The Five Greatest Minnesota Vikings Quarterbacks of All Time
The Minnesota Vikings have had a surprisingly rich history in quarterbacks. That hasn't changed with the inception of the Brett Favre era.
Since their inception in 1961, the Vikings have had a total of 17 different starting quarterbacks. Some have been very good, and some have been atrociously bad.
As a fan, here are my top five Vikings quarterbacks.
There were a few tough cuts, so I also made an honorable mentions category, as to avoid any big arguments in the comments section.
5. Joe Kapp
Kapp led the Vikings to their very first Super Bowl, a losing effort to the Kansas City Chiefs, where the Vikings were the heavy favorites. He was also a Pro Bowl selection in 1969.
But "The Toughest Chicano" had mediocre statistics. A 40/64 TD-INT ratio and a poor 55.1 career QB rating aren't exactly solid. He went on to play a season for the Boston Patriots before calling it quits.
4. Tommy Kramer
Tommy Kramer was one of the Vikings longest tenured quarterbacks, sticking around on the team in some way from 1977 to 1989.
During that time, he earned the nickname "Two-Minute Tommy" for his constant clutch performances.
He was named to the Pro Bowl in 1986, and had decent career statistics: a 159/158 TD-INT ratio, a 72.8 QB rating, and over 24,000 career passing yardage.
However, he had problems leading the Vikings into the playoffs, and never won a playoff game as a starter.
3. Randall Cunningham
Cunningham was only the Vikings starting quarterback for one season, but he started for the greatest Vikings team of all time: the 1998 squad.
With support from Cris Carter and Randy Moss, Cunningham had a fantastic season while leading the Vikings to a 15-1 record.
The only thing that stopped him from earning a Super Bowl ring was a missed Gary Anderson field goal in the fourth quarter of the NFC Championship.
Cunningham wouldn't repeat his success the following season. After having a lukewarm 2-4 start to the 1999 season, he was benched in favor of Jeff George.
2. Daunte Culpepper
The three-time Pro Bowler made an immediate impact as the Vikings starter, guiding the Vikings to an 11-5 record in 2000 and a berth in the NFC Championship.
In what was their last trip to the NFC Championship, the Vikings were crushed by the Giants that game, 41-0.
Culpepper however, continued to post great numbers. In 2004, he threw for 39 TDs, only 11 picks, and had 4,717 passing yards.
Had it not been for Peyton Manning's 49 TD performance that same season, Culpepper would have probably been named MVP.
In his prime, Culpepper was easily in the top five quarterbacks in the league. But a terrible knee injury, and the loss of Randy Moss led to his downfall. Stints in Miami and Oakland proved unsuccessful.
1. Fran Tarkenton
"Sir Francis" was not only by far the greatest Vikings quarterback of all time, but easily one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time period.
Tarkenton led the Vikings to three Super Bowl appearances, was a nine-time Pro Bowler, was named the 1975 MVP, and held all major passing records when he retired.
He also revolutionized the scrambling quarterback. At the time, he was often criticized for his tendency to leave the pocket, but extending the play confused defenses at the time and led to highly effective plays for the Vikings.
It was surprisingly difficult to make a top 5 for the Vikings, so here's a few that barely missed the cut.
Warren Moon stepped in as the Vikings starter for three seasons and was highly effective. He had two Pro Bowl seasons for the Vikings, and led them to two playoff berths before leaving the team as a free agent.
Wade Wilson had a Pro Bowl season with the Vikings in 1988, and led them to a shocking upset over the 1987 49ers in the Divisional playoff round. A goal line stand by the Redskins the following week stopped the Vikings from going to the Super Bowl that year.
Jeff George had perhaps the best season of his career in Minnesota. In 1999, after Randall Cunningham and the Vikings struggled to a 2-4 start, George came off the bench to lead the Vikings to an 8-2 record.
He also led them to a victory in the Wildcard round of the playoffs over the Cowboys. Only Kurt Warner and the Greatest Show on Turf stopped the Vikings from going further.