30 greatest Minnesota Vikings seasons in team history

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) Antoine Winfield
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) Antoine Winfield /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Sylvia Allen/Getty Images) Frank Myers /

30. 1978

  • Record: 8-7-1
  • Head Coach: Bud Grant
  • Lost Divisional Round at Los Angeles Rams, 34-10

The worst of the best was quarterbacked by Fran Tarkenton in his swan song season. The offense was decent (12th in NFL) and the defense was not (20th). This would be the third-to-last winning season for coach Bud Grant. It was also running back Chuck Foreman’s last year of relevance in terms of on-the-field prowess.

29. 1996

  • Record: 9-7
  • Head Coach: Dennis Green
  • Lost Wild-Card Round at Dallas Cowboys, 45-10

In the final year of the Warren Moon Experiment, the Vikings drew a Cowboys team in the postseason that was winding down its era of dominance. Brad Johnson eventually took over as signal-caller, Moe Williams was drafted, and the offense sputtered to a 23rd overall ranking. The defense was middle-of-the-pack, ranking 15th.

28. 1993

  • Record: 9-7
  • Head Coach: Dennis Green
  • Lost Wild-Card Round at New York Giants, 17-10

Chris Doleman and John Randle popped off for 12.5 sacks apiece. The offense ranked 20th in the business and the defense kept things honest as the 12th best in the league. This was Cris Carter‘s breakout season as he accumulated over 1,000 yards for the first time while Jim McMahon and old Barry Word chipped in modest offensive contributions. Oh, and Robert Smith was drafted.

27. 2008

  • Record: 10-6
  • Head Coach: Brad Childress
  • Lost Wild-Card Round at Philadelphia Eagles, 26-14

In his final year as a player, Gus Frerotte went undefeated (5-0) in home games and Adrian Peterson wreaked havoc on the league for a second straight season. The offense and defense were equally as adequate, ranking 12th and 13th, respectively. The end of the Tarvaris Jackson-as-starter era effectively came to end. The team side-eye looked at Brett Favre‘s performance in New York from afar.

26. 2012

  • Record: 10-6
  • Head Coach: Leslie Frazier
  • Lost Wild-Card Round at Green Bay Packers, 24-10

Peterson culminated one of the greatest individual season performances in NFL history with an MVP award while a young safety named Harrison Smith was drafted. Aside from Peterson, the offense was an embarrassment (14th) and the defense also ranked 14th. This was the only competent year under head coach Leslie Frazier.