3. 1971 Minnesota Vikings
Notable Key Players:
Bobby Bryant, Karl Kassulke, Paul Krause, Jim Marshall, Alan Page, Ed Sharockman, Charlie West
Team Record: 11-3
The 1971 Vikings allowed just 9.9 points per game. This was the best in the NFL and they narrowly edged the Baltimore Colts for this distinction. This unit allowed 243 yards per game, but this was topped by those same Colts who saw their opponents only accumulate 204 yards per matchup.
As for takeaways, the 1971 Minnesota squad forced 45 turnovers in 14 games which elevated them to the third in the NFL in the category. The Vikings only notched 17 sacks on the year and that jettisoned them to the back half of the 26-team league at No. 17.
Minnesota’s offense in 1971 was not stellar as it scored less than 18 points per game, a mark that relegated to the bottom-third of the league. The Vikings’ struggles on offense were probably why the team was dispatched from the 1971 postseason on Christmas Day by the Dallas Cowboys.