From 1968 to 1980, the Minnesota Vikings became the Dynasty that Never Was. Missing rings plagued the hard-luck franchise four times in the era. While the team struggled from their founding in 1961 through 1967, they went on to have arguably some of the greatest regular season performances of all time.
Over the next thirteen seasons, the Vikings amassed 11 NFC Central Championships, appeared in four Super Bowls, and made five NFC Championship appearances, winning four. However, they fell short in all four Super Bowls and haven’t been back to the Big Game since 1976.
But don’t let that stop you from thinking the team hasn’t been relevant since.
In 1987, the 8-7-1 Vikings made a Cinderella run to the NFC Championship Game, losing by a touchdown to eventual Super Bowl Champion, the Washington Redskins.
In 1989, 1992, and 1994 they won three more NFC Central Titles, but failed to record a single playoff game until 1998, when they set the record for most points scored at the time. They went 15-1 that season, won the NFC Central again, but fell short in the NFC Championship Game to the Atlanta Falcons in overtime after kicker Gary Anderson, who’d made every single kick that season, botched a game-winning field goal.
Another Division Championship in 2000 and subsequent NFC Championship appearance saw the team get throttled 41-0 by the New York Giants.
Lean seasons plagued the Vikings from 2001 to 2008, but in 2009, quarterback Brett Favre, a member of the team’s chief rival, the Green Bay Packers from 1992-2007, joined the team. Favre went on to have one of the best seasons of his long NFL career and led the Vikings to yet another NFC North (formerly Central) Championship and another NFC Championship appearance.
Against the New Orleans Saints, the Vikings took the game to overtime, where a Favre interception sealed the team’s fate.
The team was again plagued with lean years until 2015 with another division title, but lost in the Wildcard playoffs. In 2017, the Vikings had a fantastic 13-3 season, one of the best in franchise history. The Divisional Playoff game against the New Orleans Saints that season saw the team pull off arguably the greatest finish to a playoff game in NFL history, known as the Minneapolis Miracle.
However, the Philadelphia Eagles throttled them the following week in the team’s sixth consecutive loss in the NFC Championship Game, dating back to 1977.
Minnesota Vikings Quick Hits
US Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Viktor the Viking
Purple People Eaters
Fran Tarkenton, Randall McDaniel, John Randle, Randy Moss
1998 Vikings were the most prolific offense in NFL history at the time, posting 556 points.
Main Article: Minnesota Vikings
Main Article: History of the Minnesota Vikings Jersey
2006-2012 (2012 Versions)