The Falcons have not made many happy memories against the Minnesota Vikings of late. This team has lost their last four games against Minnesota, often in embarrassing fashion, and figure to walk right into an angry, underachieving buzzsaw again this coming Sunday. Because we’re asking about favorite memories today, you’re going to have to go back in time a bit if you want to summon one for this particular matchup.
Here’s a fun fact, though: Even though Minnesota holds an all-time 20-11 advantage in the series on Atlanta, including a playoff victory, I think they’d gladly flip places all-time and in recent years if they could have one game back. With this particular matchup, there’s only one real answer for the best Falcons - Vikings memory, at least for those of us old enough to remember it.
That’s the NFC Conference Championship Game in early 1999, of course, one of the signature wins in Falcons franchise history and a game that looms larger than any other in my memory as a fan. Atlanta was 14-2 and still an obvious underdog to a 15-1 Vikings team that may have been the most complete in franchise history, but when the dust settled in overtime it was the Falcons heading to the Super Bowl thanks to a 30-27 win keyed by dramatic rallies, unexpected stops, an unbelievable missed kick by the Vikings, and living legend Morten Andersen nailing the decisive field goal. The next game was a bitter disappointment in so many ways, but Atlanta’s first trip to the Super Bowl will never be forgotten by Falcons fans or Vikings fans who are all too familiar with what it’s like to blow a game you know deep in your soul your team should’ve won.
So that’s my obvious answer. If you’ve got a different one, or just different shades of that memory from 1999, I’d love to hear them.