Vikings and Fran Tarkenton’s First Game

The Minnesota Vikings debut on the first weekend of 1961 was a mixture of old and new.  Perhaps the Chicago Bears underestimated them.  Rookie  Head Coach Norm Van Brocklin and rookie and new style Quarterback Fran Tarkenton displayed their abilities.   Castoffs from the other cities made, for  today at least, their former teams sorry they did not protect them.

Fran Tarkenton completed 17 of 29 passes for 250 yards and four touchdowns.

From the San Francisco 49ers Hugh McElhenny caught six passes for 54 yards and a touchdown.

From the Detriot Lions:

Jerry Reichow caught three passes for 103 yards and a touchdown.

Dave Middleton caught four passes for 50 yards and a touchdown.

From the New York Giants Bob Schnelker caught two passes for 22 yards and a touchdowns.

Turnovers are always big and today was no exception.  The Vikings intercepted four passes.   Minnesota stunned the Bears with an easy 37 to 13 victory.  To noone’s surprise, this would not happen often.  The Vikings finished their first season at 3-11.


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