Purple FTW! Podcast – Episode 128 – Every Vikings Starting Quarterback. Ranked

The Minnesota Vikings have had 34 quarterbacks start games for this illustrious franchise. Andy ranks them #1 all the way through #34. There are a few Hot Takes in the rankings, most notably who’s at #32, #7, and #2 overall. (That’s a tease)

The Ranking Criteria Include (But are not limited to):
• Statistics
• Short Greatness vs Extended Averageness
• Lofty Expectations vs None
• The Grandma Scale™
• Andy’s Personal Opinion

So enjoy the rankings! If you agree or disagree, please let us know in the comment section or hit me up on Twitter @AndyCarlsonShow or @PurpleForTheWin!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

Listen to the Episode Below (54:12)

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Andy Carlson

Andy Carlson (Podcast Producer) is life-long Vikings fan with a sense of humor to help dull the pain of that existence. Sports are fun. They're meant to be be enjoyed and not taken too seriously. He lives that mantra over at the Purple FTW! Podcast: Dedicated to the Pain AND Pleasure that is the Minnesota Vikings. Check out his shenanigans there and on Twitter @AndyCarlsonShow and @PurpleForTheWin.

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  1. I wouldn’t include any of the 1987 scabs in the rankings, including Tony Adams (Ptui!).

    1. I’d normally bar Steve Dils from any Vikings’ list because he scabbed in 1987, too, but he did it for the Rams so I guess I’ll hold my nose and let him slide onto Andy’s rankings.

  2. Bob Berry should be ranked above the rest of the guys in the 20’s from the Vikings past that you don’t know at #24. Aside from having an underrated career with Atlanta, including a Pro Bowl appearance, he had one hell of a 1974 for us, 1-0 as a starter, 5 TD’s vs. 1 Int., 70.8 completion percentage and 113.6 rating. Frankly, that’s better than Norm Snead (yes, he was picked after Tommy Mason but, like Mason, he made four Pro Bowls with Washington, Philadelphia and the Giants, two more than Archie Manning), or Ron Vander Kelen ever did for us. And I’d rank hiim above George Shaw because Shaw failed your “Hope” factor; we traded our 1962 #1 to the Giants for him before the 1961 season but he lost the starting job to the rookie Fran Tarkenton.

  3. Bob Lee was our punter for two seasons.

    Hah, Fran Tarkenton “just chillin’ with the Giants” included four Pro Bowl selections!

  4. 1. Tarkenton
    2. Culpepper
    3. Kramer
    4. Kapp
    5. Moon
    6. Johnson
    7. Favre
    8. Cunningham
    9. Wade Wilson
    10. Bridgewater

    I wouldn’t play the “What If” game with Rich Gannon. He didn’t work out at either Washington or Kansas City before he hooked up with Jon Gruden and Bill Callahan in Oakland.

    I’d rank Moon, not one of my favorite QB’s, a lot higher since he made the Pro Bowl for us twice and didn’t ever really disappoint us like Favre and Cunningham did. Johnson won 60% of he games he started for us over the course of his two stints. He also made the Pro Bowl for both Washington and Tampa Bay and probably would have done the same for us if Dennis Green had committed to him instead of Randall Cunningham, whose long-term contract – Green’s biggest mistake, ever – hamstrung us for years.

    I can’t rank Kapp any higher because his stats were pretty awful and Cuozzo apparently took over for him in a lot of games. Cuozzo, by the way, was the ultimate tease. Baltimore traded him to New Orleans for the first pick in the 1967 draft. After losing the Saints’ starting job, the Vikings traded our 1968 and 1969 first round picks for him (another strike against Kapp). Finally, the Cardinals overpaid us for him, giving up second and fourth round draft picks and WR John Gilliam, who only made the next four Pro Bowls for us while Cuozzo lasted one year and went 1-5 as a starter in St. Louis.

    Andy, Andy, Andy. Kramer to Rashad was not the “Birth of the Hail Mary pass” as ANY Vikings fan should know. Roger Staubach’s pass to Drew Pearson for the stinking Cowboys’ win over the Vikings in a 1975 playoff game was THE Hail Mary pass even though Pearson PUSHED our cornerback, Nate Wright, TO THE GROUND, just before the ball arrived. Stinkin’, rotten, cheatin’ Cowboys sagga, fragga, growl, growl.

      1. Well, that’s more like it.

        I hope you don’t mind, Andy, but here’s my preliminary list of the top 10 wide receivers in Vikings history. I’m noting, by the way, if they were more of a flanker (possession) or a split end (long ball) just in case you were going to break them out (if Bill Brown doesn’t make your Top 10 running backs list, BTW, you’d better break out the fullbacks from the halfbacks).

