The coldest game in Vikings history occurred on Dec. 3, 1972, when the air temp was 2 degrees below 0, and the wind chill was minus-19 Fahrenheit.
The only thing colder were pens or pencils tallying Bears passing statistics.
Minnesota claimed a 23-10 victory over Chicago that day, outgaining the Bears 341 to 91 yards. The Vikings limited Bears QB Bobby Douglass to 2-of-13 passing for 8 yards with one interception. Minnesota sacked Douglass three times for a total loss of 7 yards, leaving him the team with 1 net passing yard.
Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton, however, completed 21 of 39 passes, including a 15-yard touchdown to John Henderson, who had four catches for 45 yards. Dave Osborn led the Vikings with 40 yards on 15 carries and added 66 yards on seven catches. John Gilliam led the Vikings with 111 yards on five catches.
Fred Cox kicked field goals of 19, 24 and 14 yards and a pair of extra points, and Bobby Bryant scored on a 24-yard return of a fumble to put Minnesota up 20-3 by the start of the third quarter. Bryant also intercepted Douglass in the end zone in the second quarter to help protect a 6-0 lead.
Hall of Famer Carl Eller, who stopped by Winter Park Thursday and snapped a picture with Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer, led the Vikings with 1.5 sacks on the day, sharing one takedown with Gary Larsen. Roy Winston recorded the other sack. Eller encouraged Zimmer to have the team pressure Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson, a task easier said than done, when the Seahawks (10-6) visit the Vikings (11-5) for a Wild Card game at noon (CT) Sunday.
The Vikings haven't had as many severely cold games as they could have during their two-year return to the elements at the University of Minnesota.
Sure, there was the dominating win by the Vikings against the Panthers (Nov. 30, 2014) when Minnesota blocked and returned two punts for touchdowns on a Sunday when the air temperature was 12 degrees Fahrenheit (tied for seventh-coldest home game ever) and the wind chill was minus-7 (fifth-coldest home game ever).
Minnesota also thrived two weeks ago when the Vikings towered over the New York Giants in a 49-17 win on *Sunday Night Football *and clinched its first playoff berth since 2012. The temperature at kickoff was 13 degrees, and the wind chill was 2, which made last week at Lambeau Field (24 with a wind chill of 13) feel balmy. The Vikings thrived again, defeating the Packers 20-13, to take their first NFC North crown since 2009.
After going 4-1 in December home games in 2014 (temps of 32 against the New York Jets and 15 against the Bears) and 2015 (37 against Seattle, 36 against Chicago, and 13 in Week 16), the Vikings are gearing up for a throwback game that is projected to be one of the coldest in franchise history.
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Coldest Games - Home # = Playoff Game
-2 vs. Chicago, 12/3/1972 (Partly Cloudy - N 11 mph)
0 vs. Green Bay, 12/10/1972 (Sunny - SW 9 mph)
5 vs. Los Angeles, 11/29/1964 (Sunny - NW 12 mph)
9 vs. Chicago, 12/5/1970 (Cloudy - N 25 mph)
9 vs. San Francisco, 12/27/1970 (Sunny - N 10 mph)#
11 vs. Cleveland, 1/4/1970 (Sunny - NW 8 mph)#
12 vs. Carolina, 11/30/2014 (Sunny - NW 17 mph)
12 vs. Los Angeles, 12/26/1976 (Sunny - NW 13 mph)#
13 vs. New York Giants, 12/27/15 (Partly Cloudy – NW 8mph)
15 vs. San Francisco, 12/4/1977 (Cloudy - E 15 mph)
Coldest Games by Wind Chill - Home
-19 vs. Chicago, 12/3/1972 (Temp -2 - N 11 mph)
-15 vs. Green Bay, 12/10/1972 (Temp 0 - SW 9 mph)
-12 vs. Chicago, 12/5/1970 (Temp 9 - N 25 mph)
-11 vs. Los Angeles, 11/29/1964 (Temp 5 - NW 12 mph)
-7 vs. Carolina, 11/30/2014 (Temp 12 - NW 17 mph)
-5 vs. San Francisco, 12/27/1970 (Temp 9 - N 10 mph)#
-4 vs. Green Bay, 11/22/1970 (Temp 16 - NW 30 mph)
-3 vs. Los Angeles, 12/26/1976 (Temp 12 - NW 13 mph)#
-1 vs. Cleveland, 1/4/1970 (Temp 8 - NW 12 mph)#
0 vs. San Francisco, 12/4/1977 (Temp 15 - E 15 mph)