Quick Quiz: Q1 – What year did the Vikes last win a Conference Championship?; Q2 – When did they last play in a Super Bowl?; Q3 – When did they last win three or more postseason games?; Q4: When did they last win a Super Bowl? We’ll get back to this in a bit.
In 2017, the Vikings went 13 and 3, the most games they’ve won in the regular season in 58 years, excepting the 1998 season.
Long-suffering Viking fans went wild. The talk was all about dynasty – at least among rabid fans, though not so much among knowledgeable sports people. By Googling, I did find one source proclaiming “Vikings Build Dynasty.” Oh wait, the entire title was “Vikings build dynasty as NFL’s most arrested team.”
In the 2017 preseason, Sports Illustrated had a list of the top 400 best NFL players. It included five Vikings, all defensive players: SS Harrison Smith (40), OLB Anthony Barr (121), DE Danielle Hunter (192), LB Erik Kendricks (246), and S Andrew Sendejo (263).
And that list didn’t include three other bona fide defensive stars: DE Everson Griffen, CB Xavier Rhodes, and DT Linval Joseph, each of whom got his contract extended over a 10-day stretch prior to the 2017 season. The three contracts alone, for four or five years of duration, totaled over $178 million.
Never mind the offense, the Minnesota faithful were sure they had built a defense for the ages.
I did a post back on 10/13/17 titled Have the Vikings Over-Invested in their Defense – the gist was that their front office disproportionately paid out a fortune to their defensive stars. They were going to have a moment in the sunlight, but would then come crashing down, as they’d have to let many of those high-pay guys go before their contracts ran out. I figured their window of opportunity was small: 2017 and 2018 most likely.
I miscalculated a bit. In 2017, Minnesota’s defense finished the regular season ranked first in both fewest yards given up and points scored. They were second best in both yards yielded on the ground and through the air. Their high hopes were dashed in the postseason by Nick Foles and the Eagles, who ran up 38 points to the Vikings’ seven.
Instead of becoming even more dominant in 2018, the purple and gold regressed.
The Vikes fell to fourth best in yards yielded last season, and only ninth best in points allowed. Not bad, but not anticipated, and certainly not dynastic. They finished with a mediocre 8-7-1 record, and in losing convincingly to the Bears in their season finale – at home no less – they missed the playoffs and reinforced their ordinariness.
They must have been devastated by injuries, right? Nope. Of the eight stars listed above, only Sendejo was on the field for less than 56 percent of the defensive snaps.
Due primarily to their profligate and unbalanced spending, I’d say the Vikings defensive juggernaut will begin to unravel in 2019, and will be a hot mess by 2020.
Oh yeah, the quiz. Last Conference Championship – 1976 (they lost in 2017, 2009, 2000, 1998, 1987, and 1977); Last Super Bowl appearance – 1976; last 3-win postseason – Never; Last Super Bowl win – Seriously?
Cue the Vikings announcer: Presenting Your 2019 Minnesota Vikings: Proudly Beginning Our 59th Year of Futility!
Two people knew the answers to that quiz, myself, and the Lonely Boy. I needed to educate him on the history of the queens multiple times.
To his credit, he thanked me for providing him that knowledge, and kindly asked me not to bring it up anymore. Of course i blatantly disregarded his request.
Hahaha! Good reminder, Rob. Had completely forgotten about them. Yes, they built a stout defense and are now overpaying Cousins, who is a good-but-not-franchise-caliber guy. Well, their dream was nice while it lasted, but they are still bound to be pesky enough for us. And let’s not forget we finished 3rd in the division this season.
I don’t think many Packer fans will forget where we’ve been ending up in the standings, nor how we have reached this point.
What a good article to shift focus away from the Packers 2018 season!
What a nice photo to go with it.
Whatever happened to those packer dynasty predictions? If you put Aaron Rodgers on the Vikings we’re winning the SB every freaking year. Get use to getting ur ass kicked because we’ll sweep you guys in 2019. Should’ve this year if our kicker didn’t miss a 35 yard field goal at the end. You have wasted Aaron Rodgers prime. Good luck! Your gonna need it! Lol
“Were gonna kick your ass and sweep you in 2019 bitches!!!”
Lol….Queen fans have lofty goals don’t they. What do you get for a sweep these days…a banner, a ribbon, a free hot dog? How about i take you out for an ice cream cone Tammy, would you like that?
In fairness…i suppose if your team hasn’t won shit in the NFL, why not settle for a crumb, some table scraps?
“If you put Aaron Rodgers on……….”
“If our kicker…”
“If we didn’t suck……”
I think the bears are more likely to have extended success than the Vikings were. Main reason? Trubisky is on a rookie deal and the team still has control over him for at least 3 years. The key will be if they have a seamless transition from Fangio to Pagano.
