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Team Guide for the Minnesota Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings have been one of the best NFL franchises in the history of the league. Despite an overall winning record and four trips to the Super Bowl, however, this successful team remains without a Lombardi Trophy win.

Minnesota will again be on the prowl for that type of high-level success next season, and they could be a viable bet to make it happen. Whether or not you plan on betting on the Vikings, make this page your one-stop resource for all things Vikings.

Minnesota Vikings Overview and Key Information

The Minnesota Vikings have had the same name and have been based in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area since their first game at Metropolitan Stadium back in 1961.

Minnesota has made four Super Bowl appearances, all coming in the late ‘60s and ‘70s, but has yet to win the Lombardi Trophy. Regardless, the Vikings still hold one of the highest winning percentages in the NFL, and the team has made 29 playoff appearances, with the most recent in 2017.

In 2014, Mike Zimmer was hired as the ninth head coach in the franchise’s history. In 2018, former Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins signed the highest NFL guaranteed three-year deal to date with the Vikings.

Minnesota Vikings – Key Info
NFC North
Current Team Location
Minneapolis, Minnesota
U.S. Bank Stadium
Head Coach
Mike Zimmer
Zygi Wilf
Team Value (Forbes 2018)
$2.4 billion (19th)

Minnesota Vikings Team History

The Minnesota Vikings have always resided in Minneapolis and have been the Vikings since day one in their inaugural 1961 season. The Vikings were an NFL expansion team and played their first 21 seasons at Metropolitan Stadium.

The ‘60s started out uneventful for the new team. There was no playoff action until 1968 when they captured a first place in the Central Division but lost in the divisional playoffs.

In 1969, though, the Vikings won their only championship game to date, winning the NFL Championship against the Browns with a 27-7 final score. They did go on to lose to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl IV, but still, they have the distinction of being the last team to win the NFL Championship before the AFL-NFL merger.

Super Bowl Appearances and Playoff History

The ‘70s was the decade of Super Bowl appearances for the Vikings. In 1974, ‘75, and ‘76, they won NFC Championships and earned a trip to three Super Bowls but came up empty with an 0-3 record. Super Bowl XI in 1976 was the last time that the Minnesota Vikings had a shot at the championship trophy.

Regardless of the championship record, the Vikings have a 498-425-11 lifetime record through 2018 and have one of the highest winning percentages in the NFL. The team has made 29 playoff appearances from 1968 through 2017 and has reached 10 NFC title games.

  • Super Bowl Appearances: 1977, 1975, 1974, 1970
  • Super Bowl Championships: 0
  • NFC North Division Titles: 2017, 2015, 2009, 2008
  • NFC Central Division Titles: 2000, 1998, 1994, 1992, 1989, 1980, 1978, 1977, 1976, 1975, 1974, 1973, 1971, 1970, 1969, 1968
  • Playoff Appearances: 2012, 2004, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1994, 1993, 1992, 1989, 1988, 1987, 1982, 1980, 1978, 1977, 1976, 1975, 1974, 1973, 1971, 1970, 1969, 1968

Home Stadium – U.S. Bank Stadium

  • Inaugurated: 2016
  • Capacity: 66,655
  • Grass or Turf: Turf

The Minnesota Vikings have had four dedicated stadiums since they were introduced in 1961. Metropolitan Stadium was first and remained for 21 years, through the 1981 season. Next was Mall of America Field at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome from 1982-2013. TCF Bank Stadium was temporarily used for 2014-2015 while the new U.S. Bank Stadium was finishing construction.

U.S. Bank Stadium was opened in 2016 and is an indoor stadium built on the site of the former Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome.

The venue is the first fixed-roof stadium in the NFL since Detroit’s Ford Field was completed in 2002. Funding was contingent on the indoor aspect so that it could host premier events year-round. U.S. Bank Stadium is primarily used for Vikings football but has already hosted Super Bowl LII and the ESPN X Games in 2018.

  • Stadium Address: U.S. Bank Stadium, 401 Chicago Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55415
  • Mailing Address: Minnesota Vikings, 9520 Viking Drive, Eden Prairie, MN 55344
  • Phone: 952-828-6500

Minnesota Vikings Head Coaches

Despite being around since 1961, the Vikings have been loyal to the majority of their head coaches. In the franchise’s history, just nine have roamed the sidelines, with just one (Les Steckel) seeing fewer than three years on the job.

Bud Grant

Of the nine head coaches in the Vikings’ history, one name stands out above all others. Bud Grant is the longest-tenured coach and has recorded more playoff appearances, championships, and awards than anyone else.

