List of Minnesota Vikings starting quarterbacks

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A white man wearing a white and purple American football uniform. His helmet and the trim on the sleeves of his jersey are purple and there is a large numeral "4" in purple on his chest.
Brett Favre took over as the Vikings' starting quarterback in 2009.

The Minnesota Vikings are a professional American football team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They are members of the North Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL). A franchise was granted to Minneapolis businessmen Bill Boyer, H. P. Skoglund and Max Winter in 1959 as a member of the American Football League (AFL). The ownership forfeited their AFL membership in January 1960 and received the National Football League's 14th franchise on January 28, 1960 that started play in 1961.[1]

The Vikings have had 30 starting quarterbacks (QB) in the history of their franchise; they have never had more than three starting quarterbacks in one season.[a] The Vikings' past starting quarterbacks include Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees Fran Tarkenton and Warren Moon.[2] The team's first starting quarterback was George Shaw; he was replaced by Tarkenton in the franchise's first game, and the future Hall of Famer retained the starting role for most of the remainder of the season. The Vikings' starting quarterback from 2009 to 2010 was Brett Favre—formerly of the Vikings' rivals, the Green Bay Packers—who was playing in his 19th season in the NFL.

The 2011 season started with quarterback Donovan McNabb, formerly of the Philadelphia Eagles and the Washington Redskins, under center. He was benched late in the sixth game of the season and replaced with rookie Christian Ponder. Ponder became the 31st starting quarterback in Vikings history the following week, when he made his first NFL start in a 33–27 loss to the Green Bay Packers.

History[edit]

The Vikings' starting quarterback for the first game of their inaugural season against the Chicago Bears was George Shaw.[3] However, he was replaced by Fran Tarkenton early on, who passed for four touchdowns in the game and rushed for one more. Tarkenton went on to start in 10 of the Vikings' 14 regular season matches that year.[4] He played for the Vikings until 1967, when he was traded to the New York Giants,[5] and Joe Kapp took his place as the Vikings' starting QB.[6] Kapp led the Vikings to their first playoff appearance in 1968,[7] but he was traded to the Boston Patriots in 1970 and Gary Cuozzo stepped up to replace him.[6][8] Cuozzo remained in the position for two seasons, moving to the St. Louis Cardinals in 1972.[8]

Tarkenton returned for another seven-year spell as the Vikings' starting quarterback in 1972, continuing until his retirement in 1978,[5] at which point Tommy Kramer was promoted from the second string in his second season with the franchise.[9] Kramer was injured for most of the 1983 season, so Steve Dils served as the starting quarterback for most of the season,[10] before Kramer reclaimed the position in 1984.[9] For the 1987 season, Kramer shared QB duties with Wade Wilson, before Wilson took over on a permanent basis from 1988.[11] Wilson was replaced by the emerging Rich Gannon in 1990,[12] but Gannon was released after the 1992 season and veteran Jim McMahon took over for the 1993 season until the arrival of Warren Moon in 1994.[13]

Moon retained the starting QB spot for two seasons,[14] but suffered a broken collarbone halfway through his third season with the Vikings and was replaced by Brad Johnson for the remainder of the season.[15] The Vikings had three starting quarterbacks in the following three seasons – Johnson (1997),[15] Randall Cunningham (1998)[16] and Jeff George (1999)[17] – before Daunte Culpepper began a six-year spell in his second year in the NFL in 2000.[18] He suffered a serious knee injury during the 2005 season, and Johnson took over in the position again, having re-signed the previous summer after seven years away from the franchise.[15] Culpepper then joined the Miami Dolphins in 2006,[18] giving Johnson another full year as starting QB,[15] only to be replaced by sophomore Tarvaris Jackson in 2007.[19] The 2008 season commenced with Jackson starting at quarterback,[19] but he was replaced after two games by Gus Frerotte, who was returning to the Vikings from the St. Louis Rams after having been traded to the Miami Dolphins in 2005.[20] Jackson regained the job for the final three games and led the Vikings to their first divisional title since 2000, and their first NFC North title.[19] In 2009, the Vikings recruited veteran QB Brett Favre out of retirement to be their new starting quarterback.[21] In Week 13 of the 2010 season, Favre suffered a chest injury that ended his NFL-record streak of consecutive starts at 297 (321 including postseason games), and Tarvaris Jackson reclaimed the starting spot for Week 14. However, Jackson was injured himself in Week 15, giving rookie Joe Webb a chance to stake a claim for the position.

