Ranking Every Minnesota Vikings Starting Quarterback Since 2000 | Part Two
Last Friday, we started ranking all the starting quarterbacks for the Minnesota Vikings since 2000. We were covered #13-6 and that list was much easier. The top five, which we will rank right now, was much less predictable.
We ended last week’s rankings with Sam Bradford at number six. Without any more discussion, let’s rank some 2000’s Vikings QB’s!
5.) Teddy Bridgewater | 2014-2017 | 28 starts
Man, how wild was the 2014 draft for the Vikings? For weeks, the Vikings were linked to “Johnny Football”, Johnny Manziel. They had plenty of opportunities at him too, but instead, went for another high-profile college quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater, with the final pick of the first-round.
Finally, the Vikings had their guy. Bridgewater made his first start in week four of the 2014 season, and pulled out a 41-28 win against the Atlanta Falcons.
Teddy had a solid Sophomore season, completing 65.3 percent of his passes for 3,231 yards and 14 touchdowns, leading the Vikings to their first playoff appearance in three years. Then, Blair Walsh ruined everything.
Expectations were high heading into 2016, especially after a stellar preseason game vs the Chargers, that had fans giddy about the future of #5. Then, one drop back ended ruined all of those dreams. A freak and gruesome knee injury set a timer on his Vikings career. Teddy Bridgewater would never take a meaningful snap in a purple and gold uniform, again, though he would find his way back onto the field, before eventually leaving in free agency.
On the “One Jets Drive” documentary series, QB Teddy Bridgewater opens up about his injury journey and current recovery. Great stuff. pic.twitter.com/pQcwspUI2H— Jordan Reid (@JReidNFL) July 25, 2018
That injury to Bridgewater forced the Vikings to trade for former first overall pick, Sam Bradford, a trade that didn’t work as expected for General Manager Rick Spielman. After time backing up Drew Brees in New Orleans, Bridgewater has now found amother home in Carolina, as he looks to replace future Hall-Of-Famer (and now Patriots QB) Cam Newton.
Had Bridgewater not been injured, there is a very good chance he’s still in purple and gold and much higher on this list.
4.) Kirk Cousins | 2018-Present | 31 starts
*Insert eyeball emoji here*.
This is the first shocker on the list. Back in 2018, Cousins was signed to a three-year, $84 million dollar deal, making him “the guy” for the foreseeable future.
Cousins was signed by the Vikings to win a Super Bowl and the expectations were high in 2018. In that first year, Cousins threw for 4,298 yards on a whopping 606 attempts. He also threw for a career-high, 30 touchdowns.
Fast-forward a year to 2019, and Cousins was phenomenal. He had almost 150 less passing attempts than he did in 2018 but threw for 3,603 yards and 26 touchdowns, aided by a dominant running game.
Kirk saved his best for the playoffs, throwing for 243 yards and a touchdown pass that sent the Vikings to the NFC Divisional round.
Name every other QB that can make this throw… there are none ??— ???????? シ (@tanishkamascara) June 27, 2020
Cousins finally silenced the doubters, but didn’t play as well the next week against San Francisco. The Michigan Stat Alum has been really good, at times for the Vikings, over his two seasons here. He needs to be great, though.
With a brand new contract and new weapons, it will be interesting to see what Cousins has in store for Vikings fans this season.
3. Case Keenum | 2017 | 14 starts (15 games)
Is Kirk Cousins a better quarterback than Case Keenum? Probably. But when comparing Cousins and Keenum, I am not sure if Cousins’ two seasons were better than Keenum’s 2017.
Keenum barely made the roster as Sam Bradford’s backup, but was forced into action by week two of the season, when Bradford went down with a freak knee injury. His first start didn’t go well, throwing for just 146 yards in a 17-point loss to Pittsburgh.
From that point on though, the Vikings lost just two more games. Keenum threw for 3,452 yards and 22 touchdowns, completing 67.6 percent of his passes.
The former University of Houston star was never given the “full-time starter” title by Zimmer but that just seemed to elevate Keenum’s play. Case had seven-straight games with over 200 yards passing, resulting in a 6-1 Vikings record during that span.
In the playoffs, Keenum delivered one of the most memorable playoff moments in NFL history and something Vikings fans will never forget.
Keenum was unbelievable in 2017, but for some reason never earned the trust of the coaching staff or front office. He was replaced by the man who still sits behind him on this list, Kirk Cousins.
2.) Daunte Culpepper | 1999-2005 | 80 starts
Yet another first round pick on this list. Culpepper was the fourth QB taken in 1999, at number #11 overall. The big quarterback from the University of Central Florida, played in just one game in his rookie season, but took the reigns in 2000 and made a name for himself quickly.
In 2000, Culpepper led the league with 33 touchdown passes and led the Vikings to the NFC Championship game, where they fell to the New York Giants.
In his seven seasons with the Vikings, Culpepper teamed up with two of the best wide receivers of all-time, in Randy Moss and Cris Carter. He threw for over 20,000 yards and 135 touchdowns, while leading the Vikings to the playoffs twice.
Culpepper was hurt in the seventh game of the 2005 season, and he never returned to his original form (or a Vikings uniform), after. He would only throw 14 more touchdown passes for other teams through the rest of his career. Say what you want about the man, but Daunte Culpepper had a heck of a career in Minneapolis.
Randy Moss had 1,000 receiving yards (regular & postseason) from five different quarterbacks.— Tucker Boynton (@Tucker_TnL) June 22, 2020
Daunte Culpepper – 5,894
Tom Brady – 3,173
Randall Cunningham – 1,648
Jeff George – 1,324
Kerry Collins – 1,009
(Note: Matt Cassel – 958)
1. Brett Favre | 2009-10 | 29 starts
In one of the most shocking moments in NFL history, Brett Favre became a member of the Minnesota Vikings just before the 2009 season.
The 2008 Vikings were good enough to make the playoffs, but they needed a quarterback to pair with prime Adrian Peterson, a dominant offensive line and good wide receiver’s like Sidney Rice and a rookie weapon named Percy Harvin. Enter the future HOF.
Favre was signed late in the preseason, but that didn’t seem to matter. The ole’ gunslinger threw for 4,202 yards with 33 TD’s and seven interceptions in that miracle 2009 season. He managed just 22 touchdowns the previous year in New York.
Favre started the season 6-0, including a miraculous throw against San Francisco in his first home game as a Viking.
After that week three game, the NFL was put on notice. The Vikings made the playoffs as a 12-4 team, dominated the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Divisional round, but ultimately fell to the cheatin’ New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship.
Favre would come back for one final chance at his second Super Bowl, but threw for just 11 touchdowns with 19 interceptions, as the Vikings failed to recapture the magic created in the season prior.
I will never figure out how my favorite team landed Favre, but I am really glad they did. The 2009 Vikings should be on the list of the best teams to not win a Super Bowl and Favre was the reason why.
Hunter Plante | Minnesota Sports Fan