Minnesota Vikings

Facts and information about the Minnesota Vikings

  • Adrian Peterson had his first 100 yard game in the NFL in his very first game, a Vikings win over the Falcons in 2007. He did this by carrying the ball 19 times for 103 yards. He also caught one pass for 60 yards and a touchdown that day,
  • The Vikings selected four kickers in the NFL Draft during the 1970s. After taking Mike Wood out of Southeast Missouri State University in 1978, Minnesota wouldn’t select another kicker in the draft until taking the University of Georgia’s Blair Walsh in 2012.
  • Hall-of-Fame Quarterback Fran Tarkenton started and ended his career with the Vikings, but in the middle he played for the New York Giants.
  • No receiver has gained more rushing yards for the Vikings than Anthony Carter. During his time with the team in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, he ran the ball 47 times for 289 yards and two touchdowns.
  • In 1971, Alan Page won the first ever NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award.
  • In 1969 Bud Grant became the first Vikings head coach to win the AP Coach of the Year Award.
  • Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater had his first 300 yard passing game in the second game of his career. In that September 2014 win over the Falcons, he completed 19 of 30 passes for 317 yards. He also ran the ball five times for 27 yards and scored one touchdown on the ground.
  • The first four quarterbacks to throw TD passes to Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph were Christian Ponder, Joe Webb, Matt Cassel, and Teddy Bridgewater.

  • The first 10 quarterbacks to have 300 yard passing games while playing for the Minnesota Vikings were Fran Tarkenton, Joe Kapp, Tommy Kramer, Steve Dils, Wade Wilson, RichGannon, Sean Salisbury, Warren Moon, Brad Johnson, and Randall Cunningham.
  • Norm Snead played quarterback for 16 seasons in the NFL. His only season in Minnesota, 1971, would be the only year of his career that he would post a winning record as a starter. During that year he would put up a record of 2-0.
  • In the first game of Randy Moss’s career, and his first with the Vikings, he would catch two touchdown passes from quarterback Brad Johnson and rack up 95 yards receiving.
  • The first Vikings player to put together a 1,000 yard receiving season was John Gilliam in 1972.
  • Former Vikings quarterback Warren Moon is the oldest player in the Hall of Fame to score a rushing touchdown. He ran a one yard score in at the age of 40 while playing with the Seahawks in 1997 to give him the mark. This broke the record that was held by another former Vikings quarterback, Fran Tarkenton, who had scored a rushing touchdown at the age of 38.
  • The worst record the Vikings have ever had came in their second year as a team when they put up a record of 2-11-1.
  • No player has scored more touchdowns in their career against the Vikings than Chicago Bears great Walter Payton with 18.

  •  In a 1997 game against the Carolina Panthers, Vikings quarterback Brad Johnson became the first NFL quarterback to ever throw a touchdown pass to himself. He did this after catching his own deflected pass and running three yards into the end zone.
  • Rich Gannon, who would go on to much more success with the Raiders, got his start with the Minnesota Vikings. The first touchdown pass he ever threw went to Vikings great Anthony Carter.
  • In 1981, Joe Senser and Sammy White combined to become the first Vikings teammates to gain 1,000 yards receiving in the same season.
  • 2014 saw Matt Asiata lead the Vikings in rushing. Adrian Peterson had led the team in rushing the previous seven seasons but was suspended for the bulk of season that year.
  • The first five Vikings players to have 1,000 yard rushing seasons were Chuck Foreman, Ted Brown, Terry Allen, Robert Smith, and Michael Bennett.
  • The Vikings player who caught more TD passes from Christian Ponder during his career than anyone else was Kyle Rudolph with a total of 13.
  • 1995 saw the Vikings trade a 4th round and 6th round draft pick to the Broncos in exchange for their 4th round pick and used it to select Chad May. The Broncos turned that 6th round draft into Super Bowl MVP and NFL MVP Terrell Davis.
  • Vikings wide receiver Leo Lewis caught the last touchdown pass of Archie Manning’s career. It was one of just two that Manning threw during his final year in the league.
  • No Vikings running back has fumbled the ball more times in one season than Tommy Mason who did so 14 times in 1963.
  • The first opposing player to score a touchdown against the Vikings for two different teams was Amos Marsh who first scored as a member of the Dallas Cowboys in 1961 and then did so again for the Detroit Lions in 1965.

