Tarkenton Eludes Defenders Before Long TD Pass
At Minneapolis’ Metropolitan Stadium on October 30, 1966, the Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton showcased his unique and entertaining versatility – all on a single play. In the fourth quarter, with the Vikings ahead 21-3 and with the ball in San Francisco territory, Tarkenton took the snap from under center and went back to pass. A defender got through the line and began chasing Tarkenton, who started running and spinning backward. About 25 yards behind the line of scrimmage, he got a nice block and managed to head back the correct way, still looking for receivers. Still unable to find anyone – and now being pursued by another 49er – Tarkenton started running forward with it. But he had yet to reach the line of scrimmage and so with one foot and with a running start he chucked the ball downfield towards several 49ers and Vikings near the goal line. The ball bounced off the hands of a 49er and into the arms of the Vikings’ Preston Carpenter in the end zone, for a 40-yard touchdown catch. It was one of two TD throws for Tarkenton in a game in which he also ran for two scores.