Moments of glory series: Greg Lewis and his one huge touchdown

  • Updated: June 15, 2012 - 9:21 AM

Lewis' catch in the back of the end zone against the 49ers in 2009 seemed to signal a season of destiny -- for a while -- and added another layer to the legend of Brett Favre.

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Greg Lewis landed with both feet in the end zone to beat the 49ers.

Photo: Jeff Wheeler, Star Tribune file

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The most enduring athletes in Minnesota history are well known. Names such as Puckett, Killebrew and Tarkenton bring about images of long-term success. But what about those with local ties who only had a chance meeting with the big-time? Here we remember their one victory, their one appearance - their one moment. Today: Greg Lewis and his one huge touchdown

Before it was a season of destiny -- and even longer before it turned out it wasn't a season of destiny -- 2009 was a "what in the world is going to happen?" kind of year for the Vikings and their new quarterback, Brett Favre.

Minnesota won the division in 2008, but the consensus was the team needed an upgrade at quarterback to be a serious contender. The choice was Favre, coming off (another) retirement and set to turn 40 during the season.

The Vikings started off 2-0, but the late-arriving Favre still showed plenty of rust. He threw for just 265 combined yards -- but no interceptions -- in those victories over the woeful Browns and Lions, teams that would combine to win just seven games all year. He was more of a game manager than a gunslinger.

The Game To End All Games was looming against Green Bay in Week 4, but first the Vikings had to stay undefeated with a home game against the 49ers. And, of course, they fell right into the trap and things looked bleak late when San Francisco took a 24-20 lead deep into the fourth quarter.

With 12 seconds left and the ball 32 yards from the end zone, it was 3rd-and-3. Lewis, who had been released about three weeks prior by the Patriots, came into the game for his fourth play from scrimmage all year -- in the first game during which he was activated by the Vikings. He was likely only playing because Percy Harvin was exhausted and Darius Reynaud had pulled a hamstring earlier.

And, of course, you do know the rest. Favre rolled right, bought time and just before he was walloped he let a pass fly toward the back of the end zone. Lewis grabbed it, somehow keeping both feet in bounds -- as confirmed by a review -- and a season of destiny was born for the time, along with the revived legend of Favre.

"I just want to win," Lewis said after the game.

Lewis never scored another touchdown for the Vikings. But he didn't really have to.

MICHAEL RAND

  • TODAY GREG LEWIS AND HIS ONE HUGE TOUCHDOWN

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