Starting quarterbacks by season[edit]

Head and shoulders of a bald black man wearing a light shirt and a black suit jacket.
Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Warren Moon was the Minnesota Vikings' starting quarterback from 1994 to 1996.
A smiling black man with very short, dark hair, wearing a white sleeveless shirt.
Daunte Culpepper was the Vikings' starting quarterback for six seasons from 2000 to 2005.
A white man wearing a purple jersey with white trim and a large numeral "9" in white on his chest. He is wearing a purple American football helmet with a dark visor covering his eyes.
Jim McMahon was the Vikings' starting quarterback for the 1993 season.
YearColumn links to corresponding team season
(#)Number of games started in the regular season or post-season win–loss record
Inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame[2]

Regular season[edit]

SeasonQuarterback(s)Ref(s)
1961Fran Tarkenton (10) / George Shaw (4)[4][5][3]
1962Fran Tarkenton (14)[22]
1963Fran Tarkenton (13) / Ron Vander Kelen (1)[23][24]
1964Fran Tarkenton (14)[25]
1965Fran Tarkenton (14)[26]
1966Fran Tarkenton (12) / Bob Berry (1) / Ron Vander Kelen (1)[27][28]
1967Joe Kapp (11) / Ron Vander Kelen (3)[29][6]
1968Joe Kapp (14)[7]
1969Joe Kapp (13) / Gary Cuozzo (1)[30][8]
1970Gary Cuozzo (12) / Bob Lee (2)[31][32]
1971Gary Cuozzo (8) / Bob Lee (4) / Norm Snead (2)[33][34]
1972Fran Tarkenton (14)[35]
1973Fran Tarkenton (14)[36]
1974Fran Tarkenton (13) / Bob Berry (1)[37]
1975Fran Tarkenton (14)[38]
1976Fran Tarkenton (13) / Bob Lee (1)[39]
1977Fran Tarkenton (9) / Bob Lee (4) / Tommy Kramer (1)[40][9]
1978[b]Fran Tarkenton (16)[41]
1979Tommy Kramer (16)[42]
1980Tommy Kramer (15) / Steve Dils (1)[43][10]
1981Tommy Kramer (14) / Steve Dils (2)[44]
1982[c]Tommy Kramer (9)[45]
1983Steve Dils (12) / Tommy Kramer (3) / Wade Wilson (1)[46][11]
1984Tommy Kramer (9) / Wade Wilson (5) / Archie Manning (2)[47][48]
1985Tommy Kramer (15) / Wade Wilson (1)[49]
1986Tommy Kramer (13) / Wade Wilson (3)[50]
1987[c]Wade Wilson (7) / Tommy Kramer (5) / Tony Adams (3)[51][52]
1988Wade Wilson (10) / Tommy Kramer (6)[53]
1989Wade Wilson (12) / Tommy Kramer (4)[54]
1990Rich Gannon (12) / Wade Wilson (4)[55][12]
1991Rich Gannon (11) / Wade Wilson (5)[56]
1992Rich Gannon (12) / Sean Salisbury (4)[57][58]
1993Jim McMahon (12) / Sean Salisbury (4)[59][13]
1994Warren Moon (15) / Sean Salisbury (1)[60][14]
1995Warren Moon (16)[61]
1996Warren Moon (8) / Brad Johnson (8)[62][15]
1997Brad Johnson (13) / Randall Cunningham (3)[63][16]
1998Randall Cunningham (14) / Brad Johnson (2)[64]
1999Jeff George (10) / Randall Cunningham (6)[65][17]
2000Daunte Culpepper (16)[66][18]
2001Daunte Culpepper (11) / Todd Bouman (3) / Spergon Wynn (2)[67][68][69]
2002Daunte Culpepper (16)[70]
2003Daunte Culpepper (14) / Gus Frerotte (2)[71][20]
2004Daunte Culpepper (16)[72]
2005Brad Johnson (9) / Daunte Culpepper (7)[73]
2006Brad Johnson (14) / Tarvaris Jackson (2)[74][19]
2007Tarvaris Jackson (12) / Kelly Holcomb (3) / Brooks Bollinger (1)[75][76][77]
2008Gus Frerotte (11) / Tarvaris Jackson (5)[78]
2009Brett Favre (16)[79][21]
2010Brett Favre (13) / Tarvaris Jackson (1) / Joe Webb (2)[80][81]
2011Christian Ponder (10) / Donovan McNabb (6)[82][83][84]
2012Christian Ponder (16)[85]
2013Christian Ponder (9) / Matt Cassel (6) / Josh Freeman (1)[86][87][88]

Post-season[edit]

SeasonQuarterback(s)Ref(s)
1968Joe Kapp (0–1)[6]
1969Joe Kapp (2–1)[6]
1970Gary Cuozzo (0–1)[8]
1971Bob Lee (0–1)[32]
1973Fran Tarkenton (2–1)[5]
1974Fran Tarkenton (2–1)[5]
1975Fran Tarkenton (0–1)[5]
1976Fran Tarkenton (2–1)[5]
1977Bob Lee (1–1)[32]
1978Fran Tarkenton (0–1)[5]
1980Tommy Kramer (0–1)[9]
1982Tommy Kramer (1–1)[9]
1987Tommy Kramer (1–0) / Wade Wilson (1–1)[9][11]
1988Wade Wilson (1–1)[11]
1989Wade Wilson (0–1)[11]
1992Sean Salisbury (0–1)[58]
1993Jim McMahon (0–1)[13]
1994Warren Moon (0–1)[14]
1996Brad Johnson (0–1)[15]
1997Randall Cunningham (1–1)[16]
1998Randall Cunningham (1–1)[16]
1999Jeff George (1–1)[17]
2000Daunte Culpepper (1–1)[18]
2004Daunte Culpepper (1–1)[18]
2008Tarvaris Jackson (0–1)[19]
2009Brett Favre (1–1)[21]
2012Joe Webb (0–1)[81]

