(Here’s another unique look, this time at Bucs-Vikings, from noted Buccaneers historian Paul Stewart of BucPower.com in London. Enjoy!)
The all-time series with the Vikings currently stands 32-22 in favour of Minnesota. The two teams used to meet twice a season as part of the original NFC Central Division schedule but the re-structuring of the NFL for the 2002 season reduced the number of meeting to that of a regular NFC non-division opponent.
The Bucs had won six in a row until the Vikings were victorious in the last meeting in 2014. The two teams also met for the first time in pre-season play in 2015, a game also won by Minnesota.
25 November 1979
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 22 Minnesota Vikings 23
With a chance to clinch a playoff berth, the old Bucs returned to haunt the 1979 version as they managed to miss three short kicks including two extra points, and a punt, in losing by a single point to division rival Minnesota. The Bucs gained 425 yards in offense, their most ever, and Ricky Bell went over the 1,000-yard rushing mark but it was all to no avail.
The Tampa authorities had greased the goal-posts in potential anticipation of a crowd invasion similar to the one seen in the 1977 season finale but John McKay’s 9-3 team failed to take advantage of their first chance to secure their first division title. The Bucs would go on to lose two further games before defeating the Chiefs in the season finale.
“I’m disappointed in that we let a great opportunity get away from us today,” said DE Lee Roy Selmon. It would only be a temporary setback for what would wind up being seen as one of the most memorable seasons in franchise history.
16 December 1990
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 26 Minnesota Vikings 13
The first year of bye weeks in the NFL saw the 1990 Buccaneers have a week off before their final three games of a 6-10 season. They celebrated by firing head coach Ray Perkins allowing interim Richard Williamson to take over on the sidelines for the arrival of the Vikings for a nationally-televised Sunday night game.
The apparent euphoria at the removal of the disciplinarian Perkins saw the Bucs play with a new-found freedom including QB Vinny Testaverde who posted a 100-yard rushing game (yes rushing) including a 48-yard scoring run during the first quarter.
The Bucs were 23-0 up at half-time and took advantage of no less than eight Minnesota turnovers to record their final victory of the 1990 season as the following two weeks saw disapointing losses to the Bears and Jets.
29 October 2000
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 41 Minnesota Vikings 13
It always used to work – whenever the Buccaneers were struggling, bring the Vikings to Raymond James Stadium. This 27-point hammering of Minnesota was followed by a similar result almost 12 months the year later. Tony Dungy really had his old team’s number late in his Buccaneer coaching career.
This was the Buc offense at its best with four Shaun King touchdowns and a 31-13 half-time lead. “It’s been so long since we had a win, it just cures so many things” safety John Lynch said. It also ended the Vikings’ hope of a perfect season once again, their 15-1 mark in 1998 only being blemished by a loss to the Bucs in Tampa.
LB Derrick Brooks had an interception return for a touchdown midway through the second quarter, at the time the first of his NFL career. He added five more for the Bucs in addition to the one he had to clinch the Super Bowl victory over the Oakland Raiders.