Grant was the organization’s second coach, following Norm Van Brocklin, and spent 17 seasons in Minnesota, compiling a 151-87-5 regular-season record with a .635 winning percentage. He led the team to their only NFL Championship in 1969, the last before the AFL-NFL merger.

In 1969, Bud was one of the most talked-about and honored football coaches, named Coach of the Year by the AP, Pro Football Weekly, the Sporting News, and the UPI. Following the 1969 title, Grant and the Vikings went on to win three NFC Championships in the ‘70s, giving him a career postseason record of 10 and 12.

Dennis Green

Jerry Burns followed Grant and got the Vikings into the playoffs three times, but the next Vikings coach worth a look is Dennis Green.

Easily one of the best Minnesota coaches ever, Green constantly had the Vikings pushing their way into the playoffs and even dreaming of the Super Bowl. Green’s teams won fewer than eight games just once (his final season) and made postseason play eight different seasons.

Green’s offenses were typically among the league’s best, and that also kept Minnesota in the hunt deep into the postseason. Under Green’s guidance, the Vikings made it to the NFC title game twice and nearly made the Super Bowl in a tense 30-27 overtime loss to Atlanta in 1998.

Brad Childress

“Chilly” was a bright offensive mind prior to his four-year stint in Minnesota, but nobody can balk at a guy who had the Vikings competitive for the majority of his tenure.

After a 10-6 playoff run in his third season, Childress aimed for the moon when he talked future Hall of Famer Brett Favre into coming to Minnesota. Favre enjoyed one of his best seasons of his career en route to a run to the NFC title game. Favre ultimately blew the game with a back-breaking interception, but the Vikings had a real shot at the Super Bowl in a 31-28 overtime defeat.

Mike Zimmer

Mike Zimmer signed on in 2014, following Leslie Frazier’s three-year run. After coaching at the college level, Zimmer took his first NFL spot with the Cowboys in charge of defensive backs in 1994. He switched to defensive coordinator from 2000-2006 for the Cowboys, then the Falcons and Bengals, before stepping up to the top job with the Vikings for the 2014 season.

The Vikings have known nothing but success with the defensive-minded Zimmer leading the charge. Minnesota has gone 7-9 or better in each season he’s manned the sidelines, while the Vikings have also won two NFC North crowns and made the playoffs twice.

92014-Mike Zimmer64-47.5762-3.400
82011-13Leslie Frazier21-32.3980-1.000
72006-10Brad Childress39-35.5271-2.333
62002-05Mike Tice32-33.4921-1.500
51992-00Dennis Green97-62.6104-8.333

Minnesota Vikings’ Last Five Seasons

2020Mike Zimmer3rd7-9.438
2019Mike Zimmer2nd10-6.6251-1
2018Mike Zimmer2nd8-7-1.531
2017Mike Zimmer1st 13-31-1
2016Mike Zimmer3rd8-8

Minnesota Vikings’ All-Time Career Leaders

Passing YardsFran Tarkenton33,0981961-78
Passing TouchdownsFran Tarkenton2391961-78
Rushing YardsAdrian Peterson11,7472007-16
Rushing TouchdownsAdrian Peterson972007-16
ReceptionsCris Carter1,0041990-01
Receiving YardsCris Carter12,3831990-01
Receiving TouchdownsCris Carter1101990-01
TacklesCarl Lee7711983-93
SacksJohn Randle1141990-00
InterceptionsPaul Krause531968-79

Fran Tarkenton

Fran Tarkenton was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in 1961 in the third round out of the University of Georgia where he was twice named First-Team All-SEC. He played for six seasons, was traded to the Giants in 1967, and traded back in 1972 to finish out his last seven seasons on the field for the Vikings. The quarterback was named to nine Pro Bowls and set franchise and NFL records, some that still stand up today.

He’s the current Vikings’ all-time passing leader, and his 342 career passing touchdowns rank him 6th amongst all NFL players. He’s also sixth on the all-time list for 124 wins by a starting QB. In 1975, Tarkenton was the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year and MVP, as well as Bert Bell Award recipient. He retired with a 342-266 TD-INT and 80.4 passer rating. Fran Tarkenton’s number 10 was retired by the Vikings. He’s both a Pro and College Football Hall of Famer.

Cris Carter

Cris Carter may have been drafted by the Eagles in the 1987 NFL supplemental draft and retired with the Miami Dolphins, but 12 out of 16 years of his pro career were spent in Minnesota. The wide receiver was a consensus All-American at Ohio State for the Buckeyes. He was cut by the Eagles after the ’89 season and claimed by the Vikings off waivers in 1990.

