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. Paying an astounding $84 million in guaranteed money over three years to Kirk Cousins, the Vikings are heavily invested in this quarterback. Early returns are shaky as the team continues to struggle.
After a thrilling last second victory to beat the Saints in the division round last season, the Vikings were blown out by the eventual Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles by a score of 38-7 in the NFC title game. It appears as though they will be in the outside looking in for the playoffs in 2018.
Exploding off the stats sheet this year is Adam Thielen. Improving on what was considered to be a breakout year last season, this undrafted free agent is a consummate professional, giving it his all week in and week out. Working in tandem with Stefon Diggs, a huge threat in the passing game, these receivers serve as major outlets for Cousins. Longtime Viking Kyle Rudolph has suited up for another season in purple and continues to be a reliable option. The backfield tandem of Dalvin Cook and Latavius Murray are a strong combination.
Defensively, the Vikings are always a fearsome opponent. Something about those purple jerseys rushing the quarterback always evokes 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, consisting of Harrison Smith and Xavier Rhodes ensures that teams will not throw deep too often. Anthony Barr controls 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.