Statistics[edit]

Having been the franchise's starting quarterback for 13 seasons (longer than any other Vikings player), Fran Tarkenton holds the record for the most starts in a Vikings jersey, and those for the most wins and ties.[89] He is also the franchise's leading passer in terms of numbers of attempts, completions, total yards gained and passing touchdowns, although Brett Favre has the best pass completion percentage.[89] However, Tarkenton has also thrown the most interceptions.[89] The record for the longest completed pass by a Vikings starting quarterback is held by Gus Frerotte, who threw a 99-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Bernard Berrian in a home game against the Chicago Bears in the 2008 season.[89][90]

Tarkenton is also the franchise leader for rushing attempts and rushing yards as a quarterback, but it is Daunte Culpepper – with 72 fewer rushing yards on 10 fewer attempts than Tarkenton – who has the most rushing touchdowns.[91] Tarkenton holds the record for the longest rush with a 52-yard run in his rookie season on the road against the Los Angeles Rams.[91][92]

YearsYears that the quarterback was on the Vikings' rosterYdsYards gained by passing
GPGames played (regular season)TDPassing touchdowns
GSGames started (regular season)IntInterceptions thrown
WNumber of wins as starting quarterbackLngLongest completed pass thrown (yards)
LNumber of losses as starting quarterbackRateQuarterback rating
TNumber of ties as starting quarterbackAttRushes attempted
CmpPasses completedYdsYards gained by rushing
AttPasses attemptedTDRushing touchdowns
Cmp%Percentage of passes completedLngLongest rushing attempt
NameYearsGPGSWLTCmpAttCmp%YdsTDIntLngRateAttYdsTDLngRef
Passing StatisticsRushing Statistics
Shaw, GeorgeGeorge Shaw196184130469150.5530444264.81039019[3]
Tarkenton, FranFran Tarkenton1961–1966
1972–1978
177170917362635456957.7330982391948980.146425482252[5]
Vander Kelen, RonRon Vander Kelen1963–196729514010725242.513756115350.026116120[24]
Berry, BobBob Berry1965–1967
1973–1975
2421106312450.8708785260.172508[28]
Kapp, JoeJoe Kapp1967–196940382312335169950.2480737478562.299540527[6]
Cuozzo, GaryGary Cuozzo1968–19713321165027655649.6355218237263.63685015[8]
Lee, BobBob Lee1969–1972
1975–1978
521192015930652.0215315176367.93937210[32]
Snead, NormNorm Snead197172200377549.3470165540.46615[34]
Kramer, TommyTommy Kramer1977–1989128110545602011364855.1247751591577672.9214531820[9]
Dils, SteveSteve Dils1979–1984471569033662353.9386715186868.92473019[10]
Wilson, WadeWade Wilson1981–1991764827210929166555.81213566757573.4159679938[11]
Manning, ArchieArchie Manning1983–198482020529455.3545235666.11241016[48]
Adams, TonyTony Adams198733030498955.1607356364.21131012[52]
Gannon, RichRich Gannon1987–1992483519160561100355.9645740367873.9144720342[12]
Salisbury, SeanSean Salisbury1992–199422954022840456.427721495580.024106[58]
Macmahon, JimJim McMahon1993121284020033160.41968985876.23396016[13]
Moon, WarrenWarren Moon1994–1996393921180882145460.71010258428582.869143016[14]
Johnson, BradBrad Johnson1994–1998
2005–2006
6846281801036167062.01109865488282.5139368228[15]
Cunningham, RandallRandall Cunningham1997–19992723167042771359.9568048236794.261317128[16]
George, JeffJeff George1999121082019132958.1281623128094.21641017[17]
Culpepper, DaunteDaunte Culpepper1999–20058180384201678260764.420162135868291.545424762942[18]
Bouman, ToddTodd Bouman2001–200263120549556.8880848098.61070021[68]
Wynn, SpergonSpergon Wynn200132020489849.0418164738.6861014[69]
Frerotte, GusGus Frerotte2003–2004
2008
4313103021636758.9284719179981.431515[20]
Jackson, TarvarisTarvaris Jackson2006–201036201010035460358.7398424227176.6119535433[19]
Holcomb, KellyKelly Holcomb200733030428350.6515214073.10000[76]
Bollinger, BrooksBrooks Bollinger2006–200771010466867.6537125084.0518010[77]
Favre, BrettBrett Favre2009–201029291712058088965.2671144266392.22615010[21]
Webb, JoeJoe Webb2010–20131721108815257.9853354666.641273465[81]
McNabb, DonovanDonovan McNabb2011661509415660.31026426082.91459123[83]
Ponder, ChristianChristian Ponder*2011–363513201610101360.2643638347277.3122623629[84]
Cassel, MattMatt Cassel*2013–9643015325460.218071197981.61857113[87]
Freeman, JoshJosh Freeman*2013–11010205337.7190012240.60000[88]
* Statistics accurate as of the end of the 2013 season.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

General
Specific
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