Bengals Flashback: 3 Big Moments vs. Vikings
Since the Cincinnati Bengals and Minnesota Vikings are not in the same conference, there have only been 13 games between the two franchises. However, there are still some shining moments for the Bengals in this smaller series. The Vikings lead the series 7-6, but maybe Joe Burrow can even the series on Sunday when the Vikings come to Paul Brown Stadium.
Dec. 2, 1973 – Bengals shut out Tarkenton
Ken Anderson was in his third year with the Bengals with this being his second year as being a full starter. Things were looking up with Anderson, in ’72 he took the Bengals to an 8-6 record and led them to a 10-4 record in ’73. Unfortunately, their season would end in the divisional round against the Shula Buzzsaw and eventual Super Bowl champ Miami Dolphins.
The Bengals started out rocky that season going 4-4 in their first eight games. They finished 73 strong on a six-game winning streak and winning the AFC Central. Back then there were only three divisions: East, West, and Central.
The highlight in this six-game win streak might’ve come at home against the Fran Tarkenton-led Vikings. The Vikings were red hot to start the season earning a nine-game win streak to start the season. This was in the height of the Purple People Eater defensive front line, and the dynamics of Tarkenton. They finished 12-2 losing back-to-back games against the Bears and then the Bengals.
The Vikings eventually became NFC Champions and lost to the Dolphins in SB VIII 24-7. However, before this, the Bengals thwomped the Vikings 27-0. The Bengals forced two fumbles returning one for a touchdown while scoring in the air and on the ground, and kicking two field goals.
The Bengals defense also forced the future Hall of Famer Tarkenton to the bench in the third quarter due to poor play finishing the game 11-of-18 for 73 yards. This game would also end Kicker Fred Cox’s 151 game scoring streak, which was a true bright spot for the Bengals between these teams and it comes in their first meeting.