The 1998 and 2022 Vikings Are the Same in One Regard
When making a list of the most memorable seasons in Minnesota Vikings history, certainly one has to include the 1998 season.
During that year, the Vikings went 15-1 as they dominated opponents by an average of 16.3 points per game. Largely, this was due to an offense that averaged 34.8 points per game, the most in the NFL, but their defense allowed just 18.5 points per game, which ranked sixth as well.
Of course, Minnesota went on to lose to Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship Game, 30-27, but they remain one of the most dominant teams in NFL history. Because of this, it may seem strange to compare that team to the 2022 Vikings who have won 10 games but have just a +10 total point differential, meaning they average a victory of just 0.83 points per game.
However, the 1998 and 2022 Vikings are the same in one regard. With the Vikings 27-22 victory over the New York Jets, they officially have swept the AFC East in 2022 in this fashion:
- Week 5 win @ Miami Dolphins, 24-16
- Week 10 win @ Buffalo Bills, 33-30
- Week 12 win vs. New England Patriots, 33-26
- Week 13 win vs. New York Jets. 27-22
This is the first time that the Vikings have gone 4-0 against an AFC division since that 1998 season. The 1998 Vikings went 4-0 against their AFC Central opponents, by beating the following teams:
- Week 11 win vs. Cincinnati Bengals, 24-3
- Week 15 win @ Baltimore Ravens, 38-28
- Week 16 win vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, 50-10
- Week 17 win @ Tennessee Oilers, 26-16
Obviously, there’s a noticeable difference between how the Vikings beat their opponents in 1998 compared to 2022. None of the 1998 victories were by fewer than 10 points while the 2022 Vikings have won every single one of their AFC games to this point by one possession.
The Vikings actually aren’t done with the AFC this year, either. In Week 15, the Vikings play host to the Indianapolis Colts as their fifth AFC foe. If they defeat the Colts, it’ll be the first time that they go 5-0 against the AFC opponents.
Overall, this is the fourth time in Vikings history that they have won four games against AFC opponents. Other than 1998, they had also done so in both 1983 and 1975. In 1975, the Vikings fell in the divisional round of the playoffs to the Dallas Cowboys, and interestingly enough, in 1983, they missed the playoffs entirely by going 8-8.
The 2022 Vikings certainly won’t finish the season as poorly as they did in 1983, but we shall see if they can eclipse the success of the 1975 or even 1998 Vikings in the 2022 season.
Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. He also earned minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys marathon training, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his opinions, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.