        1. Cris Carter (Fl)
        2. Randy Moss (SE)
        3. John Gilliam (SE)
        4. Anthony Carter (Fl)
        5. Ahmad Rashad (Fl)
        6. Gene Washington (Fl)
        7. Sammy White (SE)
        8. Jake Reed (SE)
        9. Paul Flatley (Fl)
        10. Jery Reichow (SE)

        The guys I’d probably rank in the next five spots but are listed here in chronological order are Bob Grim, Leo Lewis, Hassan Jones, Qadry Ismail and Percy Harvin. Of the five, Ismail’s the only classic split end, although Jones was the kind of flanker who found seams in the defense and so caught more bombs than one would have predicted from his speed alone.

          1. LeCount was a very productive back-up and spot starter at the flanker position. In fact, upon reviewing his stats – I remembered the bang he made in 1979 but had completely forgotten what a damn nice year he had in 1981 – he’d certainly make it into my Top 30, probably around the low to mid-20’s.

  5. I can’t except anything that doesn’t list Kramer as no 2 . He was career, the rest of the good ones were rented.

        1. LOL! I was wondering about that!

          BTW, I love it when a fan honors lesser known players of the past. Good for you.

          Of course, I will be very embarrassed if you are the former Vikings WR himself.

  6. Wow, you been watching as long as me. Last paragragh says alot about these Johnny come latelies. Favre was way better than Culpepper. Culpepper had stats like Tarzan, won like Jane.

    1. Over the course of his career, sure, Favre was better than Culpepper, and had a lot higher winning percentage, but he was also on much better teams. As Vikings, though, Culpepper, Favre and Kramer were all .500 in the playoffs and Culpepper had three excellent years to Favre and Kramer’s one apiece.

        1. Not really. Culpepper’s teams had worse defenses than Kramer’s based on points given up, and besides Robert Smith’s last year and Michael Bennett’s only outstanding one, the running game during his era was almost as anemic as it was during Kramer’s. Also, aside from the single season of Steckel, Kramer’s head coaches were Bud Grant and Jerry Burns. Dennis Green at the end of his run was roughly comparable to Burns, but Mike Tice was no Bud Grant, even if their Won-Lost records with the two QB’s in question were pretty close.

          And don’t forget, Kramer had Rashad, White and LeCount at WR for four straight seasons and Anthony Carter for two, and Joe Senser for three straight seasons and then Steve Jordan for another three at TE. Culpepper, once Cris Carter got out of Dodge, had Randy Moss and…and…the most mediocre crop of wide receivers in the history of the franchise, including such fondly remembered names as D’Wayne Bates, Kelly Campbell, Travis Taylor, Marcus Robinson (a decent #3 or 4 guy), Nate Burleson (very good when healthy, which wasn’t often) and the immortal Troy Williamson. And after Byron Chamberlain’s Pro Bowl season in 2001 – 20 years after Senser’s – Culpepper had Jim Kleinsasser and Jermaine Wiggins to throw to at TE. Moss may be a guaranteed Hall of Famer but one great weapon can’t accomplish as much as three or four excellent ones.

    2. I may have caught the odd game or two before, but I really started watching the Vikes with the 1976 playoffs, Mr. Helmet. Chuck Foreman and Brent McClanahan (!?!) both rushing for 100+ yards against this young Giants fan’s hated Washington Redskins and Nate Allen blocking a field goal attempt into Bobby Bryant’s hands for a 90-yard return for a TD against the Rams got me hooked. Trading for my favorite Giant, TE Bob Tucker, the next season cemented the deal and I’ve been a Vikings fan ever since.

  7. I can’t listen to these podcasts (a semi short recap would be nice) but if Culpepper is really 2 that’s crazy. The guy was worthless, his only saving grace was a passing offense and Randy Moss.

    1. Andy had Culpepper and Kramer at #3 and #4, respectively, with Kapp #2. You can blame me for putting Culpepper at #2 and, frankly, I think Andy and I are both being generous to Kapp.

      1. Kapp got a lot of love and is in a similar boat to Favre/Cunningham: big flash in a short amount of time. He didn’t have great stats because of the era (although he did set the NFL record of 7 TD passes in a game), but if you make the Vikings NFL Champions (final year before the merger) and lead them to their first Super Bowl, you get a lot of love in my book.

        1. Which is why I’ve got him at #4, Andy, but even for the era, Kapp’s stats are pretty weak. He doesn’t really compare to guys like John Unitas, Sonny Jurgensen, Tarkenton, Bart Starr, Len Dawson, Roman Gabriel, Daryle LaMonica or Don Meredith. Heck, you take away 1969 and he doesn’t even come close to matching up against John Brodie, Bill Nelsen or Norm Snead.

          In fact – Thank the Gods for pro Football Reference – the QB who might most closely resemble Kapp (CFL included, thank you to justsportsstats.com) is the late Jack Kemp. Kemp made seven AFL Pro Bowls and was named First-Team All-Pro twice even though he never threw more touchdowns in a season than interceptions and only completed more than half of his passes twice in an 11-year career. But, my God, was he a winner and a leader, just like Kapp.