1988: The lowly Packers continued their hex over their border rivals.
After scoring only seven touchdowns during an 0-5 start under new head coach Lindy Infante, the Packers exploded for six TDs in a 45-3 win over New England the following week, thereby setting the stage for a Metrodome showdown against the Minnesota Vikings – the pick of many to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.
The game turned out to be a blowout, but not the one expected. Green Bay, an 11-point underdog, rolled over the Vikings 34-14, leaving the home team humiliated in front of a crowd of 59,053.
The Packers made the most of the Vikings’ many mistakes. Minnesota turned the ball over five times, and were assessed an amazing 15 penalties. Green Bay’s first touchdown was aided by a roughing-the-passer penalty against Chris Doleman on a third-and-8 play. Don Majkowski’s pass had been incomplete. Instead of fourth down, the Packers were revitalized and scored three plays later on Brent Fullwood’s 2-yard run.
The Packers went ahead 16-0 after a bizarre play. Majkowski fumbled inside the Vikings 10 on a third-and-19 play. Vikings cornerback Reggie Rutland picked up the ball, but then fumbled. The Packers recovered and had a first down at the 11 and, three plays later, Keith Woodside scored on a 6-yard run.
The Vikings closed the lead to 16-7 with less than a minute to play in the first half, but the Packers didn’t give the Vikings a chance to come back, increasing the lead to 19-7 on the opening drive of the second half on Max Zendejas’ 22-yard field goal. Again, a third-down penalty – this time pass interference — helped Green Bay’s drive stay alive.
The Packers increased the lead to 21-7 only 63 seconds after Zendejas’ field goal, when Tim Harris sacked Wilson for a safety. Harris also scored a touchdown when he blocked a punt by former Packer Bucky Scribner, caught it in the air and returned it 10 yards in the fourth quarter for the game’s final points.
“I don’t think we can get any lower,” said Vikings starting QB Tommy Kramer – who was pulled before halftime – after the game. “We should be embarrassed. Pathetic.”
The fun didn’t last for the Packers, who promptly went on a seven-game losing skid on their way to a 4-12 finish. But although they won only four games all season, two of them were against the Vikings, effectively keeping Minnesota from winning the NFC Central Division championship.
Oct. 16, 1988
Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, Minneapolis
1 2 3 4 Packers 9 7 8 10 - 34 Vikings 0 7 0 7 - 14
GB: Brent Fullwood 2 run (kick failed)
GB: Max Zendejas 37 FG
GB: Keith Woodside 6 run (Zendejas)
MN: Leo Lewis 46 pass from Wade Wilson (Chuck Nelson)
GB: Zendejas 22 FG
GB: Safety, Tim Harris tackled Wilson in end zone
GB: Zendejas 36 FG
MN: Allen Rice 3 run (Nelson)
GB: Zendejas 45 FG
GB: Harris 10 blocked punt return (Zendejas)
TRIVIA: This Packer returned a punt for a touchdown in 1988, but he’s much better known now as a Fox-TV NFL analyst. Who is he?
Posted under Commentary
This post was written by Citizen Dan on October 16, 2009