Vikings #TBT: AC Cools the Niners

Vikings #TBT: AC Cools the Niners

What day is it???  It’s Thursday, oooooh yeah!  One more day closer to the weekend and of course another edition of Vikings #TBT!!!  By now, you know the deal…we take a look back at a moment of time in Vikings history…some good, some not so good, but almost always notable.  This week’s throwback is inspired by the NFL polling Vikings fans about what historical game they should post on their YouTube channel…in other words, their totally stealing my bit.  Anyways….some of the options were pretty obvious: Vikings beating the Packers in 2012, the Randy Moss Thanksgiving Game against Dallas…some were a little more obscure…Fran Tarkenton’s last game in 1978 and the Vikings win against Chicago in 1994.  But there was one choice that had to get the #TBT treatment, and that goes back to January 9th, 1988…

The Lead Up

The Vikings, having backed into the playoffs with an 8-7 record (a 24 day players strike forced the cancellation of all Week 3 games and Weeks 4-6 were all played with replacement players), supposedly shocked the world when they went into New Orleans for the Wild Card game and absolutely dismantled the 12-3 Saints 44-10.  The next week would find them travelling to the 13-2 San Francisco 49ers led by Hall of Famers Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, and Ronnie Lott.  Those in the gambling community, not impressed by the Vikings destruction of New Orleans, pegged the 49ers at 11 point favorites.  As far as most were concerned, the Viking’s Cinderella story was to end under an overcast sky in Northern California.

The Game

Instead, to the disbelief of everyone including most Vikings fans, Minnesota dominated the first half. A 2nd quarter interception returned 45 yards for a touchdown by Najee Mustafaa (nee Reggie Rutland) had the hometown 49ers fans reeling as the game went into halftime with the visiting Vikings up 20-3.  San Francisco returned the favor early in the 3rd quarter as Jeff Fuller returned a Wade Wilson interception 48 yards to bring the score to 20-10.

The Moment

With momentum fully on San Francisco’s side, long-time Vikings fans waited nervously for the inevitable collapse to ensue.  What they got instead was a memorable performance by wide receiver Anthony Carter:

The Vikings would end up responding to the momentum swing by scoring on a Wilson-to-Hassan Jones touchdown throw and the Vikings would regain a 17 point lead. They would never look back and pulled off one of the greatest upsets in NFL playoff history, downing the 49ers 36-24. Carter would end the day with 10 catches and an amazing 227 yards receiving, adding 30 yards on the reverse.

The Aftermath

The lone detriment to the Vikings win over the 49ers...

The lone detriment to the Vikings win over the 49ers…

The Vikings would travel to Washington the following week and….you know what?  We’ll save that for its own #TBT soon. There was one drawback to this game, and while I have no proof to support this, I truly believe that this game is why the original Tecmo Bowl included a reverse to AC as one of the Vikings’ four plays. It never, and I mean NEVER worked.  Alas, a small price to pay for such a great memory…



That does it for this week’s Vikings throwback…until next time, we’ll see you in the future to take a look at the past.

Previous Vikings Throwback Thursdays

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