If the 2022 Minnesota Vikings want to finish anywhere better than average, they have to deny their team history.
Since the team’s inception in 1961, Dennis Green has been the only first-year Vikings captain to take Minnesota to the playoffs. The year was 1992, future NFL MVP Rich Gannon was the quarterback, Terry Allen was at the top of his power and defenders like John Randall and Chris Doleman took care of the rest.
In fact, the Vikings have won NFC Central in Green’s first voyage, winning 11 games at just five rates. Unfortunately, at the hands of the Washington commanders at the Minnesota Metrodom, they faced first-round spanking 24-7. Not for nothing – the commanders were ruling the Super Bowl champions at the time.
Before and after the green, Vikings rookie coaches feel generalized vanity, or at best, moderation. Here’s a look at some of Minnesota’s first-year captains:
- Norm van Brooklyn = 3-11 (1961)
- Bud Grant = 3-8-3 (1967)
- Less steakel = 3-13 (1984)
- Jerry Burns = 9-7 (1986)
- Dennis Green = 11-5 (1992)
- Mike Tees = 6-10 (2002)
- Brad Childdress = 6-10 (2006)
- Leslie Frazier = 3-13 (2011)
- Mike Zimmer = 7-9 (2014)
- Kevin O’Connell =? -? (2022)
The 1986 team, led by Jerry Burns, recruited players such as Tommy Kramer, Darren Nelson and Keith Millard, missed the post-season. Incredibly, the Vikings were fourth on points scored in 1986 and fifth on permitted points but somehow still failed to qualify for the post-season tournament. Pete Carroll, the current head coach of the Seattle Seahawks, was the Vikings’ defensive back coach that year. Bill Parcel’s New York Giants won the aforementioned tournament. Assisted by Lawrence Taylor.
Thanks to O’Connell, he’s got a reasonably good list of other first-year Vikings coaches. The 2002 team, coached by Mike Tais, was controversially equipped with a good offense – Dante Coolpaper, Randy Moss, Michael Bennett, Matt Burke and Bryant McKinney – but the defense was brutal. The Vikings 2002 best defense players were Lance Johnstone, Chris Hovan and Corey Chavas. Compare 2022 with Daniel Hunter, Jaderius Smith, Eric Kendricks and Harrison – and the forecast doesn’t look terrible.
If anyone uses Vikings history as a precedent – which may or may not be true for O’Connell – Minnesota will end 6-11 (.352) in 2022.. Mathematically, the team has been looking at 7-10 years.
But that’s just how men’s things are The past. O’Connell could reasonably pull the team into a post-season like Green in 1992. If he does, he will break history.
Moreover, only five NFL coaches in the Super Bowl era reached the Super Bowl in their first year. Two Super Bowls were won by Don McCafferty (Colts) in 1970 and George Sefert (49ers) in 1989.
For the oddsmaker, the Vikings are set to win nine games in 2022.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to her daily YouTube channel, VikesNow. She Hosts a podcast With Bryant McKinney, which airs every Wednesday Raun Sai And Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking Fandom dates back to 1996. Listed Criminal Pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos’ and The Doors (Band).