2. 2012 Season
- Final Record: 10-6
- Playoffs: Yes (lost in first round to Green Bay Packers)
As in 2007, Minnesota began the 2012 season with a victory, this time over the Jacksonville Jaguars. After losing in Week 2 to the Indianapolis Colts, the Vikings won four of their next five to move to 5-2.
At that point, second-year Minnesota quarterback Christian Ponder started to make believers out of some of his skeptics. He was the last quarterback in the NFL in 2012 to commit a turnover, and he led the league in completion percentage in September.
Then the wheels fell off, at least for a few weeks. Ponder struggled mightily over the next five games, and the Vikings found themselves at 6-6 to begin December.
Thankfully, Minnesota reeled off three straight wins and had their playoff lives on the line in Week 17 against the division-rival Green Bay Packers.
Ponder responded with three touchdown passes, and Adrian Peterson added 197 yards on the ground to help the Vikings make the postseason with a 37-34 victory over the Packers.
Minnesota’s reward for defeating their division rival to improve to 10-6 and qualify for the playoffs was a first-round postseason rematch against the Packers in Green Bay.
Since Ponder was injured during the final game of the regular season, backup Joe Webb got the start against the Packers in the playoffs. Very little went right that day, and Minnesota went home after losing 24-10.
Despite the loss, the season was considered a success since the Vikings had improved from three wins in 2011 to 10 in 2012. Peterson was also named the NFL’s MVP that season after rushing for 2,097 yards.