Is Brett Favre the Minnesota Vikings' Greatest Single-Season QB Ever?
With the news that Brett Favre may be retiring, many have attempted to rank his tenure with the Vikings among those of the other quarterbacks in the franchise's history. This is a difficult task as Brett Favre has played only one season in Minnesota, whereas Fran Tarkenton played as many as 13 seasons in the purple and gold.
Instead, we will take a look at Brett Favre's 2009 season and attempt to rank it among the five best individual seasons by a quarterback in Vikings' history.
5. Warren Moon (1995)
QB Rating: 91.5
Completion Percentage: 62.2
Passing Yards: 4,228
Although he is best known for his time spent as a member of the Houston Oilers, Warren Moon actually spent three seasons in Minnesota near the end of his career.
The best of these seasons came in 1995 when he threw for an NFL-leading 4,228 yards. Yet, despite Moon's fantastic individual season, the Vikings finished fourth in the NFC North and missed the playoffs with a record of 8-8.
4. Daunte Culpepper (2000)
QB Rating: 98.0
Completion Percentage: 62.7
Passing Yards: 3,937
It's safe to say that Daunte Culpepper ranks among the best quarterbacks in Vikings history and it all started in 1999. He was selected 11th overall in the 1999 Draft, but did not throw a single pass during his first season.
Despite having very little in-game experience, Daunte's career got off to a fast start in 2000 as he led the Vikings to an 11-5 record and a berth in the NFC Championship game. Armed with arguably the best receiving corps in Vikings' history, Culpepper threw for almost 4,000 yards and 33 TD while also accumulating 470 yards and seven TD on the ground. He was, in turn, rewarded with his first Pro Bowl selection.
3. Randall Cunningham (1998)
QB Rating: 106.0
Completion Percentage: 60.9
Passing Yards: 3,704
Like Warren Moon, Randall Cunningham spent only three seasons in Minnesota near the twilight of his career.
Cunningham came to Minnesota after having spent 11 years as a Philadelphia Eagle. His first and third years as a Viking were largely forgettable as he only started a total of nine games between the two seasons.
However, his 1998 season was one that Vikings fans would not soon forget. Cunningham led the Vikings to a 15-1 regular season record while posting a league-leading 106.0 passer rating. The team also put up a then-NFL record 556 points during the regular season.
Cunningham then led the team to the NFC Conference Championship where they fell just shy, losing to the Atlanta Falcons 30-27 in overtime.
2. Brett Favre (2009)
QB Rating: 107.2
Completion Percentage: 68.4
Passing Yards: 4,202
In what now appears to be his last year in the NFL, Brett Favre also had one of the best season-long performances in his career.
Led by Favre, the Vikings started the season 6-0—the best start in Brett Favre's career. The Vikings would go on to finish the regular season with a 12-4 record and their second straight division title.
Favre posted an astounding 107.2 passer rating while throwing for over 4,000 yards, 33 TD, and only seven INT. As a result of his outstanding performance, he was awarded with his 11th Pro Bowl selection.
The Vikings would eventually make it to the NFC Championship game before losing to the New Orleans Saints in overtime.
1. Daunte Culpepper (2004)
QB Rating: 110.9
Completion Percentage: 69.2
Passing Yards: 4,717
Of the seasons mentioned so far, 2004 certainly will not blow you away in terms of team accomplishments.
However, Daunte Culpepper's individual performance that season remains unmatched in Vikings' history. The team itself only compiled an 8-8 record and lost in the Divisional round of the playoffs, but Daunte Culpepper still managed to put up MVP-like numbers.
Culpepper led the NFL in passing yards that season with 4,617, while throwing for a Vikings-record 39 TD and amassing an NFL-record 5,123 total yards. His numbers were simply eye-popping and Daunte's individual efforts will likely stand atop Vikings' history for quite a while despite his team's lackluster performance.