4 games that define the Vikings intense rivalry with the Saints

(Photo by Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Stefon Diggs
(Photo by Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Stefon Diggs /
2 of 4
(Mandatory Credit: Matt Stamey-USA TODAY Sports) Brett Favre, Vikings
(Mandatory Credit: Matt Stamey-USA TODAY Sports) Brett Favre, Vikings /

2009 NFC Championship

This game may serve as the epitome of Vikings versus Saints football. While the years have passed, and all of the names and faces are just about gone from the league, the story of bounty gate stopping the Vikings from winning the NFC Championship Game to take on Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV is at least remembered.

While the Vikings didn’t perform the best themselves, and specifically saw three lost fumbles from running back Adrian Peterson, it was the last drive of regulation that served as the catalyst for broken hearts in the Twin Cities on a cold January night.

A beaten and banged-up Brett Favre elected to throw, and not try to scramble for field goal position, but in doing such connected with Saints cornerback Tracy Porter. The Saints would go on to win the NFC Championship game 31-28 and eventually grab their first Vince Lombardi trophy.

Bounty-gate might not have been the sole perpetrator in the Vikings’ heartbreaking loss, but it definitely didn’t help. But neither did the aforementioned throw, fumbles, or even a late pass interference call.

Regardless, a season when the rival team’s quarterback signs to show the NFL world they still have for (at least) one more season, and the chance to have the storybook ending to a long professional football career by giving the Vikings something they’ve never had was taken away.

No one knows what would have happened if Favre and the Vikings showed up to play the Colts, or Favre even could – and if the late Tavarius Jackson played Peyton Manning. But all of those scenarios are left to what-ifs and speculations due to the NFC Championship. A game that serves as a defining moment in creating the Vikings and Saints rivalry.