Best Minnesota Vikings Quarterbacks of All Time – Top 10 Scramblin’ Legends


Top 10 Best Minnesota Vikings Quarterbacks of All Time

S. No


Stats with Vikings


Fran Tarkenton

57.7% comp. rate, 33,098 passing yards, 239 TD, 194 INT


Daunte Culpepper

64.4% comp. rate, 20,162 passing yards, 135 TD, 86 INT




Kirk Cousins

67.8% comp. rate, 20,934 passing yards, 153 TD, 50 INT


Randall Cunningham

59.9% comp. rate, 5,680 passing yards, 48 TD, 23 INT


Brett Favre

65.2% comp. rate, 6,711 passing yards, 44 TD, 26 INT


Tommy Kramer

55.1% comp. rate, 24,775 passing yards, 159 TD, 157 INT


Warren Moon

60.7% comp. rate, 10,102 passing yards, 58 TD, 42 INT


Wade Wilson

55.8% comp. rate, 12,135 passing yards, 66 TD, 75 INT


Joe Kapp

50.2% comp. rate, 4,807 passing yards, 40 TD, 64 INT


Brad Johnson

62% comp. rate, 11,098 passing yards, 65 TD, 48 INT

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Best Minnesota Vikings Quarterbacks of All Time

The Minnesota Vikings boast a rich history in the NFL, and at the heart of their legacy is a lineage of exceptional quarterbacks who have left an indelible mark on the franchise. In this exploration of the “Best Minnesota Vikings Quarterbacks of All Time,” we delve into the storied careers of signal-callers who have donned the purple and gold. From the iconic Fran Tarkenton, whose scrambling prowess set the standard, to the modern controversies surrounding Kirk Cousins, each quarterback has contributed uniquely to the team’s narrative. Join us as we traverse through the accomplishments, challenges, and defining moments that have shaped the quarterbacking legacy of the Minnesota Vikings.


1. Fran Tarkenton

Best Minnesota Vikings Quarterbacks of All Time - Top 10 Scramblin' Legends

Fran Tarkenton, often referred to as “Scramblin’ Fran,” stands as an enduring icon in the history of the Minnesota Vikings and the NFL. Tarkenton’s career with the Vikings spanned from 1961 to 1978, making him one of the franchise’s most beloved and successful quarterbacks. Known for his exceptional mobility and ability to extend plays, Tarkenton revolutionized the quarterback position.

His statistical prowess is unmatched in Vikings history, as he remains the franchise leader in passing yards with 33,098, touchdowns with 239, and wins with a remarkable 91 regular-season victories. Tarkenton’s impact went beyond the regular season, leading the Vikings to three Super Bowl appearances (1973, 1974, and 1976), making him the only quarterback in team history to achieve such a feat. His ability to navigate the pocket, make accurate throws, and lead the team in crucial moments solidifies Fran Tarkenton’s legacy as the best quarterback in Minnesota Vikings history.

Beyond his on-field achievements, Tarkenton’s influence extended to the broader NFL community. His 18-season career, which included a brief stint with the New York Giants, showcased durability, consistency, and a passion for the game. Tarkenton’s innovative style of play paved the way for future generations of quarterbacks, inspiring a new era of dual-threat signal-callers. His impact on and off the field earned him numerous accolades, including nine Pro Bowl selections and an induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1986.

2. Daunte Culpepper

Best Minnesota Vikings Quarterbacks of All Time - Top 10 Scramblin' Legends

Daunte Culpepper electrified the Minnesota Vikings and their fan base during his tenure as the team’s starting quarterback from 1999 to 2005. Known for his cannon arm and dynamic playing style, Culpepper created a thrilling era of Vikings football. In the early 2000s, Culpepper formed a formidable connection with wide receiver Randy Moss, orchestrating one of the most explosive quarterback-receiver duos in the league.

The 6-foot-4 quarterback’s statistical achievements are impressive, including a franchise-record 4,717 passing yards and 39 touchdown passes during the 2004 season. Culpepper’s physical prowess extended beyond passing, as he contributed significantly as a rusher, accumulating over 2,500 rushing yards and 33 rushing touchdowns during his Vikings career.

