The Minnesota Vikings, favored to win the NFC and qualify for the Super Bowl, open the playoffs Sunday against the New Orleans Saints at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
Vikings fans, anecdotally, are treating the upcoming playoffs in one of two ways: They are bravely touting how good their 13-3 team is, or they are nervous about Minnesota blowing a game in an unexpected, painful way.
There are good reasons for both of these outlooks. The Vikings are really good, first of all, with a tremendous defense that might carry them to the big game - which just happens to be in Minneapolis in early February. But also, there is a history with this franchise. The Vikes have whizzed away numerous opportunities not only to win the Super Bowl, but just to qualify for it.
Gary Anderson missing a field goal against the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship game following the 1998 season is not the beginning, nor near the end. It’s been an ugly history of disappointment.