The loss the Minnesota Vikings suffered in the 1998 playoffs to the Atlanta Falcons was recently listed as the most devastating championship game loss in NFL history.
During the 1998 season, nothing seemed like it could stand in the way of the Minnesota Vikings capturing the franchise’s first ever Super Bowl win. That was until the Vikings took the field inside the Metrodome for the NFC Championship against the Atlanta Falcons.
Thanks to the Falcons, Minnesota’s championship dreams were shattered and they were sent home before even getting an opportunity to play in that year’s Super Bowl.
There are not many teams around the NFL that have endured a more heartbreaking loss than the one the Vikings suffered in the 1998 NFC Championship. And according to a recent ranking compiled by NFL Media’s Elliot Harrison, Minnesota’s loss to Atlanta is actually regarded as the most devastating championship game loss in NFL history.
It’s hard to argue with it being at the top of the list given the circumstances. The Vikings seemed destined for a championship in 1998 and their goal was ruined by a combination of factors that included Gary Anderson missing his first field goal attempt of the season at a crucial moment in the game.
Anderson is not the main reason why Minnesota fell in the NFC Championship to the Falcons (especially since they were leading 27-20 at the time), but it’s the moment that has stuck in the minds of Vikings fans the most ever since that day.
The top spot was not the only portion of the list that featured Minnesota either. Coming in at No. 10 on the countdown was the Vikings’ heart-wrenching loss to the New Orleans Saints in the 2009 NFC Championship.
Minnesota was hoping to erase some of these devastating memories in 2018, but things didn’t exactly go according to plan (surprise!). So for now, the Vikings will just have to wait until next season to attempt to deliver a championship to the franchise.