How Many NFC Championships Have The Vikings Lost?

Digital Wallet

The Minnesota Vikings have a storied history in the NFL, known for their passionate fan base and competitive spirit. Over the years, the team has had several opportunities to reach the pinnacle of the sport and compete for the NFC Championship. However, despite their success and numerous playoff appearances, the Vikings have faced their fair share of heartbreak in the hunt for the NFC title. So, how many NFC Championships have the Vikings lost? In this article, we will delve into the team’s journey, highlight their achievements, and explore the frustration of falling just short of the ultimate goal. Join us as we recount the Vikings’ quest for NFC glory and the unfortunate losses that have become a part of their history.

Inside This Article

  1. How Many NFC Championships Have the Vikings Lost?
  2. Overview
  3. The First NFC Championship Loss: 1977
  4. The Second NFC Championship Loss: 1998
  5. The Third NFC Championship Loss: 2000
  6. The Fourth NFC Championship Loss: 2009
  7. Conclusion
  8. FAQs

How Many NFC Championships Have the Vikings Lost?

When it comes to the National Football Conference (NFC) Championship Game, the Minnesota Vikings have had their fair share of disappointments throughout their storied history. Known for their consistency in reaching the playoffs, the Vikings have unfortunately fallen short in the NFC Championship on several occasions. Let’s take a closer look at the number of NFC Championship losses the Vikings have endured.

The Vikings’ first NFC Championship loss occurred in 1977. After an impressive season, the team faced off against the Dallas Cowboys. However, despite their efforts, the Vikings came up short, losing the game and missing out on their chance to compete in the Super Bowl.

Just a year later, in 1978, the Vikings once again made it to the NFC Championship Game. This time, they faced the eventual Super Bowl champions, the Pittsburgh Steelers. Unfortunately, the Vikings couldn’t overcome the Steelers’ dominance and suffered their second NFC Championship loss.

Fast forward to 1987, and the Vikings found themselves in the NFC Championship Game for the third time. They faced the Washington Redskins, but once again fell short of victory. Despite the disappointing loss, the Vikings had a strong season and earned the respect of fans and critics alike.

In 1998, the Vikings had an incredible season, boasting one of the most prolific offenses in NFL history. Led by quarterback Randall Cunningham and wide receiver Randy Moss, the team had high hopes of reaching the Super Bowl. However, in a heartbreaking NFC Championship Game against the Atlanta Falcons, the Vikings fell short yet again, marking their fourth NFC Championship loss.


The Minnesota Vikings have a storied history in the National Football League (NFL), with numerous successful seasons and exciting moments. However, along their journey, the Vikings have also experienced their fair share of heartbreak in the NFC Championship. This article delves into the history of the Vikings’ NFC Championship losses, recounting the painful defeats and the impact they had on the team and its fans.

Over the years, the Minnesota Vikings have encountered four NFC Championship losses. These losses have left a lasting mark on the team’s legacy and continue to be subjects of debate and reflection among football enthusiasts.

Let’s take a trip down memory lane to revisit the Vikings’ NFC Championship losses and the circumstances surrounding each heartbreaking defeat.

Vikings’ First NFC Championship Loss (1977)

The Vikings’ first NFC Championship loss occurred in the 1977 season. Facing the Dallas Cowboys, the Vikings fell short in an intense battle that went into double overtime. Despite a valiant effort, the Vikings couldn’t secure a victory and lost by a narrow margin. This loss left fans devastated, as they had high hopes for their beloved team.

Vikings’ Second NFC Championship Loss (1978)

In the following year, the Vikings once again reached the NFC Championship game, hoping to redeem themselves. However, they faced another defeat, this time against the Dallas Cowboys. The Vikings’ dreams of reaching the Super Bowl were shattered once again, as they fell short in a hard-fought battle. The disappointment echoed throughout the fanbase, fueling a desire for redemption.

Vikings’ Third NFC Championship Loss (1987)

1987 brought another NFC Championship game appearance for the Vikings. This time, they faced the dominant Washington Redskins. Despite their efforts, the Vikings couldn’t overcome the Redskins’ formidable defense and were defeated, ending their Super Bowl aspirations once again. The loss left fans wondering if the team would ever break the cycle of disappointment in the NFC Championship.

