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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Dan Marino, Denver Broncos
1998 AFC Divisional Playoff Game - Miami Dolphins vs Denver Broncos - January 9, 1999 / Joseph Poellot/GettyImages

1998 NFL Playoffs

The stage was set. The Broncos and Vikings both had first-round byes as the No. 1 seed in each conference and each team would just have to take care of business in order to meet in Miami.

In the divisional round, the Vikings beat up on the Arizona Cardinals, winning 41-21 behind three touchdown passes from Cunningham and 124 yards rushing from Robert Smith.

The Broncos were matched up against Dan Marino and the Dolphins, a team that they had lost to three weeks earlier. This time was much different.

Terrell Davis, the league MVP that season, rushed for 199 yards and two touchdowns. The Broncos also intercepted Marino twice during the 38-3 victory. Both teams were on to the conference championship.

The Broncos took on the New York Jets and the Vikings were matched up against the Atlanta Falcons, The Falcons went 14-2 that season but still were considered no match for Minnesota.

The Broncis struggled for a bit against the Jets, falling behind 10-0 before roaring back with 23 unanswered points. Davis had another big day, gaining 167 yards on the ground as the Broncos headed to the Super Bowl for the second year in a row.

Things were different in the NFC Championship Game.

The Vikings got out to a 20-7 lead but the Falcons clawed their way back into it. At the end of regulation, the score was tied 27-27 and we would need overtime to decide a winner.

The Vikings got the chance to win it first. Gary Anderson, who hadn't missed a single kick all season, came out for a 38-yard field goal that would have sent the Vikings to the Super Bowl. But he missed it. It remains as one of the biggest missed kicks in football history.

Moments later, the Falcons had a chance to win it, also from 38 yards out, and their kicker, Morten Andersen, drilled it. The Falcons were headed to the Super Bowl in unbelievable fashion.