Unfortunately, Culpepper’s promising career took an unfortunate turn in 2005 when a severe knee injury derailed his trajectory. Despite the setback, his impact on the Vikings’ offensive identity and the league’s perception of quarterback play remained indelible. Culpepper’s legacy extends beyond the gridiron, as he played an integral role in community outreach initiatives during his time in Minnesota. Though his career may have faced challenges, Daunte Culpepper’s imprint on Vikings history remains vivid, and his electrifying performances continue to be celebrated by fans who witnessed his remarkable contributions.

3. Kirk Cousins

Best Minnesota Vikings Quarterbacks of All Time - Top 10 Scramblin' Legends

Since joining the Minnesota Vikings in 2018, Kirk Cousins has been a polarizing figure in the NFL landscape. Known for his precision passing and statistical efficiency, Cousins has navigated the complexities of being the team’s starting quarterback amidst high expectations. His arrival marked a significant investment by the franchise, and Cousins quickly became the focal point of discussions surrounding the team’s success.

His passing accuracy, highlighted by a career-high 70.1% completion rate in the 2019 season, has solidified him as one of the most accurate quarterbacks in the league. However, Cousins’ tenure has been marked by scrutiny, particularly regarding his performance in high-stakes games and the playoffs.

While consistently posting impressive regular-season numbers, the team’s quest for deep playoff runs remains a point of contention. Nevertheless, Cousins has demonstrated resilience and adaptability, adapting to various offensive systems and establishing himself as a leader both on and off the field. As he continues to build his legacy in Minnesota, the debate surrounding Kirk Cousins’ impact on the Vikings franchise remains a central narrative, with the hope for postseason success continuing to shape his legacy in the annals of Vikings quarterback history.

4. Randall Cunningham

Best Minnesota Vikings Quarterbacks of All Time - Top 10 Scramblin' Legends

Randall Cunningham’s tenure with the Minnesota Vikings marked a significant chapter in the team’s history. Joining the Vikings in 1997, Cunningham delivered a standout performance during the 1998 season, forming a dynamic duo with wide receiver Randy Moss. That season, Cunningham led the Vikings to an impressive 13-1 record and propelled the team to the NFC Championship game.

His exceptional play earned him first-team All-Pro honors, a testament to his impact on the field. Cunningham’s 1998 stats of 3,704 passing yards, 34 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions underscored his remarkable efficiency and contributed to one of the best single-season performances by a Vikings quarterback. Despite not being the intended starter at the beginning of the season, Cunningham’s unexpected success cemented his legacy among the Vikings’ all-time greats.

5. Brett Favre

Best Minnesota Vikings Quarterbacks of All Time - Top 10 Scramblin' Legends

Brett Favre’s arrival in Minnesota in 2009 created a buzz among Vikings fans and ignited a memorable season. The longtime rival quarterback, known for his gunslinging mentality, led the Vikings to a 12-4 record and a berth in the NFC Championship game. Favre’s 2009 campaign was nothing short of sensational, with a 65.2% completion rate, 6,711 passing yards, 44 touchdowns, and 26 interceptions.

The team’s “kick-ass offense,” featuring Adrian Peterson, showcased Favre’s enduring skill and competitiveness, placing the Vikings on the brink of a Super Bowl appearance. Despite the heartbreaking interception in the NFC Championship game, Favre’s impact on the Vikings’ 2009 season remains etched in franchise history, and his brief but impactful tenure solidified his status as one of the team’s legendary quarterbacks.

6. Tommy Kramer

Best Minnesota Vikings Quarterbacks of All Time - Top 10 Scramblin' Legends

Tommy Kramer’s legacy with the Minnesota Vikings spans an impressive 13 seasons, from 1977 to 1989, making him one of the longest-tenured quarterbacks in franchise history. Taking over the reins from the legendary Fran Tarkenton after the 1978 season, Kramer faced the daunting task of filling big cleats, but he rose to the challenge.

His 24,775 passing yards with the Vikings still rank second-best in team history, showcasing his longevity and consistency. Kramer played a crucial role in guiding the team to the playoffs three consecutive times from 1987 to 1989, earning a Pro Bowl appearance in 1988. Beyond the statistics, Kramer’s impact on the Vikings’ offense and his ability to navigate the team through both successful and challenging seasons solidify his place as one of the Best Minnesota Vikings Quarterbacks of All Time.

