4. 1965 Vikings
Notable Key Players:
- Fran Tarkenton
- Bill Brown
- Paul Flatley
- Tommy Mason
- Mick Tingelhoff
- Grady Alderman
This was the “Purple People Eaters” when they ate ordinary cuisine. They had not yet converted to cannibalism.
Led by 25-year-old quarterback Fran Tarkenton and head coach Norm Van Brocklin, the 1965 Vikings were an offense-first team, and that carried them to a .500 record.
You see, the celebrated defensive personnel like Carl Eller and Jim Marshall were developing while the legendary Alan Page was not even in the league yet.
Minnesota’s 1965 team scored 27 points per game, which ranked fourth-best in the business. The only problem was, again, the defense ranked last in the NFL as it allowed 29 points per game.
Bill Brown led the Vikings in rushing (699 yards), Tommy Mason led the team in touchdowns (11), Paul Flatley led in receiving (896 yards), and then, unsurprisingly, Fran Tarkenton led everyone on the roster in passing (2,609 yards).
Minnesota’s 1965 team did not qualify for any type of postseason. Instead, the Green Bay Packers won the championship over the Cleveland Browns (although, it was not yet called a Super Bowl).