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 Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins /

15. 2019

  • Record: 10-6
  • Head Coach: Mike Zimmer
  • Lost Divisional Round at San Francisco 49ers, 27-10

2019 was another extremely balanced Vikings squad as the offense ranked eighth and the defense ranked fifth. In his final season with the Vikings, Stefon Diggs emerged as a bonafide deep-ball threat and Kirk Cousins dropped the balls in his breadbasket. Danielle Hunter registered 14.5 sacks and Dalvin Cook remained relatively healthy for the first time. Minnesota pulled off a thrilling road playoff upset over the New Orleans Saints and tight end Irv Smith Jr. joined the team via the draft.

14. 1988

  • Record: 11-5
  • Head Coach: Jerry Burns
  • Lost Divisional Round at San Francisco 49ers, 34-9

This particular Vikings team was very, very good. It featured a top-five Minnesota defense of all-time. The defense ranked second and the offense fourth during this season. Wade Wilson and Tommy Kramer split signal-calling duties. The running game was done by a committee of guys and it oddly worked. Anthony Carter was a beast of a receiver. Future Hall of Famer Randall McDaniel was drafted, as was Al Noga. For Jerry Burns, this team has to be “the one that got away”.

13. 1971

  • Record: 11-3
  • Head Coach: Bud Grant
  • Lost Divisional Round vs. Dallas Cowboys, 20-12

The 1971 Vikings defense was tops in the NFL while the offense lagged behind at 18th. There was a hodgepodge at quarterback of Gary Cuozzo, Bob Lee, and Norm Snead. Clint Jones and Dave Osborn did the rushing while Bob Grim hauled in the catches. The Purple People Eaters were eating people all year long. But Minnesota would be ousted by the Cowboys in the playoffs, who went on to win it all.

12. 1970

  • Record: 12-2
  • Head Coach: Bud Grant
  • Lost Divisional Round vs. San Francisco 49ers, 17-14

The inverse of wash, rinse, repeat. But, this Vikings team had the league’s third-best offense to accompany the NFL’s best defense. Cuozzo played the bulk of the season under center, unlike the 1971 campaign. Minnesota sent seven players to the Pro Bowl during this campaign. The Vikings were nixed by a 49ers team who were led by a decent quarterback that nobody ever talks about by the name of John Brodie.

11. 1975

  • Record: 12-2
  • Head Coach: Bud Grant
  • Lost Divisional Round versus Cowboys, 17-14

Per usual for the 1970s, this Minnesota squad won the NFC Central division. A 35-year-old Fran Tarkenton had arguably the best year of his career. The Vikings offense ranked third in the NFL and so did their defense. Chuck Foreman was in his absolute prime and John Gilliam was taking care of the receptions. Minnesota took Mark Mullaney in the 1975 draft and he would go on to appear in 151 total games for the franchise. The season ended with the infamous “Hail Mary Game”.