Vikings all-time tournament: No. 2 seed 1969 knocked out by Tarkenton’s 1976 squad
The Minnesota Vikings’ 1969 and 1976 teams are very similar — both are coached by Bud Grant, both appeared in a Super Bowl and both feature Hall of Fame talent on defense.
But there’s one glaring difference between these teams: quarterback.
That contrariety was exposed in the second round of the all-time tournament, as signal-caller Fran Tarkenton constructed a last-minute drive and led the ’76 Vikings to a 20-17 upset over ’69 Minnesota.
Down goes the No. 2 seed.
Trailing 17-13 with 2:26 to play, Tarkenton and the ’76 Vikings took over on offense from their own 25-yard line. Tarkenton successfully converted on one third down and moved the ball near midfield before the ’76 Vikings faced a fourth-and-8 from the 46-yard line.
With a semifinal berth on the line, Tarkenton threw a strike to receiver Bob Grim, who hauled it in and sprinted the rest of the way into the end zone for a game-winning 54-yard touchdown.
It was Grim’s second catch of the day.
Tarkenton threw for 261 yards and two scores (no interceptions) on 23-of-32 passing, out-dueling opposing quarterback Joe Kapp (12-of-24, 205 yards, 1 INT).
The ’69 Vikings had success on the ground — Bill Brown and Dave Osborn combined for 162 yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries – but it wasn’t enough to reach the next round.
The seventh-seeded 1976 team will take on the winner of a matchup between No. 6 seed 2017 and No. 3 seed 1975 in the all-time tournament semifinals.
|69 MIN||11:57||TD||Bill Brown 48 yd. run (Cox kick)||0-7|
|76 MIN||7:36||FG||Fred Cox 45 yds.||3-7|
|76 MIN||12:53||TD||Sammy White 19 yd. pass from Tarkenton (Cox kick)||10-7|
|69 MIN||9:51||TD||Bill Brown 32 yd. run (Cox kick)||10-14|
|76 MIN||4:16||FG||Fred Cox 31 yds.||13-14|
|69 MIN||2:30||FG||Fred Cox 39 yds.||13-17|
|76 MIN||1:31||TD||Bob Grim 54 yd. pass from Tarkenton (Cox kick)||20-17|
|’69 Bill Brown||14||113||2||48||2|
|’69 Dave Osborn||16||49||0||18||0|
|’69 Oscar Reed||6||12||0||7||0|
|’69 Joe Kapp||1||-2||0||-2||0|