2. Daunte Culpepper (2003 – 2004)
- Record: 15-15
- 8,196 passing yards
- 64 touchdown passes
- 104.4 passer rating
The Vikings selected Daunte Culpepper with the 11th pick in the 1999 NFL Draft from Central Florida and then let him sit on the bench for his rookie season. He watched Jeff George (in George’s only season with Minnesota) lead the team to a 10-6 record.
The following year he took over as the starter and led the NFL with 33 touchdown passes and the Vikings to an 11-5 record. Unfortunately, this is the only season he led his team to a finish above .500 and his career record is 41-59.
In seven years with Minnesota, Culpepper’s best stretch statistically came in 2003 and 2004.
His passing stats are impressive, even if his winning percentage is not. In 2004, he led the league in passing yards with 4,717. This remains the highest single-season total in Vikings history. Along with all those yards, Culpepper also tossed 39 touchdowns, which also happens to be another Minnesota franchise record.
Despite his record-setting performance, the Vikings only finished 8-8. It was still just enough to make the playoffs. In the wild-card game against the Packers in Green Bay, Culpepper threw four touchdowns as he outplayed Brett Favre in a 31-17 Minnesota win.
Adding the 25 touchdown passes from 2003, Culpepper’s 64 touchdowns passes over two years is the most of anyone in this ranking. He also has the highest two-year passer rating of 104. His 8,196 passing yards are the second-most total behind Warren Moon.
On a negative note, his 15 wins are the fewest in the ranking.