Life is a Highway

Life is a Highway

Saturday, September 1, 2012

NFLN America's Game: The Missing Rings The 1969 Minnesota Vikings: A Champion That Was Overmatched in The Super Bowl

The NFL Network has a series called America's Game where they highlight the top twenty Super Bowl Champions, at least according to NFL Films. They also cover teams that they believe that just came up short, teams that they believe should've won the Super Bowl that year but came up short. A show that they call Missing Rings, is the show that covers the teams they believe should've won the Super Bowl that year but didn't. One of those teams is the 1969 Minnesota Vikings, I can buy the 1990 Buffalo Bills being on this list and perhaps the 1988 Cincinnati Bengals. Both teams were great and consistent that year and lost to teams in the Super Bowl that they could've or should've beaten. But the 1969 Vikings lost to a great team in the 1969 Kansas City Chiefs, probably the best team the American Football League has ever produced, that had one of the best defenses of all time. AFL or NFL, with a Hall of Fame QB in Len Dawson, a Hall of Fame caliber WR in Otis Taylor a Hall of Fame Head Coach in Hank Stram. A balance offense that could run or pass, they were simply bigger and stronger then the Vikings on both offense and defense. And if you look at Super Bowl 4, you see that, the Chiefs ran the ball down the throats and Vikings couldn't run the ball at all in that game. Or protect their QB.

If you look at the four yes four Viking Super Bowl loses from 1969-76, they have still have not won a Super Bowl yet. Except for Super Bowl 9 in January, 1975, a 16-6 game where the Vikings got their only score from their defense and then missed the extra point. All the Viking Super Bowl loses were by blowouts, 23-7 in 1969 to the Chiefs, 24-7 to the Miami Dolphins in 1973 and 30-14 to the Oakland Raiders in 1976. They lost to better teams in each of those games, the Vikings had great defenses if you look at their numbers in the late 1960s and 1970s. And they had some great players on defense, like DE Jim Marshal, DT Alan Page, DE Carl Eller. But the Vikings teams relied on their defense to completely shut down the other team's offense, consistently. Setting up good field position for their ball control nothing special offense and win games defensively essentially, you can get away with that until you get to the Super Bowl. And play teams that are complete offensively and defensively.

The Vikings lost four Super Bowls, three of them in the 1970s but they lost to four better teams. Teams that were very good on both offense and defense and the Vikings got beat up on both sides of the ball, they couldn't run the ball or protect their QB in these games. And they had a very difficult time stopping the run in each of these games and you see that in the scores of these games. Which is why I believe the 1969 Vikings don't even belong on this show.