The Minnesota Vikings’ 10 Current Curses: A Complete Guide

The Gringe Visited
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The Minnesota Vikings haven’t won a Super Bowl in 63 seasons of existence, which is obviously a problem for a franchise that, for the most part, wins at an exceptional clip compared to other NFL clubs.

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

The Minnesota Vikings’ 10 Current Curses: A Complete Guide

1. The “Beat the Vikings, Get a Lombardi” Curse

Current Curses
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The Curse in Short: In the last six seasons, five teams 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
  • *2022 = Kansas City Chiefs (did not play the Vikings)

If the curse remains somewhat intact, the Buccaneers, Chiefs, or Lions, will win the chip in February.

2. The Blowout Curse

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The Curse in Short: The Vikings haven’t beaten a team by 17+ points in over four 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 of the 2022 season and then Week 8 at Green Bay in 2023 but wiped none team off the map.

3. No Playoffs in Back-to-Back Seasons Since 2009

Drops One Hint
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

The Curse in Short: Minnesota hasn’t attended the playoff tournament in back-to-back years since 2008-2009.

In the last 15 years, if you get hyped about the Vikings entering the postseason, it’s best to enjoy that particular run because it absolutely won’t happen the following year.

The streak is a topsy-turvy ordeal with no singular explanation. On the whole, quarterback instability is probably to blame.

When the Vikings find a regime — perhaps it’s Kevin O’Connell and Kwesi Adof0-Mensah — that fosters consecutive playoff trips, you’ll know those guys are right for the job. Until then, it’s a common theme of Vikings football. With few exceptions, the purple team reaches the postseason every other year.

4. The Kirk Cousins Curse

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The Curse in Short: No NFL team has ever lost to a team with Kirk Cousins as QB1 and gone on 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.

How does the theory apply this year? Well, the 49ers should be paranoid. If they win the Super Bowl, the Kirk Cousins curse will die.

5. The Punt Return Curse

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

6. The Ravens Curse

John Harbaugh
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 2024.

7. The Road Monday Night Football Curse

The Dirty Secret about Vikings Monday Night Road Games
Joe Nicholson-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

Jeffrey Becker-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 fourth-best regular season win percentage — but no Super Bowl wins.

Thanks to Minnesota’s spiffy 20-14 record in the last two years, the Vikings surpassed the Patriots via win percentage since 1966, the dawn of the Super Bowl era.

The NFL’s fourth-best regular season team in the last 58 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 anxious about the Promised Land, this is the stat: Minnesota has lost four consecutive Super Bowls and six straight NFC Championships.

10. The 2-Win Playoff Curse

Kirk Cousins
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. 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,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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

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