Of far more interest to me, is what happened to the supposed dynasty that the packers were supposed to have? I remember all the talks of a dynasty after they won in 2010. And rightfully so. Rodgers quickly ascended to being a top 3 QB in the game. They have had a playmaking defense that had playmakers all over the field. They had very few holes at that point. Obviously, we pretty much know what went down. It was quite the fall, culminating in the infamous collapse at Seattle. I said then, the packers were going to go one of two ways after that.
Anybody remember 1998?
That was the year the Vikings got Randy Moss as a rookie, Randal Cunningham as the QB, and their offense exploded. The Vikings beat the Packers twice in 1998 and the previous year the Packers had lost in the Super Bowl to the Denver Broncos.
The funniest thing about 1998 was that by the end of the season there was a huge proliferation of Vikings fans on both Packers and Broncos websites predicting without question a Super Bowl victory for the Vikings. Scores of Vikings fans were posting to Denver Broncos sites how they were going to kill them in the Super Bowl. That it didn’t matter what the Broncos did, the Vikings were unstoppable and would hang a 50 burger on them.
Too bad YouTube and Smartphones didn’t exist then. I would have loved to have seen a fan reaction video of Gary Anderson, who had not missed a field goal all year, missing an easy 38 yard kick.
I’m sure queen fans were predicting a Super Bowl win the last time they were in a Super Bowl. Which was not too long ago.
Well in all fairness that was one of hell of a Viking team. They were the best team in the NFL that year. I mean every great team having that magical season has that hold on by a thread game where weird shit happens and unfortunately for the Vikings it was that game and not a regular season game where they could just move on from it.
Remember how the packers only went to the playoffs once from 1973 season to the 1993 season and how the longest playoff drought the vikings ever had was their first 6 seasons in the league. You remember how the packers have been apart of the nfl since 1922 the vikings played their first game in 1961 almost 40 years later however the packers have 33 postseason appearances and the vikings have 29 postseason appearances. Yes they have been to 5 superbowls 3 of those appearances were with Favre and Rodgers pack got very lucky with their last two qbs. I mean think about it Falcons decide they have a good qb and things wont work out with favre cause he wants to party all the time and they trade him to the packers. Then rodgers just keeps falling all the way doen the draft board to us. The Vikings 90s teams had more HOF players (Vikings 5, Packers 2). Not to mention having stability in ownership coaching and qbs goes along way. The vikings have had 3 different owners since 1998 they have had 40 qbs start a game since 1998, vs packers 32. They have had 23 different qbs start a game in that same time vs the packers 6 diff qbs. My point is that while i may not be a vikings fan they are not some trash team and the only thing that stands between them and the packers or 2 qbs that more or less happend to fall in our lap.
What if games are pointless.
What if the vikings had Favre? they may not have drafted Randy Moss… who is IMO the biggest game changing player in the last 30 years. He was the reason the 90’s vikings had those dominant years. He was a unicorn and in my view one of the best players ever… at any position.
What if the Vikings had Favre? Maybe Favre has an awful career as he was absolutely abhorrent in the metrodome.
What if the Vikings had A-rod fall in to their lap? They did… but instead chose to draft Erasmus James.
What if the vikings had drafted A-rod? He may have smashed his collarbone on the first play from scrimmage or maybe been thrown in to the fire too soon and gone the David Carr route.
I understand your point you were making but the butterfly effect is very real. Fact is… Packers took a major risk both trading for Favre and drafting Rodgers. Favre cost quite a bit of draft capital when they already had a capable QB… and Rodgers was a first round pick with a HOF on a team that certainly could have drafted for need or a chance to extend Favres windows. In fact you can chalk up one of the most successful years the vikings had in the last 20 years… due to the Packers drafting Rodgers. Favre never would have been a viking if the Packers hadnt done that.
Neither move constitutes “falling in their lap”… both moves were calculated quality moves by Wolf and Thompson… outside of the box thinking… and both paid immense dividends for the franchise in the form of 20 years of division dominance, regular trips to playoffs, 5 mvp awards, and of course 3 super bowl appearances.
The last couple of years have sucked… no doubt… but lets look at the big picture… and the real reason “why” the packers have had 2 HOF quarterbacks. It is because they risked quite a bit to acquire both of them.
Yes sir Stiggy
lmao @corey…..didn’t the queens have Favre in Favre’s most productive season of his career? Oops…still too soon?
Couldn’t the queens have drafted Rodgers in 2005 with one of the two first round picks they had, they picked WR Troy Williamson with the 7th pick of the first round, he landed “right in their lap”
Then with the 18th pick, they selected Erasmus James.
Anyway…the queens had 2 chances to draft Rodgers and said no thank you.
Other teams (queens) ineptness in the draft is not another teams dumb luck.
The queens two first round picks that draft were traded for a 6th and a 7th round pick before their second contract came up. The more things change, the more things stay the same.
The instability of the Vikings at QB is their own fault. Even when they had their greatest QB, Fran Tarkenton, they traded him to the Giants in 1967 after he played with the Vikings for only 6 years. He played with the Giants for 5 years, going to the Pro Bowl 5 times, then he went back to the Vikings.