The Minnesota Vikings are set to play the New York Giants this coming Sunday in the Wild Card Round on Fox. This past Monday, it was revealed that Fox would be sending their top play by play announcer, Kevin Burkhardt, to call the game. This would be great news for the Vikings.
Why is this great news? Well, if you read my pieces consistently you will know that I have done two write ups on how Jim Nantz, the top play by play announcer for the NFL on CBS, is a jinx to the Vikings. Burkhardt, meanwhile, is the opposite of that. In fact, in the 15 Vikings games that Burkhardt has called since joining the NFL on Fox, the team has a record of 10-3-2.
While I won’t be covering all Burkhardt-called games in today’s article, I will be going through the last ten that he has called. Ready to be surprised at how the team plays when he is on the call?
Week 1 of 2022 vs. Green Bay Packers
Vikings beat Packers, 23-7
This game set the tone for what would become a 13-4 season for the Vikings. Wide receiver Justin Jefferson kicked off his record-breaking campaign with an eight-catch, 184-yard, two-score outing. This included a franchise-record 158 yards receiving in the first half.
The Vikings jumped out to a 20-0 lead as the defense played its best game of the year, sacking Aaron Rodgers four times and intercepting him once. Eventually, the rest of the game yielded a defensive contest as the Vikings got a 23-7 win, tied for their biggest margin of victory on the year.
Week 11 of 2021 vs. Green Bay Packers
Vikings beat Packers, 34-31
In a disappointing season for the franchise, this game was the high point of it. The long-time rivals squared off in Minneapolis for what would become a shootout. Kirk Cousins and Aaron Rodgers each threw for over 340 yards and three touchdowns apiece, and both teams combined for 875 total yards of total offense, but it was Justin Jefferson who stole the show, as he caught eight passes for 169 yards and two touchdowns.
The Vikings jumped out to a 23-10 lead early in the third quarter when Rodgers led a rally that ultimately put the Packers in front, 24-23. Cousins would not be denied as his second touchdown of the day to Jefferson, along with a successful two point conversion, put the Vikings back on top 31-24. Rodgers quickly threw another touchdown to tie the game with 2:08 to play, but a negated interception and an array of clock-killing short throws by Cousins enabled the Vikings to milk the clock and get into position for a walk-off field goal by Greg Joseph, which was successful and gave the Vikings the win.
Week 8 of 2020 at Green Bay Packers
Vikings beat Packers, 28-22
The 1-5 Vikings headed into Lambeau Field as heavy underdogs to a 6-1 Packers team, preparing to run the ball due to the windy and cloudy conditions for the day. Sure enough, as head coach Mike Zimmer likes to do, the Vikings heavily ran the ball and it paid off.
The Vikings kept Aaron Rodgers on the sidelines for most of this game as Dalvin Cook put on a career-best performance, touching the ball 32 times (including 30 rush attempts) for a total of 226 total yards from scrimmage and four total touchdowns (three rushing, one receiving). As a result of Cook’s performance that day, Kirk Cousins only had to throw the ball 14 times, completing 11 of them for 160 yards and the score to Cook.
The Packers had absolutely no answer for Cook, who willed the Vikings to a win. Down as much as 28-14 in the second half, Rodgers tried to lead one of his signature comebacks in the second half, but was strip-sacked by rookie defensive end D.J. Wonnum on the game’s final play, with linebacker Eric Wilson recovering it and sealing the win for the Vikings.
Week 9 of 2019 at Kansas City Chiefs
Chiefs beat Vikings, 26-23
The 6-2 Vikings traveled to Kansas City to play the eventual Super Bowl champion Chiefs, who were without the services of superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Despite three touchdowns from Kirk Cousins and five sacks from the defense, Andy Reid’s offense proved too much to overcome for the Vikings.
Not only did backup quarterback Matt Moore dice up the Vikings pass defense for 275 yards and a touchdown, running back Damien Williams ran for 125 yards (including a 91-yard touchdown), and Tyreek Hill caught six passes for 140 yards and a touchdown. In the end, two late field goals by kicker Harrison Butker were enough to lift the Chiefs to a win.
This was the first time since Week 13 of 2015, when the team got destroyed 38-7 by the Seattle Seahawks, that the Vikings lost a game announced by Burkhardt.
Week 2 of 2018 at Green Bay Packers
Vikings and Packers tie, 29-29
The Vikings have had two ties in the past decade, both of which have come against the Packers and have been Burkhardt-announced games.
