Classic NFL Games — The Hail Mary Game — Second Half

Classic NFL Games — The Hail Mary Game — Second Half

I earlier covered the first half of the 1975 NFC Divisional Playoff, a.k.a. the “Hail Mary Game.” This post covers the second half. I’ll write in present tense to give a sense of the game unfolding.  THIRD QUARTER Both defenses dominated the first half, ending 7-0 in Minnesota’s favor. The second half starts with Fran Tarkenton hitting running back Ed Marinaro for 40 yards, to the Dallas 35. This, however, isn’t Fran’s best game. He overthrows an open John Gilliam as the drive stalls. Fred Cox misses a 45-yard field goal by the size of the Gulf of Mexico — short, and very wide right. The Vikings topped every defensive category in 1975, holding 4 opponents to under 200 yards. Lucky bounces can crack such a defense. The Cowboys get one as Doug Sutherland hits Roger Staubach mid-throw. Carl Eller tips the pass, but the Cowboys make the catch at midfield. A late hit from Wally Hilgenberg adds 15 yards. […]

Classic NFL Games — The Hail Mary Game — First Half

Tom Landry had a knack for finding himself in some of the most memorable games in NFL history. The Ice Bowl. Super Bowls 10 and 13. He even was an assistant with the Giants in “The Greatest Game Ever Played,” the 1958 NFL Championship. The most controversial, however, was the 1975 NFC Divisional Playoff. The reigning NFC champion Minnesota Vikings hosted wildcard contender Dallas in a game made famous by a 50-yard touchdown that Viking fans still protest. But the game was more than just one play. It was an exceptionally entertaining contest from start to finish. I will break up my review of this game in two posts, one for each half. The writing will be in present tense to provide a sense of how the game unfolded. FIRST QUARTER The Cowboys find success running the ball on the opening drive. The drive, however, stalls at midfield and the Vikings start at their own 20 after a touchback. The […]

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