7. Warren Moon

Best Minnesota Vikings Quarterbacks of All Time - Top 10 Scramblin' Legends

Warren Moon, a Hall of Fame quarterback renowned for his excellence in both the NFL and the CFL, left an indelible mark during his relatively short stint with the Minnesota Vikings. Moon’s tenure in the Land of 10,000 Lakes spanned three seasons, from 1994 to 1996, yet his impact resonated far beyond the brevity of his stay. Despite playing just three seasons, Moon showcased his enduring skill, boasting a 60.7% completion rate and accumulating an impressive 10,102 passing yards with 58 touchdowns and 42 interceptions.

His time in Minnesota was marked by two Pro Bowl appearances, a testament to his ability to elevate the performance of those around him, notably aiding Cris Carter and Jake Reed in reaching the coveted 1,000-yard milestone within Dennis Green’s high-powered offensive scheme. While Moon’s Vikings journey was brief, it undeniably added a compelling chapter to his illustrious career.

8. Wade Wilson

Best Minnesota Vikings Quarterbacks of All Time - Top 10 Scramblin' Legends

Wade Wilson, though perhaps not immediately synonymous with the pantheon of legendary Vikings quarterbacks, solidified his place in franchise history over a decade-long career with the team. Wilson, quarterbacking the Vikings from 1981 to 1991, compiled a commendable record, boasting a 55.8% completion rate along with 12,135 passing yards, 66 touchdowns, and 75 interceptions.

Beyond the statistics, Wilson played a pivotal role in guiding the Vikings to the playoffs three consecutive times from 1987 to 1989, including a Pro Bowl appearance in 1988. His resilience and consistent performance, combined with his significant contributions to the team’s postseason endeavors, make Wade Wilson a noteworthy figure in the annals of Minnesota Vikings quarterback history.

9. Joe Kapp

Best Minnesota Vikings Quarterbacks of All Time - Top 10 Scramblin' Legends

Joe Kapp, an influential figure in Vikings history, etched his name in the franchise’s lore as one of only two quarterbacks to lead the team to a Super Bowl appearance. Kapp’s time with the Vikings spanned from 1967 to 1969, and despite a modest 50.2% completion rate, he demonstrated his leadership on the field, accumulating 4,807 passing yards, 40 touchdowns, and 64 interceptions.

His record reflects a commendable 23-12-3 regular-season performance, with a notable 2-2 record in playoff appearances. Kapp’s enduring legacy is heightened by his role in steering the Vikings to Super Bowl IV, showcasing his ability to elevate the team to the grandest stage in professional football.

10. Brad Johnson

Best Minnesota Vikings Quarterbacks of All Time - Top 10 Scramblin' Legends

Brad Johnson, a quarterback who donned the purple and gold from 1994 to 1998, secured his place in Vikings history as one of the seven quarterbacks to surpass 10,000 career passing yards with the team. Johnson’s statistics reflect a 62% completion rate, 11,098 passing yards, 65 touchdowns, and 48 interceptions. Notably, he boasted a respectable 28-18 regular-season win-loss record, coupled with a playoff appearance in which the Vikings went 0-1.

Johnson’s highlights include a stretch from 1996 to 1998, during which the team reached the playoffs each year. While not an era of Super Bowl triumphs, Johnson’s contributions underscore the evolving landscape of quarterback play for the Vikings during this period, setting the stage for future generations.

Who is Considered the Greatest Minnesota Vikings Quarterback in History?

The title of the greatest Minnesota Vikings quarterback in history undeniably belongs to Fran Tarkenton. Tarkenton’s impact on the franchise is immeasurable, and his legacy resonates across generations of Vikings fans. Over his illustrious career with the team from 1961 to 1978, Tarkenton amassed impressive statistics, including a 57.7% completion rate, 33,098 passing yards, 239 touchdowns, and 194 interceptions.

What sets Tarkenton apart is not merely the statistical prowess but his revolutionary style of play. Known for his exceptional scrambling ability, Tarkenton was a quarterback ahead of his time, keeping defenses on their toes by maneuvering skillfully in the pocket or making daring escapes outside the hash marks. His ability to extend plays and improvise on the field became a hallmark of his game. Tarkenton’s leadership was instrumental in guiding the Vikings to multiple Super Bowl appearances, reaching the final stage three times from 1973 to 1976.

Beyond the numbers and accolades, Fran Tarkenton’s enduring influence is evident in his status as the Vikings’ career leader in nearly every passing category, including yards, touchdowns, and wins. His impact on the team’s identity, coupled with his longevity and consistency, cements Fran Tarkenton as not just a Vikings legend but an icon in the pantheon of NFL quarterbacks.

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