Vikings’ Fourth NFC Championship Loss (1998)

The most recent NFC Championship loss for the Vikings occurred in the memorable 1998 season. With a powerhouse offense known as the “Purple People Eaters,” the Vikings looked poised to secure a Super Bowl berth. However, in a devastating turn of events, they were defeated by the Atlanta Falcons in a game that will forever be etched in Vikings’ history. The loss was particularly heartbreaking, as it came within striking distance of Super Bowl glory.

These NFC Championship losses have undoubtedly left a lasting impact on the Minnesota Vikings and their loyal fanbase. However, the team continues to strive for success and works relentlessly to overcome the ghosts of the past. With each new season comes renewed hope and the belief that one day, the Vikings will once again conquer the NFC Championship and secure their spot in the Super Bowl.

The First NFC Championship Loss: 1977

In 1977, the Minnesota Vikings suffered their first NFC Championship loss. It was a crushing defeat for the team and their fans, as they had high hopes of making it to the Super Bowl. The Vikings faced off against the Dallas Cowboys in a hard-fought battle that came down to the wire.

The game took place on January 1, 1978, at Texas Stadium in Irving, Texas. The Cowboys had a home-field advantage, and they made the most of it. The Vikings struggled to gain momentum throughout the game, unable to find a rhythm on offense or stop the Cowboys’ potent offense.

The Cowboys jumped out to an early lead, scoring two touchdowns in the first quarter. The Vikings’ defense managed to hold the Cowboys to just one field goal in the second quarter, but they couldn’t generate enough offense to make up the difference. The halftime score was 17-6 in favor of the Cowboys.

In the second half, the Vikings managed to close the gap, scoring a touchdown and a field goal to bring the score to 17-16 in the fourth quarter. With just minutes left to play, the Vikings had a chance to take the lead with a successful two-point conversion. Unfortunately, the attempt was unsuccessful, and the Cowboys held on for a 23-6 victory.

Despite the loss, the Vikings put up a valiant effort and showcased their resilience throughout the game. The defeat in the NFC Championship game served as motivation for the team to come back stronger in the following years.

Although the Vikings fell short in their first NFC Championship appearance, it was the start of a storied rivalry between the Vikings and the Cowboys in playoff matchups. The two teams would go on to face each other in multiple NFC Championship games, adding to the intensity and history of their matchups.

The Second NFC Championship Loss: 1998

The Vikings’ second NFC Championship loss occurred in 1998, a heartbreaking defeat that left fans stunned and disappointed. It was a memorable season for the Vikings, led by their dynamic offense and dominant defense, which earned them a spot in the championship game.

Heading into the game, the Vikings were considered favorites against their opponent, the Atlanta Falcons. With a regular season record of 15-1, they had high hopes of securing their ticket to the Super Bowl. However, football has a way of surprising us all, and this game was no exception.

The matchup started off in the Vikings’ favor, as they jumped to an early lead. The raucous crowd at the Metrodome was buzzing with excitement, fully expecting their team to come out victorious. Quarterback Randall Cunningham was in top form, connecting with his receivers and leading the offense down the field.

However, the Falcons were not to be underestimated. Led by quarterback Chris Chandler and running back Jamal Anderson, they mounted a comeback that shocked the Vikings and their fans. The game was a back-and-forth affair, with both teams giving it their all.

As the clock wound down, it seemed as though the Vikings had a chance to tie the game and send it to overtime. With just seconds remaining, they lined up for a field goal attempt. But the football gods had other plans. The kick sailed wide, and the hopes of the Vikings were shattered.

It was a devastating loss for the Vikings and their fans. The team had come so close to reaching the Super Bowl, only to have it slip through their fingers. The disappointment lingered for years, and the 1998 NFC Championship game remains an unforgettable moment in Vikings’ history.

Despite the heartbreak, the Vikings continued to strive for championship glory in the years following their second NFC Championship loss. While they have yet to secure a Super Bowl victory, the team’s resilience and determination have earned them a place as one of the storied franchises in the NFL.

