Looking back at past memorable Vikings stadium moments
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings have moved into U.S. Bank Stadium, where they’ll host the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night in the first regular-season game at the $1.1 billion venue. Here’s a look back at a dozen of the most memorable moments from their previous home fields, including a pair of bonus headline-grabbers from their brief stay at the University of Minnesota:
METROPOLITAN STADIUM (1961-1981)
Sept. 17, 1961 — The Vikings marked the expansion franchise’s first regular-season game with a 37-13 upset of division rival Chicago. The victory was fueled by five forced turnovers by the defense and four touchdown passes by Fran Tarkenton.
Jan. 4, 1970 — The Vikings beat Cleveland 27-7 to become the first modern-era expansion team to win the NFL championship game, the last of its kind before the AFL merger created two conferences. The Vikings went on to their first of four Super Bowl losses.
Dec. 29, 1975 — After posting an NFL-best 12-2 record in the regular season, the Vikings were upset 17-14 at home in the playoffs by Dallas on a last-second 50-yard touchdown pass from Roger Staubach to Drew Pearson. Pearson landed out of bounds, but the officials ruled he would’ve been in without midair contact by Nate Wright. The Vikings believed Pearson actually pushed off on Wright for leverage. The play became known as the first “Hail Mary” pass, because of Staubach’s claim to have uttered a desperate prayer before the throw.
Dec. 14, 1980 — The “Hail Mary” went the home team’s way on the game’s final play when Tommy Kramer connected with Ahmad Rashad on a deflected 46-yard completion to give the Vikings a 28-23 victory over Cleveland to clinch their 11th division title in the last 13 years.
THE METRODOME (1982-2013)
Oct. 15, 1989 — Herschel Walker, acquired three days earlier in a whopper of a trade with Dallas, rushed for 148 yards in his debut for Minnesota including a 47-yard romp during which he shed one of his shoes. The Vikings beat Green Bay 26-14.
Sept. 6, 1998 — Rookie Randy Moss started his career with two touchdown catches during a 31-7 victory over Tampa Bay. The Vikings finished 15-1 in the regular season and set what was then the NFL record by scoring 556 points.
Jan. 17, 1999 — Gary Anderson’s first missed kick of the season came in the NFC championship game, with 2:07 left in the fourth quarter and the Vikings leading by seven points. Atlanta rallied for the tie, and then the winning field goal by Morten Andersen in a 30-27 overtime decision.
Nov. 4, 2007 — Rookie Adrian Peterson set the NFL’s all-time single-game rushing record with 296 yards. The Vikings won 35-17 despite a 109-yard touchdown return by San Diego’s Antonio Cromartie of a missed field goal at the end of the first half.
Sept. 27, 2009 — Brett Favre threaded a 32-yard touchdown pass through San Francisco’s defense to Greg Lewis with 2 seconds left. That gave the Vikings a 27-24 victory early in a season that ended in the NFC championship game. Eight days later, Favre engineered an inspired 30-23 victory over his old team, Green Bay.
Dec. 30, 2012 — Peterson rushed for 199 yards to raise his season total to 2,097, leaving him 9 short of breaking Eric Dickerson’s all-time NFL record. Peterson led the Vikings to a 37-34 victory over Green Bay to get the last spot in the NFC playoffs.
TCF BANK STADIUM (2014-2015)
Dec. 20, 2010 — Favre leaves what becomes the last game of the Hall of Fame quarterback’s 20-year career with a concussion, after being slammed down by Bears defensive end Corey Wootton on a frigid night. The matchup was moved outside by the snowstorm-caused collapse of the Metrodome roof eight days earlier.
Jan. 10, 2016 — The coldest game in franchise history with a kickoff temperature of minus-6 degrees takes place in the wild-card round of the NFC playoffs. The division champion Vikings lose 10-9 to Seattle after Blair Walsh misses a 27-yard field goal with 22 seconds left.
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