The Minnesota Vikings 10 Curses: A Complete Guide

The Minnesota Vikings 10 Curses: A Complete Guide

The Minnesota Vikings haven’t won a Super Bowl in 62 seasons of existence, which is obviously a problem for a franchise that, for the most part, wins at an impressive clip.

As a scapegoat, the team’s fans often joke — perhaps tell the truth — about the team as a “cursed” entity. Well, here are the Vikings 10 curses, all of them active.

The Minnesota Vikings 10 Curses: A Complete Guide

1. The ‘Beat the Vikings, Get a Lombardi’ Curse

The Minnesota Vikings 10
Sep 8, 2022; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) prepares to take the snap against the Buffalo Bills at SoFi Stadium. The Bills defeated the Rams 31-10. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

The Curse in Short: In the last five seasons, every team that won the Super Bowl beat the Vikings along the way.

Since 2017, these teams have defeated Minnesota in the regular season or playoffs and later won the Super Bowl:

  • 2017 = Philadelphia Eagles
  • 2018 = New England Patriots
  • 2019 = Kansas City Chiefs
  • 2020 = Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • 2021 = Los Angeles Rams

If the curse holds in the next three weeks, the Eagles will win the Super Bowl, and the weird voodoo will live on.

2. The Blowout Curse

Dec 15, 2019; Carson, CA, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo (95) celebrates sacking Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (left n ground) with teammate defensive end Danielle Hunter (99) in the third quarter at Dignity Health Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports.

The Curse in Short: The Vikings haven’t beaten a team by 17+ points in over three years.

On December 15th, 2019, the Vikings beat a Chargers team that would ultimately finish 5-11 by a score of 39-10. Minnesota brutalized Philip Rivers and the Chargers in Rivers’ final season with the club.

And then that was it. The Vikings haven’t blown out a team since. They flirted with the idea versus the Green Bay Packers in Week 1 and the Chicago Bears in Week 18 this year but wiped neither team off the map.

3. The Extra Point Curse

Cincinnati Bengals kicker Evan McPherson (2) kicks an extra point in the second quarter during an NFL Week 1 football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati Minnesota Vikings At Cincinnati Bengals Sept 12. © Kareem Elgazzar via Imagn Content Services, LLC.

The Curse in Short: An active streak, opposing kickers have made 83 straight extra points against the Vikings.

On January 3rd, 2021, the final game of the 2020 season, Marvin Jones scored a touchdown for the Detroit Lions, and kicker Matt Prater missed the extra point.

No kicker has missed an extra point against the Vikings since, with oodles of kickers remaining perfect against the purple team.

During the same timeframe, Vikings kickers have missed 10 extra points, chiefly Greg Joseph.

4. The Kirk Cousins Curse

Oct 9, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) warms up before the game against the Chicago Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Curse in Short: No NFL team has ever lost to a team with Kirk Cousins as QB1 and gone to win the Super Bowl in that same season.

This curse stayed alive in 2022 after the Buffalo Bills lost to the Cincinnati Bengals last weekend. In Cousins’ career, with him at QB1, if a team loses to Cousins’ team, you can stick a fork in them. They’re not winning a Super Bowl.

No matter what happens in the Conference Championships this weekend or the Super Bowl thereafter, this curse lives until 2023 and possibly beyond.

5. The Punt Return Curse

odds tracker week 17
Dec 4, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jalen Reagor (5) celebrates a catch against the New York Jets during the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

The Curse in Short: The Vikings haven’t returned a punt for a touchdown in seven years.

On October 9th, 2016, former Vikings cornerback Marcus Sherels took a punt return back for a touchdown at U.S. Bank Stadium versus the Houston Texans. Nobody knew it at the time, but a drought began.

While Kene Nwangwu has returned three kick return paydirts since, no Viking has taken a punt to the house in seven years.

6. The Ravens Curse

John Harbaugh
Dec 8, 2019; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh jogs on the field prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports.

The Curse in Short: In every season where the Vikings play the Ravens, it’s a bellwether event. If the Vikings win over Baltimore, they reach the NFC Championship. If the Vikings lose, the head coach is fired in the same season.

  • 2021: BAL beats MIN, 34-31 (Mike Zimmer later fired)
  • 2017: MIN beats BAL, 24-16 (Vikings reach NFC Championship)
  • 2013: BAL beats MIN, 29-26 (Leslie Frazier later fired)
  • 2009: MIN beats BAL, 33-31 (Vikings reach NFC Championship)
  • 2005: BAL beats MIN, 30-23 (Mike Tice later fired)
  • 2001: BAL beats MIN, 19-3 (Dennis Green fired that season)
  • 1998: MIN beats BAL, 38-28 (Vikings reach NFC Championship)

Those are the only times the two franchises have met in league history. Something grand happens in the season when the two clubs square off.

And, no, the Vikings don’t play the Ravens in 2023.

7. The Road Monday Night Football Curse

Vikings Face Brutal Challange in 2023
Sep 19, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) and Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) meet on the field after the game at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports.

The Curse in Short: The Vikings haven’t won a Monday night game on the road against a team not named ‘Chicago Bears’ since 2008.

Since 2008, the Vikings are 0-7 versus non-Bears teams in road matchups on Monday Night Football. With or without Kirk Cousins and his “winning on Monday nights” reputation, Minnesota struggles profusely in away games on Monday nights.

However, the Vikings have beaten the Bears thrice consecutively on Monday Night Football, so, you know, baby steps.

8. The Start of the Season Curse

Suddenly a Busy Man, Mike Zimmer Has Another New Gig
Nov 21, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer looks on prior to the game against the Green Bay Packers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.

The Curse in Short: The Vikings haven’t started a season with back-to-back wins since 2016.

U.S. Bank Stadium opened in 2016, and Mike Zimmer’s Vikings toppled the Tennessee Titans on the road to begin the season. A week later, they downed the Packers in the first-ever game at Minneapolis’ glass palace.

Since the start of 2017, though, Minnesota has started every season either 1-1 or 0-2. They just can’t get out of the gate undefeated anymore.

9. The Super Bowl Curse (of course)

A banner for Super Bowl LVII is shown on the side of the One Arizona Center in Phoenix, Ariz., on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023. © Alex Gould/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK.

The Curse in Short: In the Super Bowl Era, the Vikings have the NFL’s third-best regular season win percentage — but no Super Bowl wins.

Thanks to Minnesota’s spiffy 13-4 record in 2022, the Vikings surpassed the Patriots and Ravens via win percentage since 1966, the dawn of the Super Bowl era.

The NFL’s third-best regular season team in the last 57 years cannot win a Super Bowl. Hell, the Vikings haven’t even appeared in the big game since 1976.

If you ever want to know, as a Viking fan, why you’re so Super Bowl-starved, this is the stat.

10. The 2-Win Playoff Curse

Kirk Cousins
Jan 11, 2020; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers defensive end Arik Armstead (91) sacks Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) in the second quarter in an NFC Divisional Round playoff football game at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports.

The Curse in Short: The Vikings haven’t won two playoff games in a season since 1987.

Indeed, the Vikings usually have first-round byes in marvelous seasons — before 2022. In a way, that is considered a win by default.

However, Minnesota hasn’t won two games in the playoff tournament since 1987. Jerry Burns’ Vikings knocked off the New Orleans Saints and San Francisco 49ers en route to the 1987 NFC Championship. They couldn’t win three games in the postseason that year, losing to the Washington Commanders 17-10.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by