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 George Rose/Getty Images) Anthony Carter /

10. 1987

  • Record: 8-7
  • Head Coach: Jerry Burns
  • Lost NFC Championship at Washington Redskins, 17-10

1987 was a memory banker. The Vikings did their best, almost-prophetic version of the 2010 Packers or 2011 Giants. They bumbled their way thru the regular season with the 13th best offense and 16th best defense. The team featured a few different quarterbacks and a few different running backs. Then they got hot and made a run. The improbable run fell short in the nation’s capital just one game away from the Super Bowl.

9. 1977

  • Record: 9-5
  • Head Coach: Bud Grant
  • Lost NFC Championship at Dallas Cowboys, 23-6

This Minnesota team ranked 16th in offense and 13th in offense. So, they did not really have any business reaching the NFC Championship, but they did. It was Fran Tarkenton’s second-to-last season and the final time in which Chuck Foreman would reach 1,000 rushing yards. Additionally, the team drafted Tommy Kramer and Scott Studwell.

8. 2000

  • Record: 11-5
  • Head Coach: Dennis Green
  • Lost NFC Championship at New York Giants, 41-0

As dominant as this Vikings team was offensively (fifth), it was as dastardly defensively (24th). It was a notorious era where Minnesota did not tackle well, at all. This was, however, Daunte Culpepper’s first year a starter and he was, for the most part, wonderful. It was fairly “easy” to run this offense with Randy Moss and Cris Carter chipping in with over 1,200 receiving yards apiece. The campaign dreadfully climaxed when the Vikings were demolished by the New York Giants in the NFC Championship.

7. 2017

  • Record: 13-3
  • Head Coach: Mike Zimmer
  • Lost NFC Championship at Philadelphia Eagles, 38-7

What could have been? Minnesota denied a generational opportunity to host a Super Bowl during this campaign. The 2017 Vikings had the league’s top defense and the 10th-best offense. Sam Bradford’s knee bones started rubbing against each other, so veteran Case Keenum replaced him and he played magically. Everson Griffen totaled 13 sacks while Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs matured into an elite tandem. The team spent draft capital on Dalvin Cook and Ifeadi Odenigbo.

6. 2009

  • Record: 12-4
  • Head Coach: Brad Childress
  • Lost NFC Championship at New Orleans Saints, 31-28

Longtime rival Brett Favre agreed to join Minnesota in the summer of 2009 and that’s basically what needs to be said about this unit. The team ranked second in offense and 10th in defense. Adrian Peterson played with the best field general of his career in Favre, Jared Allen feasted on 14.5 sacks, and Minnesota drafted and immediately utilized Percy Harvin. The season crumbled because of turnovers and nefarious happenings in The Big Easy.