Despite the Packers jumping out to an early 20-7 lead, Kirk Cousins led a Vikings rally and eventually, before you knew it, the game was tied at 29-all and headed to overtime thanks to a missed field goal from Mason Crosby. However, it was Vikings rookie kicker Daniel Carlson that became the big story after the game.
Despite 425 yards passing from Cousins and receivers Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen each going over 100 yards and scoring a touchdown, Carlson missed three field goals on the day. This included two missed kicks in overtime, and his miss on the game’s final play sealed the tie. The next day, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer released Carlson, who has since gone on to become a clutch kicker for the Raiders.
Week 17 of 2017 vs. Chicago Bears
Vikings beat Bears, 23-10
The Vikings clinched a final record of 13-3 on the season, their best single-season record since 1998, with a dominant performance over the lowly Bears.
Excluding a Mike Nugent field goal in the fourth quarter, the Vikings turned in a shutout defensively, as the Bears’ lone touchdown came via a punt return. Case Keenum threw for 189 yards and a touchdown in his final regular season start as a Viking, while running back Latavius Murray ran for 111 yards and a pair of scores.
Week 13 of 2017 at Atlanta Falcons
Vikings beat Falcons, 14-9
A visit to Atlanta to take on the defending NFC champion Falcons was expected to be a shootout between two teams with playoff aspirations. Instead, the game yielded a defensive contest that saw Minnesota come away with a 14-9 road victory.
The difference in this game was ultimately touchdowns and field goals. While the Vikings offense scored two touchdowns thanks to two passing scores from Keenum, their defense forced the Falcons to settle for three field goals. In addition, a prime Xavier Rhodes shut down Julio Jones, holding him to two catches for 24 yards on the day.
Had it not been for several questionable calls and other offensive penalties that took big plays off the board for the Vikings, ultimately stalling many offensive drives, this game could have been a lot worse.
Week 11 of 2017 vs. Los Angeles Rams
Vikings beat Rams, 24-7
In his first season as Rams head coach, Sean McVay fielded a high-octane offense that ripped through most of the NFL. Well, except for the Vikings.
Mike Zimmer came in with a masterful game plan to slow down the Rams offense as the Vikings dominated them in Minneapolis, winning by a final score of 24-7. An opening drive touchdown would be the Rams’ only touchdown of the day, as the rest of their offensive drives saw them punt, lose a fumble, or turn it over on downs. The Vikings held the Rams to 254 yards of total offense, including limiting star running back and eventual 2017 Offensive Player of the Year winner Todd Gurley to 55 total yards on 18 touches despite scoring a touchdown.
As for the Vikings offense, they put up 451 yards and 24 points on the day. Keenum threw for 280 yards and a touchdown, Thielen had 123 receiving yards and a touchdown, and Murray ran for 95 yards and two scores.
This was a victory that proved consequential to the NFC playoff race later in the year. The Vikings finished 13-3 and the Rams finished 11-5, but both teams would have finished 12-4 had the Rams won. In fact, the Rams also would have gotten the tiebreaker over the Vikings with a win, which would have meant the Vikings would not have gotten the second seed in the playoffs that year.
Week 10 of 2017 at Washington
Vikings beat Washington, 38-30
In what would be Kirk Cousins’ last game against the Vikings before signing with them the following offseason, Cousins’ future team beat his now-former team in a game where the score didn’t tell the entire story.
Keenum threw four touchdown passes to four different receivers, Thielen put up 166 receiving yards, and the rushing offense gained over 100 yards as the Vikings beat Washington 38-30. However, the game was not a shootout. The Vikings were up 35-17 early in the third quarter, before a late field goal and Cousins rushing touchdown made the score 35-27. The Vikings tacked on a late field goal as “insurance points,” and Washington countered with another field goal.
There you have it, Kevin Burkhardt is the Vikings’ good luck charm when it comes to play-by-play announcers. Over the past ten Vikings games that Burkhardt has announced, the team is 8-1-1. Will his good luck charm lead the Vikings to a victory against the Giants this Sunday in the Wild Card Round? Heck, is it entirely possible that, with Burkhardt also set to announce a Divisional Round game, the NFC Championship Game, and Super Bowl LVII, the Vikings ride to a Super Bowl victory just because of his presence? Buckle up, this postseason is bound to be wild, because making games dramatic is just what the Vikings do.