  • The first and so far only Vikings running back to throw more than one touchdown pass while with the team was Alfred Anderson. He threw both of his career touchdown passes in 1984, one to quarterback Tommy Kramer and one to receiver Dwight Collins.
  • The Vikings played a home game in Detroit’s Ford Field in 2010 against the Giants due to damage to their stadium’s roof. Because of the rescheduling, this means the first ever Monday night game in Detroit’s home stadium did not include the Detroit Lions.
  • The Minnesota Vikings first season with a winning record was 1964 when they went 8-5-1.
  • The first Minnesota Vikings player to have a 1,000 yard rushing season was Chuck Foreman in 1975 when he gained 1,070 yards on 280 carries with 13 touchdowns.
  • The most fumbles a non-quarterback has ever had in one season for Minnesota is 14. That was done by Tommy Mason in 1963, the Vikings third season in the league, when he carried the ball 166 times and had 14 fumbles.
  • Longtime Vikings quarterback and Pro Football Hall of Fame member Fran Tarkenton was not only drafted by Minnesota in the 1961 NFL Draft, but he was also drafted by the then Boston Patriots in the 1961 AFL Draft.
  • Adrian Peterson’s first touchdown in the NFL came on a 60 yard reception from Tarvaris Jackson. That would be the only touchdown reception he would have in his first three years in the league.
  • On September 26, 2010, Adrian Peterson ran a touchdown in from 80 yards out in a 24-10 win over the Lions. This was the longest TD run of the season in the NFL that year.
  • The first team Vikings running back Adrian Peterson would gain over 1,500 career rushing yards against was the Green Bay Packers.

 