Carter had his breakout season in ’93 with career highs and a first Pro Bowl appearance. In 1995, ‘97, and ‘99, he was the NFL’s receiving touchdowns leader and is still the Vikings all-time career receiving leader with 1,004 receptions, 12,383 yards, and 97 touchdowns. Carter was the 1999 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year, was named to the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team, and a Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee. The Vikings retired his number 80 and named Cris Carter to their Ring of Honor.

Randy Moss

The former two-time All-American from Marshall University, Randy Moss, was drafted by the Vikings in 1988 in the first round of the NFL Draft. He earned the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award that season as well as First-Team All-Pro for the first of four times. That first season, he was also the NFL’s receiving touchdowns leader, a feat he repeated four more times. Moss is second to Cris Carter (110) on the Vikings’ all-time receiving touchdown list with 92. He still holds NFL records for 23 receiving touchdowns in a season and 17 receiving touchdowns in a rookie season.

The wide receiver is also second in the NFL for regular-season touchdown receptions with 156. Moss was traded to the Oakland Raiders in 2005 and also played for the Patriots in the 2007-09 seasons. In 2010, Moss was on the roster for the Patriots, the Vikings, and the Titans. He retired in a 49ers jersey after the 2012 season and was named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Minnesota Vikings Ring of Honor.

Adrian Peterson

Adrian Peterson was Minnesota’s seventh overall pick in the 2007 draft. The running back was unanimous first-team All-American at the University of Oklahoma and then went on to be named the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year in ’07. That same year, he was also named to his first of seven Pro Bowls.

In 2008, Peterson was First-Team All-Pro and the NFL’s rushing yards leader for the first of three times. He’s a two-time NFL rushing touchdowns leader and holds the current NFL record for 296 rushing yards in a game. In 2012, Adrian was named the NFL Offensive Player of the Year as well as NFL Most Valuable Player. After ten seasons with the Vikings (2007-2016), he signed with the Saints in 2017 and was traded to the Cardinals the same season before becoming a free agent.

Alan Page

Alan Page is both an NFL and Minnesota Supreme Court retiree, having used his political science degree he earned from Notre Dame while simultaneously leading the Fighting Irish to a 1966 national championship. The defensive tackle was drafted by the Vikings and played in Minnesota from 1967-1978. He was on the 1960 championship team and earned some NFL honors in ’71 as the Defensive Player of the Year and Most Valuable Player.

Alan was also twice-named the NFC Defensive Player of the Year, was a six-time First-Team All-Pro, and made the Pro Bowl for nine consecutive seasons from 1968-76. He is one of only 11 players to have been on the Vikings roster for all four Super Bowl appearances. From ’78-’81, he played for the Chicago Bears before earning his degree from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1978.

Page went on to serve as the Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court as the first African American on that court. His retirement from the NFL was also distinguished by College and Pro Football Hall of Fame inductions, and his number 88 was retired by the Vikings.

John Randle

One of the most menacing Vikings players ever, Randle struck fear into the opposition with his unique face paint and was a terror on the defensive line for 14 years.

Eleven of those seasons had Randle in Minnesota, where he racked up 114 sacks (first in Vikings history) and played a hand in eight playoff runs (two NFC title game appearances).

A small player for an NFL defensive line, Randle was a classic underdog story throughout his career, as he came out of Texas A&M-Kingsville as an undrafted rookie. Randle made his presence known early, notching 9.5 sacks in just his second season and proceeding to terrorize the NFC from that point on.

Minnesota Vikings Trivia

Former Vikings great Adrian Peterson holds numerous Minnesota records, but he also still has one that tops the league. Peterson’s 296 rushing yards in a 2007 contest against the San Diego Chargers still stands as the most rushing yards in a single game, ever.

Randy Moss was known for scoring touchdowns on deep balls and eventually broke the single-season record (23) for catching touchdowns. He also set the rookie record with Minnesota with 17.

The Minnesota defensive line was known as the “Purple People Eaters” during the 1960s and 1970s thanks to their dominance up front.

Jim Marshall was a Hall of Fame defensive lineman for the Vikings, but he’s infamous for an iconic blunder. Upon picking up a fumble at one point during a game, he returned it 66 yards for a touchdown…in the wrong direction. The score resulted as a safety.

Minnesota has produced two “Hail Mary” miracles that will never be forgotten. One came when Ahmad Rashad caught the game winner in the 1980 “Miracle at the Met.” The other came from an unlikely score by Stefon Diggs in a second-round playoff game in what is now known as the “Minneapolis Miracle.”

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