It’s a weird week to be a Minnesota Vikings fan.
Many of us are still on cloud nine after Case Keenum, Stefon Diggs and the “Minneapolis Miracle” from last Sunday. We don’t want to come down from that emotional high, but the reality is the Vikings haven’t really accomplished anything… yet.READ MORE: Next Weather: Severe Thunderstorm Watch Issued For Northeastern Minnesota
The Vikings head to Philadelphia this Sunday for the NFC Championship Game. The winner heads to face either New England or Jacksonville in Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Vikings are one victory away from having the biggest game in sports be a virtual home game.
It would be the first time in NFL history that the host city’s team plays in the Super Bowl. And the Vikings have never won a Super Bowl. They’re 0-4.
The Vikings have also lost five straight NFC title games. Four of them were on the road. As painful as it may be, here’s a look back at those games and with that, a look at why this year is different.
2010 – Vikings at Saints (Saints 31, Vikings 28 OT)
It can be argued that this was the most painful loss in Vikings’ history because it was seemingly so preventable. Adrian Peterson had four of the Vikings’ five fumbles that day. Despite that, the Vikings were driving with a chance to kick a game-winning field goal. Then, inexplicably, they came out of a timeout with 12 players in the huddle. The penalty led to Brett Favre’s infamous interception on a pass headed for Sidney Rice. Bernard Berrian was open down the sideline, but Favre took a chance. Then, Ben Leber gets a flag on a phantom pass interference call in overtime.
New Orleans kicks the game-winning field goal, and the Saints go onto win the Super Bowl. Yes, it still hurts. A lot.
2001 – Vikings at Giants (Giants 41, Vikings 0)
This game just made Vikings fans angry. How, with a Super Bowl opportunity on the line, do you just not show up ready to play and completely lay an egg? The New York Giants were faster, more physical and better in every phase in the game affectionately known as “41-donut.” The Giants led 34-0 at half and got five touchdown passes from Kerry Collins. If cell phones and social media were more prevalent in that time, we can only imagine how many TVs would’ve been shattered that day.READ MORE: Kayakers On Minnesota River Found Human Skull That Turned Out To Be Nearly 8,000 Years Old
1999 – Vikings vs. Falcons (Falcons 30, Vikings 27 OT)
The Vikings were virtually unbeatable in the 1998-99 season. They finished 15-1 in the regular season, Randall Cunningham was on fire and Randy Moss was lighting up the NFL as a rookie. The Vikings had one of the top offenses in NFL history. Gary Anderson hadn’t missed a kick all season, then went “wide left.” The Vikings also had the ball last in regulation, but took a knee. We all know what ensued after that: A Morten Anderson field goal, followed by heartbreak.
1988 – Vikings at Redskins (Redskins 17, Vikings 10)
The Vikings had the ball, 4th-and-4 from the 6-yard line with 56 seconds left in regulation, down 17-10. Wade Wilson had Darren Nelson open near the goal line, but Nelson dropped the pass after being hit by Monte Coleman. A score likely sends the game to overtime. Instead, more heartbreak.
1978 – Vikings at Cowboys (23-6)
With a Super Bowl appearance hanging in the balance, the Dallas Cowboys were a little too balanced for the Vikings. That, and quarterback Bob Lee was just 14-of-31 passing for 158 yards and a 47.5 rating. Roger Staubach passed for 165 yards and a touchdown, and Tony Dorsett and Robert Newhouse each ran for scores. The Cowboys led 16-0 at half, and shut out Minnesota in the second half.
Sunday – Vikings at Eagles
Now that we’ve gotten all that heartbreak out of the way, can this year be different? It absolutely can. The Vikings have one of the best defenses in the NFL, and they’re playing for a chance to have a virtual home game for the Super Bowl. But you should be expecting a low-scoring, defensive struggle Sunday night. The Vikings allowed just 275 yards per game, 4.6 yards per play during the regular season and are allowing a little more than 15 points per game. Plus, they’re facing Nick Foles and not Carson Wentz. The Vikings defense should also be confident after beating Drew Brees.
The Eagles were fourth in defense in the NFL in the regular season, allowing just more than five yards per play and a little more than 18 points.MORE NEWS: Marlon Fleming Charged With Hitting 2 Tow Truck Operators On I-35
The Vikings last NFC title game victory? It was 1977, 24-13 over the Rams. That’s 41 years without a Super Bowl appearance. Might as well end that drought in your home stadium.