  • Only two players in Vikings history have ever led the team in rushing yards and receiving yards in the same season. Tommy Mason did it first in 1962 (740 yards rushing and 603 yards receiving), Bill Brown did it in 1964 (866 rushing yards and 703 receiving yards), and then Darrin Nelson did it in 1983 (642 yards rushing and 618 yards receiving).
  • The longest passing touchdown ever thrown against the Vikings came in a 1977 game against the Green Bay Packers. It went for 95 yards, was thrown by quarterback Lynn Dickey and was caught by Steve Odom.
  • As quarterback of the Minnesota Vikings in 2009, Brett Favre became the first quarterback in history to win against all 32 NFL teams when he led the team to a victory over his former team the Green Bay Packers.
  • Vikings running backs who have thrown touchdown passes while with the team include Alfred Anderson, Darrin Nelson, Tommy Mason, Mewelde Moore, Chester Taylor, Keith Henderson, and D.J. Dozier.
  • The first player to play on the Minnesota Vikings and then later be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame was running back Hugh McElhenny. He only played with the team for their first two seasons, 1961 and 1962. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1970.
  • Vikings running back Chuck Foreman had his rushing record he set at the University of Miami broken by future Cardinal and Giant running back Ottis Anderson.
  • Vikings running back Robert Smith led the NFL in rushing during the 2000 season. He retired after that season at the top of his game.
  • Vikings star John Randle was not drafted in the NFL Draft, every team passed on him.
  • Running Back D.J. Dozier also played baseball in the New York Mets system.
  • The Minnesota Vikings franchise was given to owner Max Winter in exchange for him backing out of his plans to buy an expansion team in the AFL and putting it in Minnesota.
  • Defensive Lineman Jim Marshall once scored a safety for the opposition by recovering a fumble and running the wrong way into the Vikings’ own endzone.
  • Defensive Lineman Alan Page had an interesting post-football career; judge.
  • The Vikings Defense was at one-time known as the Purple People Eaters.
  • The Vikings were the first expansion team ever to win the first game they played, defeating the Chicago Bears.
  • Teddy Bridgewater’s first career TD pass was caught by Cordarrelle Patterson in a loss to the Bills in the seventh game of the 2014 season. It went for four yards and came in the second quarter.
  • As a rookie in 2012, Vikings running back Matt Asiata wore jersey number 48. Prior to 2013, he switched his uniform number to 44.
  • The Minnesota Vikings were the first team to play in four Super Bowls, as well as the first team to lose in four Super Bowls.
  • The Vikings were founded in 1961 when the ownership group withdrew its franchise application with the AFL and instead joined the rival NFL.
  • Hall-of-Fame Defensive Tackle and former Viking, Alan Page was the first player inducted into the Pro Football Hall-of-Fame who had grown up in Canton, Ohio where the Hall-of-Fame resides. The second player to accomplish this was Dan Dierdorf. Incidentally, Alan Page also worked construction on the actual Pro Football Hall-of-Fame building, long before he would enter it as an inductee.
  • The Vikings won their first regular season game ever, beating the Chicago Bears 37-13 in 1961.
  • Original Quarterback Fran Tarkenton was traded to the New York Giants in 1967 for a 1st and 2nd round draft pick in 1967, a 1st round pick in 1968, and a 2nd round pick in 1969. Then, in 1972 the Vikings traded Norm Snead, Bob Grim, Vince Clements, a 1st round draft pick in 1972, and a 1st round draft pick in 1973 to get Tarkenton back.
  • In 1971, Defensive Lineman Alan Page became the first defensive player ever to win the Most Valuable Player award given by the Associated Press.
  • When former Quarterback Fran Tarkenton retired after the 1978 season he held the NFL records for passing attempts, passing completions, total passing yards, and passing touchdowns.
  • The Vikings moved to the Metrodome in 1982 and won the first game ever played there, a preseason game against the Seahawks, 7-3.
  • The first touchdown scored in the Metrodome was a pass from Tommy Kramer to Joe Senser.
  • The 1970s Minnesota Vikings owe much of their initial success to the Canadian Football League. General Manager Jim Finks came to the Vikings from Canada, he then hired Head Coach Bud Grant from the CFL, and brought Quarterback Joe Kapp from the Canadian Football League as well.
  • Running Back Rickey Young scored the first regular season touchdown in the Metrodome in a 17-10 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
  • Bud Grant retired as Head Coach of the Vikings after 17 seasons on January 27, 1984. He was replaced by Les Steckel who lasted only one season. Former Coach Bud Grant was then rehired on December 18, 1984 to coach the team again, only staying for one season this time.
  • In the famous Herschel Walker trade with the Cowboys in 1989, the Vikings received: Herschel Walker; a 3rd, 5th, and 10th round draft pick in 1990, as well as an additional 3rd round draft pick in 1991. While, the Cowboys received: Issiac Holt, David Howard, Darrin Nelson, Jesse Solomon, and Alex Stewart. The Cowboys also received; a 1st, 2nd, and 6th round pick in 1990; a 1st and 2nd round pick in 1991; plus a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd round pick in the 1992 NFL draft. This trade is often credited with building what would become the Dallas Cowboys dynasty of the early 1990’s.
  • During the 1998 season the Vikings led by Randall Cunningham, Robert Smith, Cris Carter, and rookie Randy Moss, never scored less than 24 points in any of their games.
  • When former Vikings Defensive Lineman, and Hall-of-Famer, Alan Page was re-elected as Associate Justice in 1998 he garnered more votes than any other candidate, in any other election, in Minnesota state history ever had.
  • After the 1998 season, and a loss to the Atlanta Falcons in the playoffs, the Vikings became the first team to go 15-1 in the regular season and not make the Super Bowl.
  • Running Back Robert Smith retired from professional football following only eight years in the league after the 2000 season.
  • On October 11, 1964 due to an equipment and communication failure, the Vikings played the Lions and both teams wore their white jerseys. By the middle of the second quarter the Vikings were able to make the change to their purple jerseys avoiding further confusion.
  • The first former Viking to be inducted into the Hall-of-Fame was Fran Tarkenton in 1986, followed by Alan Page two years later.
  • Hall-of-Fame NFL Quarterback Norm Van Brocklin was the Vikings first Head Coach from 1961-1966.
  • In 1979, Vikings Defensive Lineman Alan Page became the first active NFL player to complete a marathon

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-No receiver has gained more rushing yards for the Vikings than Anthony Carter.  During his time with the team in the late 1980's and early 1990's, he ran the ball 47 times for 289 yards and two touchdowns.

In 1971, Alan Page won the first ever NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award.

In 1969 Bud Grant became the first Vikings head coach to win the AP Coach of the Year Award.

