The Vikings started picking up steam like a runaway train in 1969 in this is the portion of the schedule as they started to hammer their opponents. Today we take a look back at weeks 10, 11, and 12 during their run to Super Bowl IV.
November 23, 1969 Metropolitan Stadium Bloomington, MN MInnesota Vikings 52 Pittsburgh Steelers 14: The Steelers came to MInnesota trying to turn around a season heading in the wrong direction but instead their long season continued. The Vikings defense intercepted four Steelers passes including one brought back by Paul Krause 77 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter. The special teams had a bizarre touchdown when Charlie West fumbled a kickoff and John Beasley trailing on the play scooped up the ball on a bounce raced 60 yards downfield behind the blocking of Clint Jones for the score.
Vikings quarterback Gary Cuozzo came off the bench to throw three touchdown passes including one to Oscar Reed for 6 yards and the other two to John Henderson for 28 and 7 yards. Reed had a rushing touchdown from a yard out in the fourth quarter and Bill Brown did he same from a yard out in the second quarter. Vikings place kicker Fred Cox added a 22-yard field goal in the second quarter to give Minnesota a 10-0 lead at the time.
Don McCall had a 101-yard kickoff return in the second quarter to make it a close game briefly. In the third quarter Steelers quarterback Terry Hanratty hit Jon Henderson on a ten-yard scoring pass to complete the Steelers scoring. This touchdow was setup on fumbled punt by the Vikings Bob Grim and recovered by the Steelers Bob Adams deep in Vikings territory, Joe Greene was also ejected from the game in the fourth quarter as tempers flared on both sides.
November 27, 1969 Tiger Stadium Detroit, MI Minnesota Vikings 27 Detroit Lions 0: On a snowy Thanksgiving Day in Detroit the Vikings demolished their rivals to clinch a division title for the second consecutive season. The Vikings got on the scoreboard in the first quarter with Dave Osborn scoring in the first quarter. In the third Joe Kapp hit Oscar Reed from six yards out to the put the game out of reach. In the fourth quarter Jim Marshall intercepted a Grag Landry pass and ran it back 30 yards till he lateraled to Alan Page who rumbled in for the final 15 yards for the touchdown. Fred Cox chipped in field goals of 41 and 38 yards to complete the scoring.
December 7, 1969, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Los Angeles, CA Minnesota Vikings 20 Los Angleles Rams 13: In this showdown of Western Conference powers the Vikings sent the undefeated Rams back to the drawing board. Leading 20-6 in the fourth quarter the Rams tried to rally late in the game when Roman Gabriel hit Larry Smith from 4 yards out on a scoring pass. The ensuing onside kick was recovered by the Vikings Grady Alderman and the Vikings ran out the clock.
In the first half Dave Osborn and Bill Brown each scored touchdowns from 4 and 1 yard out to give the Vikings a 14-0 lead. Fred Cox added field goals of 39 and 29 yards to help provide the winning margin. The Rams Bruce Gossett scored touchdowns of 37 and 27 yards to try to keep the Rams in the game.
This win over the Rams sent a message to rest of the National Football League that a new team was ttempting to be the new kings of the mountain. The Rams after this loss wouldn’t win another game despite being division winners and would end their season a few weeks later in Bloomington.
1969 Minnesota Vikings John Schaefer
Missing Rings DVD The Story of the 1969 Minnesota Vikings NFL Films’