Atlanta Falcons Defeated Minnesota Vikings in 1999 To Post Biggest Upset

Published on January 29th, 2022 2:11 pm EST
Written By: Dave Manuel

Jamal Anderson played a big part for the Atlanta Falcons in the 1998 NFC Championship Game upset vs. Minnesota Vikings. Over the history of the NFL Conference Championship games, there have been two occasions where a 10+ point underdog has won.

One of those games came during the 2001-02 season, when the New England Patriots (10 point underdogs) defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers on the road to advance to the Super Bowl.

The biggest upset, however, came in the 1998 NFC Championship game, when the Atlanta Falcons won as 11 point underdogs.


During the 1998-99 season, the Minnesota Vikings finished as the league's best team, compiling a record of 15-1, including eight wins in a row to finish off the season.

The Vikings were the league's highest scoring team that season, putting up an eye-popping 556 points.

The Falcons had a very good team that season as well, finishing with a record of 14-2.

The Vikings, however, were absolutely stacked. They had Randy Moss, Cris Carter, Robert Smith (1,000+ yard rusher), Randall Cunningham at QB and more.

The Vikings blew out the Arizona Cardinals 41-21 in their Divisional Playoff game, while the Falcons barely got by the San Francisco 49rs, 20-18.

The Falcons entered the NFC Championship as 11 point underdogs, and nobody was giving them much of a chance to win.

After all, the Vikings were Super Bowl favourites and hadn't lost at home all season, while the Falcons had struggled to beat the 49ers. How could the Vikings lose?


Things started well for the Vikings, as they opened up a 17-7 lead with about 5 minutes to go in the first half.

After recovering a fumble, the Vikings had a chance to go up 24-7, but Hall of Fame receiver Randy Moss would drop a touchdown pass. The Vikings would kick a field goal and go up 20-7.

The Vikings would get the ball back before the end of the first half, but this is where the momentum started the change. The Falcons forced a fumble and scored a quick TD, making the score 20-14 at the half. Instead of putting the dagger in the Falcons, the Vikings let them stay in the game.


There was 13 minutes left in the game, and the Vikings were up 27-17 after scoring on a long TD drive.

The Falcons would respond immediately with a long 70-yard completion and field goal, making the game 27-20.

The Vikings would lose a fumble on their next possession, but the Falcons weren't able to capitalize, turning the ball over on downs.

After driving down the field to the 22 yard-line of the Falcons, the Vikings set up for a field goal. Gary Anderson, the Vikings' field goal kicker, hadn't missed a field goal in 2 years.

He would miss this one, giving the Falcons a chance.

The Falcons drove down the field and scored a touchdown to tie with just 49 seconds left in the game. The Vikings would drop an almost sure interception on the drive, as they would blow another chance to go to the Super Bowl.

The teams went to overtime, where both offenses didn't do much of anything.

On the fourth possession of overtime, the Falcons drove to the Vikings' 21-yard line and kicked a field goal to win the game.


Many Vikings fans say that this was the most demoralizing loss in the history of the team.

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