Book a luxury suite to a Minnesota Vikings game at the U.S. Bank Stadium
The Twin Cities added a team to the NFL back in 1961 and since then, the Minnesota Vikings have amassed some incredible accomplishments on their way to being known as one of the most vicious defensive teams in the league.
Their first two draft picks were put to good use as they selected Tommy Mason, running back from Tulane (1st overall) and Fran Tarkenton, quarterback from Georgia. This duo defined the Minnesota offense in the early years. However, the product on the field was sub-par and kept the Vikings out of the playoffs. 1967 brought some big changes to the Vikes with Bud Grant being hired as head coach, Mason signing with the Rams, and Tarkenton bring traded to the Giants for multiple draft picks. Among those chosen with the picks were Ed White and Hall of Famer Ron Yary. They also walked away with Hall of Famer Alan Page, completing the defensive front that would become known as the Purple People Eaters.
They would go on to make the playoffs in 12 of the next 15 seasons, 11 of them as division winners. Tarkenton returned to the Vikings in 1972 and kept the momentum going. The Vikings won four Conference Championships (three with Tarkenton), but came up empty each time in the Super Bowl. The Vikings teams of the 1980s, and 90s brought more playoff appearances, always ending in defeat. Even the 15-1 season with a then-record 556 points scored in 1998 ended in the NFC Championship game.
Star players would come and go over the years, and the Vikings went back and forth between disappointing seasons and ones where they looked poised for a deep playoff run. Today’s team is hoping to have reached the conclusion of their unusual evolution at the quarterback position. Teddy Bridgewater was thought to be the franchise quarterback for the future. However, after a knee injury sidelined him for the 2016 and 2017 season, Sam Bradford was brought over to fill in. Bradford suffered a season ending injury early in 2017, ushering in Case Keenum to become the starter. Fed up with the instability, Minnesota has parted ways with all three quarterbacks and made a splash in free agency with the signing of Kirk Cousins to be the new starter. Trevor Siemian, the former starter in Denver, will serve as his backup. The organization hopes that this move will solidify the position and help stabilize a team that went 13-3 last season and could be one good player away from a Super Bowl appearance. After a thrilling last second victory to beat the Saints in the division round, the Vikings were blown out by the eventual Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles by a score of 38-7.
Stefon Diggs is a huge threat in the passing game and will serve as a major outlet for Cousins. Adam Thielen also provides a secure receiver for Cousins. Kendall Wright comes over after one season in Chicago to round out the receiving corps. Longtime Viking Kyle Rudolph will suit up for another season in purple. The backfield tandem of Dalvin Cook and Latavius Murray may be the most dynamic in the league.
Defensively, the Vikings are always a fearsome opponent. Something about those purple jerseys rushing the quarterback always brings back memories of the Purple People Eaters taking down the opposition. Defensive end Everson Griffen emulates this every game with his aggressive style, as does defensive tackle Linval Joseph. The backfield tandem of Harrison Smith and Xavier Rhodes ensures that teams will not throw deep too often. Anthony Barr will control it all from the linebacker position. Head Coach Mike Zimmer is hoping to bring the pieces of this puzzle together and have them gel in such a way that brings big success to the Twin Cities.
An impressive plethora of players have suited up for the Vikes over the course of their history. Among the most talented are Randy Moss, Cris Carter, Fran Tarkenton, John Randle, Alan Page, Jared Allen, and Adrian Peterson. A more detailed history about the Minnesota Vikings teams of past and present can be found by clicking here.