offense against the Raiders was bad, this game against the Packers might be the worst offensive performance in a win in franchise history. The team had just 87 yards of total offense and five first downs. That included just 21 net passing yards, as Gary Cuozzo went 5-for-11 for 42 yards and took three sacks that lost 21 yards. In fact, the Packers nearly quadrupled the Vikings’ yardage output (301 to 87). But four Green Bay turnovers, including two different Green Bay quarterbacks throwing interceptions, ultimately put the Vikings in a position to win the game.
The Vikings won ugly on Sunday afternoon in the desert, but winning ugly is always preferable to losing ugly. . .or losing pretty, for that matter.