Top 10 Moments In Minnesota Vikings History

Los Angeles Rams vs Minnesota Vikings
The Minnesota Vikings New Home, U.S. Bank Stadium. Photo Credit: Matthew Paulson - Under Creative Commons License
US Bank Stadium

The Minnesota Vikings New Home, U.S. Bank Stadium. Photo Credit: Matthew Paulson – Under Creative Commons License

What Ranks #1 As We Count Down The Top 10 Moments In Minnesota Vikings History?

The Minnesota Vikings have had some highs and lows throughout their storied franchise but what comes in at #1 as we rank the top moments in Vikings history.

10. Completion Of U.S. Bank Stadium

“If you build it, they will come.”

Completed on June 17, 2016, this behemoth is 240,000 square feet and cost $1.129 billion. The Vikings went 5-3 during their first season in the new stadium  The stadium is also set to host Super Bowl LII, the NCAA Men’s Final Four in 2019, and a plethora of thrilling Vikings moments to come.

9. First Playoff Win

The Vikings defeated the L.A. Rams on December 27th, 1969. The score was 23-20 and the Vikings would later go onto play in their first Super Bowl after defeating the Cleveland Browns in the last NFL Championship game before the merger. This game against the Rams was the first NFL playoff game to take place in Minnesota.

8. Drafting Randy Moss

In 1998, Randy Moss was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings with the 21st overall pick.  Moss led the team in receiving yards from 1998-2003 and during his time with the Vikings, Moss racked up 574 receptions and 90 TDs. On March 22nd, 2005, Moss was traded to the Oakland Raiders for linebacker Napoleon Harris, and 1st and 7th round draft picks. Moss was only 28 years old and arguably, in the prime of his career. The year after Moss was traded, the Vikings fell to 6-10, after going 9-7 the year before. From 2005 to 2006, the Vikings fell from 19th in the league to 26th in points. Two years later, Minnesota would draft Adrian Peterson and began having winning seasons again. 

7. First Super Bowl Appearance

Super Bowl IV took place on January 11, 1970, and it saw the Vikings lose to The Kansas City Chiefs, 23-7. This was the first Super Bowl for a modern expansion team, The Vikings. Four years later, the Vikings would play in their second Super Bowl against The Miami Dolphins, losing 24-7. Despite the losses, they will go down as participating in two of the first eight Super Bowls, which is an impressive feat in itself.

6. Drafting AP

Adrian Peterson was drafted in the 2007 NFL draft by the Minnesota Vikings with the 7th pick overall. During his time with the Vikings, Peterson ran for 11,747 yards and scored 97 rushing and 5 receiving TDs. AP was a 7-time pro-bowler and led the Vikings to 5 playoff games. Peterson led the team in rushing yards from 2007-2013 and 2015 and led the league in 2008, 2012, 2015. In 2012, he finished with 2,097 rushing yards, second most in NFL history, behind only Eric Dickerson.

5. Dynamic Duo

During the 1998-2001 seasons, the dynamic tandem of Cris Carter and Randy Moss proved almost unbeatable alongside quarterback Daunte Culpepper. From 1997-2001, the most touchdowns scored in the league each season, was a Vikings receiver. The team made the playoffs every season during that time span and in 1998, had led the league in offensive points and came in 2nd in offensive yards. Moss and Carter were both selected to the Pro Bowl each year from 1998-2000. The Vikings fell to a 5-11 record in 2001 and Carter’s production had declined dramatically. Following that season, Carter opted out of his contract and would sign with The Miami Dolphins. Moss would stay four more years until he was traded to the Raiders.

4. The Franchise Was Founded

Minnesota was granted an NFL expansion team during the NFL owners meeting on January 28, 1960. They would begin to play in the 1961 NFL season. They wouldn’t become the Vikings until sometime later in the year. As of August 2017, the Vikings hold an all-time regular season record of 457-387-10 and a post season record of 19-28 and they’ve also been to three Super Bowls.

3. Purple People Eaters

During the late 1960’s – mid 70’s, the Vikings had gathered and elite defensive line, nicknamed, “The Purple People Eaters” consisting of: Defensive Tackles Alan Page and Gary Larsen and Defensive Ends Carl Eller and Jim Marshall. In 1969, they lead the league in fewest points allowed and sacked the quarterback 50 times. Along with the offense ranking #1 in points, the franchise made their first Super Bowl appearance in January 1970.

The team would make the Super Bowl three times in four years (’73,’74,’76). Larson retired in 1974 and in 1978 Page and Eller would move to the Bears and Seahawks, respectively. Jim Marshall would retire 1979 after 19 seasons with the Vikings. The group has achieved 19 Pro Bowl selections, one NFL MVP award (Page,1971) and two Hall of Fame selections (Page, Eller).

2. Drafting Fran Tarkenton

Fran Tarkenton was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the 1961 NFL draft in the third round; 11 months after the team was founded. Tarkenton was also drafted by the Boston Patriots, now known as the New England Patriots,  in the fifth round of the 1961 AFL draft. Tarkenton, during his two differents stints with the Vikings, would lead the team to three different Super Bowls and seven playoff wins. During this time, Tarkenton would throw for 33,098 yards, 239 TDs and had a starting record of 91-73-6.  The Vikings have retired Tarkenton’s #10 jersey.

1. Bud Grant Named Head Coach

In 1967, Bud Grant took over as head coach for the Minnesota Vikings. Taking over for Norm Van Brocklin, Grant, in his first season, would lead the Vikings to a 3-8-3 season. The next season the Vikings would improve to 8-6 and make the playoffs. Grant would cook up a 158-96-5 regular season record and a 10-12 postseason record. Alongside Tarkenton, Grant would reach three Super Bowls, all losses. During Grant’s 18 seasons with Minnesota, the team only missed the playoffs six times.