The 1989 NFL year came down to a Xmas Day sport for the Minnesota Vikings and the Cincinnati Bengals. Each groups needed a yuletide wonder to make the playoffs. At 9:00 PM ET, the groups squared off at the Minneapolis Metrodome – the Vikings coming off a season where they had not lived up to their probable and the Bengals underwhelming admirers immediately after profitable the division the former year.
Placing the Phase
The 1989 NFL was a a great deal different area than the 2022 NFL. The Vikings, now in the NFC North, have been then in the NFC Central division with the Inexperienced Bay Packers, Detroit Lions, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Chicago Bears. The Bengals, now in the AFC North, have been then in the AFC Central with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns, and the Houston Oilers.
The Vikings had been undefeated at home but have been 2-6 on the road. This still left their report likely into the getaway tied with Environmentally friendly Bay. The Vikings had a slight edge on the Packers in division game titles but Inexperienced Bay gained their Christmas Eve video game. The Vikings wanted to gain on Xmas Day to win the division and get paid a spot in the playoffs.
The Bengals ended up in a comparable scenario. They had won the division the yr prior and manufactured a run for the Tremendous Bowl but the Steelers had been providing them a run for their funds. The Bengals necessary to acquire to secure a Wild Card spot and edge the Steelers out of the playoffs.
A Tale of Two Halves
The To start with 50 percent
It appeared that the Vikings ended up quickly establishing management of the recreation. Head mentor Jerry Burns and quarterback Wade Wilson had the ball shifting down the field. However, they have been only capable to rating 1 early touchdown and mainly counted on kicker Abundant Karlis. He kicked 5 industry ambitions in the initially 50 percent of the video game by itself.
It could have been – should have been – an complete massacre. Sad to say, the Vikings offense experienced been underperforming all calendar year and this recreation was more of the very same. Wilson was remarkably inconsistent and the WR home experienced been plagued by injuries. Halfway through the next quarter, it was only 19-. The Bengals QB Boomer Esiason engineered a 10 perform, 77-property push that ended in a 34 property TD to Eddie Brown. Proper right before the 50 percent, Karlis – who experienced tied the league file of 7 area ambitions earlier in the year – kicked his fifth industry target of the video game producing the rating 22-7 at the half.
The 2nd Half
The Vikings identified achievement in huge portion owing to their defense and the second 50 % of this game was a continuation of this. Esiason assisted to slender the margin all through the get started of the 2nd 50 % with a 65-property landing go to limited finish Rodney Holman. The score was now 22-14 but the Viking defense stored the tension on, sacking Esiason three situations and resulting in two compelled fumbles. The offense was unable to capitalize on the achievement of their protection, stalling out and fumbling at the time, as perfectly.
All through the conclusion of the 3rd quarter, the Vikings intercepted Esiason but have been when again not able to rating as Karlis skipped a 52-lawn area intention that ricocheted off the goalposts. This would appear back to haunt Minnesota as the Bengal offense was finally acquiring some achievement. Esiason when all over again engineered a drive down the discipline that led to a landing and slash the direct to 22-21.
The Skol offense lastly was in a position to place with each other a very long push that resulted in a landing. Immediately after stalling at the 1-garden line, Mentor Burns designed the controversial choice to go for it on 4th and 1 relatively than kicking for the easy 3 factors. This determination paid out off, and Burns seemed like a genius, as Wilson was equipped to full a shorter move to TE Brent Novoselsky. This alongside with the extra place but the Vikes up by 8, 29-22.
On their final generate of the video game, the Bengals got frightening close to scoring once again. They even finished a 4th down conversion that would have set them on the 22-garden line but a penalty brought it back and Minnesota was able to clinch the win.
The Wrap Up
Statistically, the Bengals appeared far better. The Bengals experienced 26 very first downs to the Vikings 24, 1 more dashing yard, and far more passing yards. The net yardage was in the Bengals favor as perfectly – 309 to 274. However, they dropped the turnover struggle with the two groups having 3 fumbles but with Cincy owning 5 turnovers whilst Minnesota only experienced 1. The Bengals also had more penalties than the Vikings – 10 penalties for 84 yards vs. 7 penalties for 55 yards. On top of that, Esiason was sacked 6 instances, 4 of these have been dished up by defensive close Chris Doleman.
This huge victory gave the Vikings their to start with division get because 1980. Mentor Burns reported that this gain was the best sensation he experienced in 38 decades of coaching. The Vikings went on to engage in the San Francisco 49ers in the initial round of the playoffs and shed terribly.
For one particular Xmas evening, each individual Vikings lover obtained the biggest holiday getaway night time present they could think about – they gained a remarkable Monday Night time Soccer sport, manufactured the playoffs, and eliminated the Green Bay Packers.
Minneapolis, Minnesota: there genuinely is a Santa Claus!