10 most agonizing playoff losses in Minnesota Vikings history

Minnesota Vikings kicker Gary Anderson
Minnesota Vikings kicker Gary Anderson / JEFF HAYNES/GettyImages
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1. 1998 NFC Championship Game

Atlanta Falcons - 30
Minnesota Vikings - 27

Minnesota’s team history includes four Super Bowl appearances and a number of near misses in the playoffs. However, nothing could have prepared the SKOL faithful for 1998.

Before the season began, Marshall University receiver Randy Moss fell to the Vikings’ 21st spot in the 1998 NFL Draft. Moss proved to be an enigma as opponents were flummoxed in how to defend the talented pass catcher.

Along with Moss, Randall Cunningham, Cris Carter, Jake Reed, and Robert Smith, the Minnesota offense was ranked first in the NFL and became one of the best in league history.

During the regular season, the team only lost once (to Tampa Bay in Week 9 and ended the year with 556 points, a new NFL record at the time.

Moss was as good as advertised and scored a league high 17 touchdowns which was also a league best for a rookie.

After taking their 15-1 record into the playoffs, Minnesota took care of Arizona in the Divisional round, 41-21. All that remained between the Vikings and a date with destiny was an NFC Championship matchup with the surprising 14-2 Atlanta Falcons.

After the Falcons scored first, the Vikings responded with 20 unanswered points before Atlanta tacked on a touchdown to put the score at 20-14, Minny, at halftime.

In the second half, the Falcons fourth ranked offense kept the pressure on Minnesota. The Norsemen kept Atlanta at bay, however, and led 27-20 late in the game.

With a little over two minutes remaining, Minnesota kicker Gary Anderson entered the contest to kick a 38-yard field goal and put the Vikes up by 10.

At that point, Anderson had not missed a kick in two years. Of course, Vikings fans across the globe looked on in disbelief when Anderson missed wide left.

With unexpected new life, Atlanta took advantage of the opportunity and scored a touchdown to tie the game at the end of regulation.


Neither team could capitalize to begin the extra period until Falcons kicker Morten Andersen kicked his own 38-yarder to send Atlanta to Super Bowl XXXIII against the Denver Broncos. The Falcons would lose to John Elway and the Broncos 34-19.

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