Throwback Thursday: In 1978, Vikes-Pack play to only tie in series history


The Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers have been playing each other for a long time, 53 years in fact, usually twice a year (and sometimes three).

That adds up to a lot of games, 106 in all, including the post-season. One of the greatest rivalries in all of sports is so revered because it's so darn even. The Packers lead the series 56-49-1.

About that number: 1. We don't know the statistical possibilities, but that sure seems hard to imagine: Only one tie game since 1961?

A tie, in old-school football-coach parlance, is like kissin' your sister. Except, this one was even more so – maybe like kissing your aunt.

The contest was a classic old NFC Central affair, with two teams from the black-and-blue division gutting it out in Lambeau's cold and windy confines on November 26, 1978. And it ended in a 10-10 tie.

In today's football fan's parlance: Booorrrring!

Both teams were 7-5 going into the game, with Green Bay sliding precariously after a strong start to the 1978 season (which was the first season the NFL went to 16 games).

The Vikings got on the board first with a field goal from Rick Danmeier in the 1st quarter, and the Pack responded with a one-yard run from Terdell Middleton in the 2nd quarter.

No scoring until the final period, when the great Chester Marcol added another three, and the Pack led 10-7.

Thanks to this accounting from, we know that the Vikings tied the game with 10 seconds left on a five-yard toss from Fran Tarkenton to Ahmad Rashad.

It seems worth noting that in a very Ponder-esque performance, Sir Francis had only 35 yards passing going into the 4th quarter – though he ended up with 199, including the overtime – and four interceptions.

The Packers nearly scored on the last play of regulation when Aundra Thompson caught a 59-yard pass from David Whitehurst and took it down to the Vikings' six-yard line, but was tackled by safety Tom Hannon.

After that, nothing but snoozes as no one could score in overtime.

Ah, but there were repercussions. Both teams would finish a fairly mediocre 8-7-1, but because of records in conference play, the Pack were out of the playoffs and the Vikings backed in to win the NFC Central division title.

Great players like Tarkenton (38 years old), Carl Eller (36), Jim Marshall (40), Mick Tingelhoff (38) and Paul Krause (36) were on their last legs. Their dominance of the division in the 1970s was coming to an end. They went on to lose to the Los Angeles Rams in the first round, 34-10.

In fact, back in 2004, Football Outsider deemed the 1978 Vikings one of the worst playoff teams ever. Skol?

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