Broncos vs. Vikings: The Super Bowl that never was

The Denver Broncos and Minnesota Vikings were set to meet in one of the most epic Super Bowls of all-time... until things changed.

Randall Cunningham #7...
Randall Cunningham #7... / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages
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The Denver Broncos (4-5) are set to host the Minnesota Vikings (6-4) on Sunday Night Football. These teams meet once every four years, so there isn't a rich history between them. In fact, they have played each other just 15 times in their histories. But it's the game that didn't happen between them that is often talked about the most.

For this, we rewind the clock back 25 years. All the way back to the 1998 season. Broncos fans rememeber that year fondly. Vikings fans would love to forget it.

The Broncos came into that season as the reigning champions, having won their first Super Bowl in team history with an upset over the Green Bay Packers. But it was another team from the NFC North that seemed to be on a collision course with Denver that entire season. That would be the Vikings.

Rod Smith, Denver Broncos
Rod Smith / Brian Bahr/GettyImages

Broncos roll through 1998 season

The Broncos were the AFC's best team that season and it wasn't particularly close. The team got off to a 13-0 start and for the most part, were blowing opponents out. During those first 13 games, the Broncos were beating their opponents by an average margin of 15.3 points per game.

It also didn't seem to matter who the quarterback was. Though John Elway was still the man in Denver, he was forced to miss four games that season due to injury. The Broncos turned to their backup, Bubby Brister, and the team didn't miss a beat. Brister went 4-0 as a starter, throwing 10 touchdowns to just three interceptions.

Elway would return to the field and in December of that year, in a game at the Meadowlands, the Broncos finally tasted defeat when New York Giants quarterback Kent Graham tossed this deep ball to Amani Toomer with less than a minute to play to pull the upset.

It would ruin the Broncos' pursuit of an undefeated season, but it didn't do much to stop the team's pursuit of another championship.

The Broncos would actually lose to the Miami Dolphins the following week as well before defeating the Seattle Seahawks to close the regular season at 14-2.