Joe Kapp, Quarterback Who Led Vikings to Super Bowl IV, Dies at 85

Kapp, who was partly of Mexican descent, was labeled “the toughest Chicano” by Sports Illustrated on its July 1970 cover.

The Vikings saw him as the successor to Fran Tarkenton, who had been traded to the Giants.

Kapp tied a single-game National Football League record — one held by several quarterbacks — when he threw seven touchdown passes against the defending league champion, the Baltimore Colts, in September 1969.

He threw 19 touchdown passes during the 1969 regular season, leading the Vikings to the 1970 Super Bowl against the Kansas City Chiefs, the champions of the American Football League, which was in its last season before it merged with the N.F.L. The Vikings, anchored by the Purple People Eaters, a fearsome defensive line with Carl Eller and Jim Marshall at the ends and Alan Page and Gary Larsen at the tackles, were strong favorites, but the Chiefs defeated them, 23-7.

Kapp incurred a badly injured shoulder when he was hit on a bootleg play, but he remained in the game, completing 16 passes for 183 yards, though he was intercepted twice. “The Kansas City defense looked like a redwood forest,” he told The Minneapolis Star-Tribune afterward.

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