5 Facts About the Minnesota Vikings


Founded in 1960, the Minnesota Vikings are one of the oldest franchises currently in the National Football League. Over their history, the franchise has registered over 500 wins, and also have the most Conference Championship Game appearances for a team that has never actually won the Super Bowl. Today, the Vikings play in the NFL’s NFC North Division along with their rival Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions.

Here are five interesting facts about the Minnesota Vikings

    1. The Minnesota Vikings are one of two teams to play in at least four Super Bowls and never win one. (source) Along with the Buffalo Bills, the Vikings have never been able to secure the coveted Lombardi Trophy, despite appearing in the Super Bowl on four different occasions. It’s been a long time since the Vikings have played in the NFL’s biggest game of the year, as all four of their trips there happened in the 1970s, with the Super Bowls in 1970, 1974, 1975 and 1977. In each of their four trips there, the Vikings lost by double digits. Since 1978, the Vikings have appeared in the NFC Championship Game six times, and have lost all of those games.
    1. The Minnesota Vikings joined the National Football League as an expansion team in 1960, and would begin play for the 1961 season. (source) As an expansion team in the early 1960s, the Minnesota Vikings became the NFL’s fourteenth franchise. In the team’s opening game of their first season, the Vikings defeated the Chicago Bears 37-13, but would unfortunately only finish the season with a 3-11 record. It wouldn’t be until the 1968 season when the Vikings would make the Playoffs, having placed 1st in the NFL’s Central Division.
    1. Former Minnesota Vikings star Adrian Peterson holds the NFL record for the most rushing yards in a single game. (source) During Adrian Peterson’s rookie season, he set the NFL single game rushing yards record, which had previously been held by Jamal Lewis. It was in a game against the San Diego Chargers on November 4, 2007, where Peterson rushed for 296 yards on 30 carries and found the endzone on three different occasions. Today, Adrian Peterson’s career total for rushing yards stands at 14,820, which is the fifth most in the history of the National Football League behind Emmitt Smith (18,355), Walter Payton (16,726), Frank Gore (16,000) and Barry Sanders (15,269).
    1. The first ever draft selection in Vikings history was Tommy Mason in the 1961 NFL Draft. (source) By default, the Minnesota Vikings held the first overall selection in the 1961 NFL Draft, as the franchise was the new expansion team heading into that season. With that first selection, the Vikings selected running back Tommy Mason out of Tulane. Mason would only play for the Vikings from 1961 through 1966, before finishing out his career with the Los Angeles Rams (1967-1970) and the Washington Redskins (1971). However, the three Pro Bowls that he made over the course of his NFL career were all during his time with Minnesota, and he finished his career with 4,203 rushing yards and 32 touchdowns on the ground.
    1. The Vikings are one of only seven NFL franchises to win at least 15 games in a single season. (source) In 1998, the Vikings nearly made it to the Super Bowl before losing the NFC Championship Game to the Atlanta Falcons, however, the Vikings had a very successful regular season that year, posting a 15-1 record. Since 1961, when the NFL expanded to at least fourteen games in the regular season, that 1998 Vikings season marked one of only seven times that a team has won at least 15 games. The six teams in NFL history go 15-1 include the 1998 Minnesota Vikings, the 1984 San Francisco 49ers, the 1985 Chicago Bears, the 2004 Pittsburgh Steelers, the 2011 Green Bay Packers and the 2015 Carolina Panthers. Of course, there are also the 2007 New England Patriots, who are the only team to have gone 16-0 in the NFL’s regular season.

The Minnesota Vikings have one of the more interesting stories among the franchises in the National Football League! If you’re a Vikings fan, do you have any more fun facts to share from their history?

Featured image photo credit: Keith Allison, 2017. Originally found on Wikimedia.org. Image was resized and cropped. Creative Commons 2.0.

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