-Norm Snead played quarterback for 16 seasons in the NFL.  His only season in Minnesota, 1971, would be the only year of his career that he would post a winning record as a starter.  During that year he would put up a record of 2-0.

In the first game of Randy Moss's career, and his first with the Vikings, he would catch two touchdown passes from quarterback Brad Johnson and rack up 95 yards receiving.

The first Vikings player to put together a 1,000 yard receiving season was John Gilliam in 1972.

-Former Vikings quarterback Warren Moon is the oldest player in the Hall of Fame to score a rushing touchdown.  He ran a one yard score in at the age of 40 while playing with the Seahawks in 1997 to give him the mark.  This broke the record that was held by another former Vikings quarterback, Fran Tarkenton, who had scored a rushing touchdown at the age of 38.

-The worst record the Vikings have ever had came in their second year as a team when they put up a record of 2-11-1.

-No player has scored more touchdowns in their career against the Vikings than Chicago Bears great Walter Payton with 18.

-In a 1997 game against the Carolina Panthers, Vikings quarterback Brad Johnson became the first NFL quarterback to ever throw a touchdown pass to himself.  He did this after catching his own deflected pass and running three yards into the endzone.

-Rich Gannon, who would go on to much more success with the Raiders, got his start with the Minnesota Vikings.  The first touchdown pass he ever threw went to Vikings great Anthony Carter.

In 1981, Joe Senser and Sammy White combined to become the first Vikings teammates to gain 1,000 yards receiving in the same season.

-Vikings wide receiver Leo Lewis caught the last touchdown pass of Archie Manning's career.  It was one of just two that Manning threw during his final year in the league.

-No Vikings running back has fumbled the ball more times in one season than Tommy Mason who did so 14 times in 1963.

-The first opposing player to score a touchdown against the Vikings for two different teams was Amos Marsh who first scored as a member of the Dallas Cowboys in 1961 and then did so again for the Detroit Lions in 1965.

-The first and so far only Vikings running back to throw more than one touchdown pass while with the team was Alfred Anderson.  He threw both of his career touchdown passes in 1984, one to quarterback Tommy Kramer and one to receiver Dwight Collins.

The Vikings played a home game in Detroit's Ford Field in 2010 against the Giants due to damage to their stadium's roof.  Because of the rescheduling, this means the first ever Monday night game in Detroit's home stadium did not include the Detroit Lions.

-The Minnesota Vikings first season with a winning record was 1964 when they went 8-5-1.

-The first Minnesota Vikings player to have a 1,000 yard rushing season was Chuck Foreman in 1975 when he gained 1,070 yards on 280 carries with 13 touchdowns.

-The most fumbles a non-quarterback has ever had in one season for Minnesota is 14.  That was done by Tommy Mason in 1963, the Vikings third season in the league, when he carried the ball 166 times and had 14 fumbles.

-Longtime Vikings quarterback and Pro Football Hall of Fame member Fran Tarkenton was not only drafted by Minnesota in the 1961 NFL Draft, but he was also drafted by the then Boston Patriots in the 1961 AFL Draft.

-Adrian Peterson's first touchdown in the NFL came on a 60 yard reception from Tarvaris Jackson.  That would be the only touchdown reception he would have in his first three years in the league.

-Only two players in Vikings history have ever led the team in rushing yards and receiving yards in the same season.  Tommy Mason did it first in 1962 (740 yards rushing and 603 yards receiving), Bill Brown did it in 1964 (866 rushing yards and 703 receiving yards), and then Darrin Nelson did it in 1983 (642 yards rushing and 618 yards receiving).

-The longest passing touchdown ever thrown against the Vikings came in a 1977 game against the Green Bay Packers.  It went for 95 yards, was thrown by quarterback Lynn Dickey and was caught by Steve Odom.

-As quarterback of the Minnesota Vikings in 2009, Brett Favre became the first quarterback in history to win against all 32 NFL teams when he led the team to a victory over his former team the Green Bay Packers.

-Vikings running backs who have thrown touchdown passes while with the team include Alfred Anderson, Darrin Nelson, Tommy Mason, Mewelde Moore, Chester Taylor, Keith Henderson, and D.J. Dozier.

-The first player to play on the Minnesota Vikings and then later be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame was running back Hugh McElhenny.  He only played with the team for their first two seasons, 1961 and 1962.  He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1970.

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