30 greatest Minnesota Vikings seasons in team history

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) Antoine Winfield
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) Antoine Winfield /
7 of 7
Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by CRAIG LASSIG/AFP via Getty Images) Randy Moss /

5. 1998

  • Record: 15-1
  • Head Coach: Dennis Green
  • Lost NFC Championship vs. Atlanta Falcons, 30-27

Let’s face it. This was likely the most fun Vikings season of them all. The 1998 group scored 556 points, which was a record to that point. Randy Moss was new and he pulverized the rookie record books. The defense was the league’s sixth-best squad, center Matt Birk was drafted, and the only item left unsettled was a late-January date with the John Elway and the Denver Broncos.

4. 1974

  • Record: 10-4
  • Head Coach: Bud Grant
  • Lost Super Bowl IX vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, 16-6

This was Minnesota’s third Super Bowl appearance. Led by Fran Tarkenton, the 1974 team had the NFL’s fifth-best offense and third-ranked defense. Chuck Foreman was coming into his own at this point. The usual suspects–Eller, Marshall, Page–anchored the storied defense. Fred McNeill and Matt Blair joined the team as rookies and in terms of score margin, it was the closest the Vikings have ever come to winning a Super Bowl.

3. 1976

  • Record: 11-2-1
  • Head Coach: Bud Grant
  • Lost Super Bowl XI vs. Oakland Raiders, 32-14

Minnesota’s 1976 team ranked ninth offensively and second defensively. It was, of course, a Fran Tarkenton, Bud Grant, and Purple People Eating endeavor. It was also the final time a Vikings team has visited a Super Bowl. Chuck Foreman was a machine and Nate Wright snatched seven interceptions. Before the season’s commencement, Minnesota drafted wide receiver Sammy White.

2. 1973

  • Record: 12-2
  • Head Coach: Bud Grant
  • Lost Super Bowl VIII to Miami Dolphins, 24-7

This Vikings team won its first nine games of the season en route to having the league’s ninth-best offense and second-best defense. They sent six players to the Pro Bowl, Bobby Bryant picked off opposing signal-callers seven times, rookie Chuck Foreman and Oscar Reed split the running back duties, and wide receiver John Gilliam had one of his best seasons as a pro. This was the only year in which Minnesota won a road conference championship game. All in all, Bob Griese and the Dolphins could not be stopped in the Super Bowl.

1. 1969

  • Record: 12-2
  • Head Coach: Bud Grant
  • Lost Super Bowl IV to Kansas City Chiefs, 23-7

Never let anybody tell you any different that this was the best team in Vikings history. They topped the NFL in offense and defense and they won 12 consecutive games in the regular season. Most of the big-name defensive personnel were still in their 20s for age. Quarterback Joe Kapp was incredible by 1969 standards.

Must Read. Why Dalvin Cook is better than Aaron Jones. light

It is easy to live in recency fondness of the 1998 and 2009 football teams, but this was emphatically the best and most-balanced football team in Vikings history. That’s probably why this team reached the Super Bowl and the 1998 and 2009 teams did not.