If you'll recall, a couple of months ago The Sports Guru from over at Mile High Report wrote an article about the consistency of the Broncos since the AFL/NFL merger that took place after the 1970 season. I then took that article and applied the stats to the consistency of the Beloved Purple.
Well, now the folks at ESPN's Page 2 have decided to borrow from both of us, as they've declared the Vikings to be the 7th best team in the NFL since the merger in their Ultimate NFL Power Rankings. These rankings take into account things like Super Bowl appearances, playoff appearances, and other factors.
The Vikings are, naturally, the highest ranked team on the list without a Super Bowl title during the measured time period. The six teams ahead of them, in order, are the Cowboys, Steelers, 49ers, Dolphins, Broncos, and Raiders. The next highest team on the list without a Super Bowl title is Philadelphia at #13.
Here are their comments about the Vikings and their place in post-merger history.
Ultraconsistent Minnesota checks in as the highest-ranked team in our study without a Super Bowl title. The Vikings boast the highest winning percentage, the most playoff wins, the most "Monday Night Football" appearances and the most first-team All-Pro selections since 1970 of any team not to win the big game. Only once since the merger have the Vikings failed to win at least four games, and for that embarrassment in 1984, the team fired coach Les Steckel after one season. So although Vikings fans have endured more than their share of postseason misery and seem to be stuck in a rut right now (they haven't won 10 or more games since 2001), at least they've enjoyed a persistent winner.
I think the word they meant to use at the end there was "consistent" winner, but hey. . .either way, we'll take it.
The Beloved Purple are also the only team to appear three times on the list of "most crushing post-season defeats," which is also weighted into these rankings. The Vikings make that list three times. . .for the "Hail Mary" game in 1975 (and, this just in, Drew Pearson is still a cheating bastard), the 1998 NFC Championship Game, and the 2000 NFC Championship Game. Amazing how they didn't include any of the 3 Super Bowl losses that occurred during the measured time. . .or the 1987 NFC Championship game (which, I guess, wasn't all that "crushing")
But, yes, Page 2 has managed to tell all of us now what I managed to tell everyone months ago. The Vikings are one of the most consistent franchises in the NFL. Yes, we might not have gotten the glory that the Bears and the Packers have gotten once each since the merger. . .but we also haven't had the stretches of unparalleled suck that those teams have. . .or, as they call it in Green Bay, the "70s and 80s."
The five questions that Jimmy from Music City Miracles and I have exchanged should be going up on both of our sites tomorrow, so keep an eye out for that. Outside of that, since Friday only has about 50 minutes left, continue enjoying your weekend!