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  1. #1
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    Dec 1969

    The All-Time 1970s Minnesota Vikings (Offense)

    [size=18px]The All-Time 1970s Minnesota Vikings (Offense)[/size]

    By Eric Krupka on July 12, 2006

    After having selected what I deem to be the All-Time 1960s Minnesota Vikings team, it is time to move on to the decade that saw the team reach three Super Bowls; unfortunately for the Vikings, they fell short in each contest. In this installment, I will select the team's All-Time offense of the decade.

    QB Fran Tarkenton: This is his second appearance on the All-Time Vikings' teams. He is simply the greatest quarterback in franchise history. At the conclusion of the 1966 season, he was traded to the New York Giants for two first and second-round picks over a three-year period.

    Prior to the '72 season, the team made amends for the previous trade and reacquired Tarkenton by trading away Norm Snead, Bob Grim, Vince Clements and a first-round pick in '72 and '73 to the New York Giants for his services. The team would not be disappointed as the star quarterback continued his stellar Hall of Fame play. He guided the team to three Super Bowl appearances in '73, '74 and '76, and nearly brought the Vikings to four consecutive Super Bowls, had it not been for a controversial play that became known as the "Hail Mary." In the 1975-'76 season, the Vikings finished the regular season with a 12-2 record, pitting them against the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Divisional Playoff. A one-yard touchdown plunge by Brent McClanahan with 5:24 remaining put the Vikings up 14-10. Dallas converted a fourth-and-16 to sustain hope. Then, with just 24 seconds remaining and the Vikings still leading by the same score, Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach threw up a prayer from the 50-yard line. It appeared that Cowboys receiver Drew Pearson pushed off Vikings defensive back Nate Wright to make the catch in the end zone. Viking fans were livid and a referee was struck in the head by a glass bottle thrown from the crowd. Sadly, it put a damper on a tremendous season for Tarkenton in which he won the NFL MVP and NFL Offensive Player of the Year Award. On that play Tarkenton also lost his father, who died of a heart attack watching. Fans still point to the '75 team as having had the greatest chance to win the ever elusive Super Bowl Title.

    RB Chuck Foreman: Arguably the greatest running back in team history, his power, grace, toughness, spin moves and hands made him among the best to ever play the position. A member of the Vikings from 1973-1979, he epitomized what the '70's Vikings were all about. In seven seasons with the team, he carried the ball 1,533 times for 5,887 yards and 52 touchdowns. He also added 336 receptions for 3,057 yards and 23 touchdowns. Foreman posted three consecutive seasons over the 1,000-yard rushing mark from '75-'77. In the aforementioned '75 season, he totaled 1,761 yards and 22 touchdowns. He also made the Pro Bowl five times, all in consecutive seasons from '73-'77.

    RB Dave Osborn: This is also Osborn's second appearance on the All-Time Vikings' teams. After a solid first five seasons in the 1960s with the team, he continued to be a force in the early '70s. He finished his Viking career in '75, totaling 4,320 yards rushing, 29 rushing touchdowns, 1,412 yards receiving and seven receiving touchdowns in 11 seasons with the organization. His tough, rugged running style made him a perfect complement to Bill Brown and Foreman.

    WR John Gilliam: Although Gilliam only played four seasons with the Vikings ('72-'75), he put up great numbers. In his first year with the team he only caught 47 passes, but parlayed that into 1,035 yards and seven touchdowns, posting an eye-popping 22.0 yards per reception average. He followed that up with a 21.6 average per catch and nine total touchdowns the next season (eight receiving, one rushing). Gilliam then posted a career best 22.2 yards per reception in '74, and added five more touchdowns. In his final season with the purple and gold, he caught 50 passes and seven touchdowns. During those four years with the team he racked up a stellar 3,297 yards, and 28 touchdowns on 165 receptions.

    WR Ahmad Rashad: Prior to the '76 season, the Vikings acquired Rashad from the Seattle Seahawks for a fourth-round pick. He made the Pro Bowl for four seasons between '78-'81. From '76-'80, he finished each season in the top 10 in the league in receptions and posted his best season in '79, when he snagged a career-high 80 passes and set career bests in yards (1,156) and touchdowns (nine).

    WR Sammy White: The second-round pick in the 1976 Draft out of Grambling State turned out to be phenomenal. He played his entire 10-year career with the Vikings and immediately made an impact. With Gilliam on the downswing of his career, the team traded for Rashad and drafted White, allowing Gilliam to sign on with the Atlanta Falcons . The offense didn't miss a beat. In his rookie season White hauled in 10 touchdowns. He followed that up with nine touchdowns in '77, and nine more in '78. He made the Pro Bowl his first two seasons. While he wasn't the biggest receiver at 5-11, 190 pounds, he was as effective as can be. It wasn't until the '81 season that he would break the 1,000-yard season barrier, but nonetheless he was outstanding for the Vikings. In Super Bowl XI against the Raiders, he caught five passes for 77 yards and a touchdown.

    TE Stu Voigt: The most prolific tight end in team history, he spent his entire 11-year career with the Vikings ('70-'80). In 131 games with the team, Voigt caught 177 passes for 1,919 yards and 17 touchdowns. His best two seasons touchdown-wise were '74 and '75, when he caught five and four, respectively. In Super Bowl XI, he caught four passes for 49 yards and a touchdown in a 32-14 loss to the Raiders.

    PK Fred Cox: Once again I'll give the team's kicker a little kudos for his long 15-year career, all with the Vikings. For years, he was dependable and shared in the success of a franchise that was dominant throughout the majority of the '70s. He tallied a career-high in points with 125 in the 1970 season.

    Offensive Line: C Mick Tinglehoff, T Ron Yary, T Steve Riley, G Ed White, G Charlie Goodrum

    There is my All-Time 1970s Vikings offense that makes up one half of a team that dominated for nearly a decade, yet was somehow unable to capture that elusive Super Bowl title. Feel free to leave comments or email your own choices.

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    -Eric Krupka can be reached at [email protected]

  2. #2
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    Apr 2006

    Re: The All-Time 1970s Minnesota Vikings (Offense)

    "VikingFanEric" wrote:
    [size=18px]The All-Time 1970s Minnesota Vikings (Offense)[/size]
    Ahhhh...the Vikings of my youth (born in '67)


    Thanks to Josdin for the awesome sig!

  3. #3
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    singersp is offline PPO Newshound
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    Re: The All-Time 1970s Minnesota Vikings (Offense)

    You score an A on posting technique! :thumbright:

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  4. #4
    Prophet Guest

    Re: The All-Time 1970s Minnesota Vikings (Offense)

    Seems like yesterday.

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