5 absolute best Minnesota Vikings defenses of all-time

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Brian Robison
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Brian Robison /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Michael J. Minardi/Getty Images) Chris Doleman and Keith Millard /

5. 1988 Minnesota Vikings

Notable Key Players:

Al Baker, Joey Browner, Chris Doleman, Carl Lee, Keith Millard, Jesse Solomon, Scott Studwell, Henry Thomas

Team Record: 11-5

The 1988 Vikings allowed 14.5 points per game. This ranked second in the NFL for that season and was bested only by the Chicago Bears, who had an unholy span of defensive dominance in mid-to-late 1980s. This Minnesota squad allowed 256 yards per game and that actually was tops in the league, edging the Bears out of the first spot.

In turnovers forced, the 1988 Vikings unit also led the NFL with 53 takeaways. This outpaced the Philadelphia Eagles who placed at a relatively distant second with 44 takeaways.

Despite the stout defense in virtually every other metric, Minnesota’s 1988 team notched just 37 sacks, which was only the 15th-most in the league for that year.

The Vikings also flaunted the NFL’s fourth-highest scoring offense during the 1988 season. However, Minnesota still managed to get defeated by the eventual Super Bowl champion San Francisco 49ers in the divisional round of the playoffs.