Since 2010 Minnesota has had only one winning season (2012). In the last five years heading into 2015 our combined record is 31-49-0. That is under a .400 winning percentage.
We have sucked.
But the slump is really much greater than that. If the Vikings were a stock to invest in, one would notice we have been in a downward trend since the year 2000. In the last fourteen years we have had only three double-digit win seasons. And in only the 2009 Brett Favre led season have we won more than ten games.
When comparing this to the franchise's success in the 1968-2000 run, it is clear evidence we have been stagnant for most of the 2000s. For example, from 1969 to 1976 under coach Bud Grant the Vikings won double digit games in seven of the eight seasons... and they only played fourteen games!
The franchise hit a rough slide similar to the present during the 1981-1986 era, with only a strike-shortened playoff visit season in 1982. However, in four of the five season where Minnesota missed the playoffs they had seven or more wins. Only 1984 and the three win season that festered in Pecos River under the guidance of Les Steckel a true embarrassment.
From 1987's strike shortened season until the 2000 season Minnesota only missed the playoffs three times. The 1990-91 stretch cost Jerry Burns his head coaching job. The 1995 season the only other, an eight win season that fell short.
The 90s brought back winning football. After back-to-back seasons without the playoffs, Denny Green took over for Jerry Burns. The Vikings made the playoffs in eight of the next nine seasons, including five double-digit win seasons highlighted by the 15-1 season of 1998. If Green could have found a way to win in the playoffs, he might still be our coach today.
But someone or something shot the Sheriff. It happened in an NFC Championship game I fail to forget.
After the success of the 1990s, the Vikings entered another swoon in their history. From 2001-2007 Minnesota was troubled. In those seven years Minnesota had only one playoff visit (2004) and that was an eight-win season. Three of those seven seasons Minnesota failed to win more than six games.
But then Brett Favre was infused into the Vikings 'stock' in order to make it appear stronger than it was. Minnesota was good enough to sneak into the playoffs in 2008 under Brad Childress. When Favre replaced Tarvaris Jackson and Gus Frerotte in 2009, the days of glory were revisited. That twelve win season was the most wins since the 1998 team.
From there it has been bleak. And considering this has been an era where Minnesota owned one of the most productive running backs in the history of the NFL, it appears awful. Leslie Frazier did little to right the ship in his tenure, the five-win 2013 season being the impetus for his demise.
Mike Zimmer, however, has the team trending up. After a 7-9 first season, the Vikings appear ready to visit the land of winning football. This game vs. San Diego significant in that the last time Minnesota had a winning record was the first week of Zimmer's career in 2014. If Minnesota prevails at TCF Bank today their 2-1 record will bring hope anew.
Is it time to 'buy in' to Vikings' football?
As your fan broker, I say it is.