The Third NFC Championship Loss: 2000

In the year 2000, the Minnesota Vikings suffered their third NFC Championship loss. This heartbreaking defeat came in a tightly contested matchup against the New York Giants. The game took place on January 14, 2001, at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Heading into the game, the Vikings had high hopes and were confident in their ability to secure a spot in the Super Bowl. Led by quarterback Daunte Culpepper and a potent offense, the team had put together an impressive season, finishing with an 11-5 record.

However, the Giants, led by their star defensive end Michael Strahan, had other plans. The Vikings offense struggled to find their rhythm against the Giants’ stout defense. Culpepper faced constant pressure and was sacked four times, disrupting the team’s passing game.

Despite the offensive struggles, the Vikings were able to keep the game close until the final moments. With just over two minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Giants held a slim lead of 41-0. The Vikings had one last opportunity to mount a comeback.

Unfortunately, the Vikings’ hopes were dashed when the Giants intercepted a pass from Culpepper. The turnover sealed the victory for the Giants and marked another NFC Championship loss for the Vikings.

The loss was devastating for the Vikings and their fans. It marked their third unsuccessful attempt at reaching the Super Bowl in the NFC Championship game. The team would have to wait for another chance to compete for the ultimate prize.

Despite the disappointment, the Vikings’ journey to the NFC Championship game in 2000 showcased their talent and potential. It served as a valuable learning experience and laid the groundwork for future success.

Ultimately, the Vikings’ third NFC Championship loss in 2000 serves as a reminder of the challenges and heartbreak that can come with reaching the precipice of a Super Bowl appearance. However, it also represents the resilience and determination of the team, as they continued to strive for greatness in the years to come.

The Fourth NFC Championship Loss: 2009

The year was 2009, and the Minnesota Vikings were riding high with a talented roster and high hopes of reaching the Super Bowl. Led by legendary quarterback Brett Favre, the Vikings had a remarkable season, finishing with a 12-4 record and earning a trip to the NFC Championship game.

The stage was set for an epic battle between the Vikings and the New Orleans Saints. The game took place on January 24, 2010, at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans. It was a highly anticipated matchup, as both teams were vying for a chance to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.

The game started off promising for the Vikings, with their defense holding strong and keeping the Saints’ offense in check. The Vikings’ offense, led by Favre, managed to put points on the board early in the game. However, as the game progressed, things started to unravel for the Vikings.

One of the most pivotal moments of the game came in the fourth quarter. With less than a minute left on the clock, the Vikings had the opportunity to secure a game-winning field goal. However, a costly interception thrown by Favre dashed their hopes of victory. The game went into overtime, and the Saints ultimately won with a field goal, ending the Vikings’ dreams of a Super Bowl appearance.

Despite the heartbreaking loss, there were several standout performances by the Vikings. Wide receiver Sidney Rice had a phenomenal game, recording 6 catches for 128 yards. Adrian Peterson, the star running back, also had a solid performance, rushing for 122 yards and 3 touchdowns.

The loss in the 2009 NFC Championship game was a tough pill to swallow for Vikings fans. It marked the fourth time in franchise history that the team had come up short in the NFC Championship. However, it also served as a testament to the resilience and talent of the team, who had an impressive season and came incredibly close to reaching the Super Bowl.


As we conclude our exploration of the Minnesota Vikings’ NFC Championship history, we find that they have unfortunately experienced their fair share of heartbreak. Despite their great success in reaching the NFC Championship game, they have been unable to capture the ultimate victory and secure a spot in the Super Bowl. Over the years, they have suffered a total of four losses in the NFC Championship, leaving fans eager for that elusive championship title.

However, the Vikings’ storied past is a testament to their resilience and determination. While the losses may overshadow their accomplishments to some extent, it is important to remember the positive moments and fierce competition that have characterized their NFC Championship appearances. With each postseason, the Vikings continue to push forward, striving to one day reach the Super Bowl and write a new chapter in their history.

So, while the Vikings may have lost several NFC Championships in the past, their journey is far from over. With a passionate fan base and a team fueled by the desire to succeed, the future holds the potential for redemption and glory. Vikings fans can take solace in the fact that their team’s commitment and talent give them a fighting chance to finally overcome the NFC Championship hurdle and bring home a Super Bowl victory.


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