History has shown that coming off an NFC Championship game, the following season has not been all that kind to the purple.
Lets take a painful look back.
In 1998 the Vikings had one of the most memorable seasons of any team in NFL history. They went 15-1 and had at that time the highest scoring offense in the history of the league. They were a missed field goal from going to the Super Bowl. In 1999, outside of offensive coordinator Brian Billick, they brought everybody back including reigning NFL MVP Randall Cunningham and dynamic rookie Randy Moss. The result? The team got off to a 2-4 start, and by mid season Cunningham was benched in favor of journeyman Jeff George. They made the playoffs, but lost in the divisional round to the eventual Super Bowl champion St. Louis Rams.
The 2000 Vikings came out of nowhere to make the NFC Championship game under new young signal caller Duante Culpepper. Unfortunately they played their worst game of the year at the worst possible time losing to the New York Giants 41-0. The Giants would go on to lose to the Baltimore Ravens in the Super Bowl who were coached by none other than…yep… Brian Billick. The following year was a disaster going 5-11, and fired coach Dennis Green in mid season for Mike Tice. The Vikings would not make the playoffs for another 5 years.
2009 was another memorable season for the purple and gold. It saw them bring in their arch rival from Green Bay Brett Favre to play quarterback. Favre had one of his best seasons as a pro and took them all the way to the championship game. In a hard fought game, they lost (due to a couple of Adrian Petersen fumbles and an untimely Favre interception) to the eventual Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints. 2010? Utter disaster. The team literally had to kidnap Favre to come back, who’s heart clearly wasn’t in it. He feuded with coach Brad Childress who was then fired mid-season. To put the icing on the cake, following a snowstorm the roof to the teams home, the Metrodome collapsed forcing the team to play their last two home games away from home. They finished the season 6-10, and the final straw, they had to watch the hated Packers win their fourth Super Bowl that year.
That brings us to 2018 after last years loss to the Eagles in the NFC championship game. Expectations have never been higher following the signing of quarterback Kirk Cousins. I personally don’t think history will repeat itself. This team is just to talented, but as I’ve pointed out perception is not always reality. We will find out what this team is all about in the next 17 weeks starting Sunday!