What could’ve been: 1998 Minnesota Vikings

The 1998 Minnesota Vikings are undoubtedly the greatest team of all-time to not win a super bowl title. One could glance at that roster and wonder why they had never won a ring. Yes you can look at any one of the Bills teams in the 90’s and say that they are the greatest team to not win a super bowl, but my argument to that is the AFC at that time from 1990-1993 was very weak compared to the NFC. Some will also say the San Diego Chargers with Dan Fouts and Kellen Winslow in the 1980’s, but it was something about that Vikings that was very special.The ’98 Vikings were comprised of a rookie receiver turned Hall of Famer in Randy Moss and a quarterback by the name of  Randall Cunningham who replaced an injured Brad Johnson early in the season. Led by head coach, Dennis Green this team completed a 15-1 season, scoring the most points in NFL history. It wasn’t until 2007 when the Patriots came in and broke that record.

The 1998 season was a year to remember. The Vikings led the league with 52 plays for 25+ yards. They also had 22 offensive plays for 40+ yards. On Thanksgiving day when they defeated the Dallas Cowboys 46-36. Randy Moss had one of the best performances of his entire career, catching three passes for 163 yards and three touchdowns. Later that season, the Vikings went to Lambeau field  where they defeated the Green Bay Packers 37-24. Cunningham threw for 422 yards and Moss caught five passes for 190 yards and two touchdowns.

The Vikings captured the NFC Central title over the 11-5 Green Bay Packers and earning a first-round bye and home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Randy Moss won offensive rookie of the year while also setting the record for most receiving touchdowns for a rookie (17) that still stands today. The Vikings also became the third team to post a 15–1 record since the debut of the 16 game schedule in 1978. They joined the 1984 San Fransisco 49ers  and the 1985  Chicago Bears, but became the first of those teams to fail to win the Super Bowl.

After defeating the Arizona Cardinals in the divisional round 41-21, the Vikings were heavy favorites against the 14-2 Atlanta Falcons. The Vikings had a 20-7 lead in the second quarter but the Falcons cut the lead to sixat the half. In the final four minutes of the game with the Vikings held a seven point lead as kicker, Gary Anderson attempted a 38- yard field goal. Seeing that he hadn’t missed a field goal in two yeas, this was almost a defininte. He missed. The Falcons completed a game tying touchdown sending the game into overtime. Altanta won that Super Bowl 30-27 with a Morten Anderson 38-yard field goal.

This was one of the most heartbreaking moments in franchise history. Any lover of great football can appreciate the ’98 Vikings no matter what their loyalties may be and Dennis Green squad was the best that never was.

 

Here’s a flashback into history of that team:

R.I.P Dennis Green

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