The Packers and Vikings Continue to Struggle in NFC Championship Games

With the Packers losing to the Buccaneers on Sunday, the two NFC North powers have just a 1-9 record in title games since 1998.
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Outside of being in the same division and geographic region, there aren't too many things that the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers share in common. One side of the rivalry –– you can probably guess which one –– is known for its 0-4 Super Bowl record and a history of playoff heartbreak. The other side has four Super Bowl titles and is on a nearly 30-year run of stability provided by two Hall of Fame quarterbacks.

But recent history shows they do have one thing in common: they're really bad at winning NFC championship games. With the Packers falling to the Buccaneers in a thrilling, dramatic contest on Sunday, they've now been in four of the last seven NFC title games –– and lost them all. Green Bay won it in 2010 on their way to Aaron Rodgers' only Super Bowl victory, but they also lost it back in 2007.

The Vikings' history of devastating losses in NFC championship games needs little explanation. After starting 3-0 in the 1970s, they've come up short in each of their past five appearances, with all but one of those coming in the past 23 years. In total, over that 23-year span starting in 1998, the Packers and Vikings have appeared in ten NFC title games, losing nine of them. 

Here's a quick look at the timeline. 

(Note: all years listed are the year of the regular season. So this Packers loss is listed as 2020 even though it happened in January 2021).

  • 1970-97: Minnesota and Green Bay go 5-3 in NFC title games, winning one Super Bowl (1996 Packers)
  • 1998: 15-1 Vikings lose to Falcons in OT thanks to Gary Anderson's first missed FG of the year
  • 2000: Vikings lose 41-0 to Giants
  • 2007: Packers lose in OT to Giants in Brett Favre's last year in Green Bay
  • 2009: Vikings lose in OT to Bountygate Saints after late Favre INT, other mistakes
  • 2010: Packers beat Bears, go on to win SB
  • 2014: Packers lose in OT to Seahawks after Brandon Bostick drops onside kick
  • 2016: Packers blown out by Falcons
  • 2017: Vikings blown out by Eagles one week after Minneapolis Miracle
  • 2019: Packers blown out by 49ers
  • 2020: Packers fall 31-26 to Brady, Bucs after electing to kick FG down eight

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