CURRENTLY PLAYING: 1976
UNPLAYED - Week 1:
ORANGE BOWL, MIAMI FL.
Minnesota has moved to a 17-7 lead in the first half mostly on the passing of Fran Tarkenton (22 of 38, 232 yards, 1 TD, 1 int on the day). The game's first score was set up by two big passes and a pair of Raider penalties. The Vikings started at their own 11 but were dug out of the hole by a 15 yard penalty on Tony Cline. From the 30, Tarkenton hit John Gilliam for 27 to move to the 43 of Oakland. A 6 yard run and another 15 yard flag, this one against Skip Thomas moved the ball to the 22. Next Tarkenton hit Foreman streaking out of the backfield for the final 22 and a 7-0 lead. Oakland's offense sputtered, but their defense gave new life to set up the tie score. Phil Villapiano's interception gave Oakland the ball on the Minnesota 39. A 10-yard pass to Bob Moore, three runs, and a 15 yard Stabler to Branch strike tied the game at 7. During the drive, though, the Raiders lost Fred Biletnikoff for the rest of the game.
In the 2nd quarter, Fred Cox added a FG to go up 10-7, then in the final 4 minutes, the Vikings worked an 80 yard drive with Chuck Foreman plunging in as time expired for a 17-7 halftime lead. On this drive, Foreman touched the ball six times and Gilliam caught passes of 12 and 14 yards.
Oakland opened the 3rd quarter with a solid drive but stalled at the Vikings' 41. Minnesota punted it back, and on the first play following the punt, Stabler hit Branch for 29 yards! From the 50, Stabler went deep, but Nate Wright picked off the pass to end the drive. Minnesota went 3 and out, and the Raiders turned to the ground. Clarence Davis picked up 19 yards and Marv Hubbard 7 more, with two passes mixed in, and Oakland moved from their own 45 to the Minnesota 13. Five plays later, Pete Banaszak went in from 3 yards to cut the Vikings' lead to 17-14. On the first play after the kickoff, Ed Marinaro fumbled, giving Oakland the ball on the Vikings' 33. The Raiders gained 9 yards on 3 plays, and on 4th and 1, they refused the 41 yard FG attempt and went for it...with success. Mark van Eeghen's 1 yard run was enough to move the sticks as the game went into the 4th quarter.
On the first play of the quarter, Stabler threw downfield, and Krause made his game-changing/saving play. His return of the interception, 79 yards, moved the ball to the Oakland 7. And as the sides of the field flipped in favor of the Vikings, so did momentum - a 180 turn away from the Raiders. Foreman went off tackle for the 7 yards score and what lookied like at worst a tie was now a 10-point Viking lead at 24-14. The teams exchanged punts, and on 1st down at the Raider 26, Stabler dropped back, scrambled, was hit and fumbled. Minnesota recovered at the 27. They went nowhere, but Cox' 42 yard FG made it 27-14, and with 9 minutes left, it forced Stabler to have to throw. His first two tosses were incomplete, and on 3rd down he was picked off by Pete Athas. The Vikings turned this into another FG, 30-14. They also killed the clock, leaving just 3:48 for Oakland to work with. Stabler was intercepted again, this time by Bobby Bryant, and that sealed the game. Minnesota ran the clock down to 18 seconds, and left with a 30-14 win.
Commish Chad Weyenberg: email@example.com
Last updated: 3/17/07