Thursday, June 9, 2022

Top 5 Underrated Players in Vikings Franchise History

Ever since the inception of the Minnesota Vikings, we have had hundreds of phenomenal players and a multitude of Pro-Bowl, All-Pro, and Hall of Fame caliber players. This we know. But today I wanted to focus on the more underrated players in Vikings history. Players who did not necessarily make Pro-Bowl after Pro-Bowl but are staples in the rich history of the Minnesota Vikings. So do not expect to see the likes of Adrian Peterson, Cris Carter, Fran Tarkenton, Paul Krause, or John Randle on this list.

5. Chad Greenway, LB

Being born in the year 2000, I will admit this is more of a personal pick than the rest. I did not care or understand the game of football much until I was around 6 or 7 years old which is around the same time when Chad Greenway entered the NFL in 2007. While Greenway was never one to blow anyone away with his athleticism, he always seemed to be around the football at any given time for an entire decade. Greenway spent his entire career in Minnesota and notched 2 Pro-Bowls in 2011 and 2012, with 2012 being on the All-Pro 2nd Team as well. While there weren't many highlights from the late 2000s and early 2010s of Vikings football aside from a few fluky years, Chad Greenway was a staple for the team and held down that linebacker unit until he retired in 2016. 

4. Carl Lee, CB

The Vikings have not had many top tier, long lasting corners since its inception and Carl Lee is one of the few bright spots and undoubtedly one of the best corners in franchise history. Lee spent almost his entire career in Minnesota except for his final year in 1994 which he spent with the New Orleans Saints. Lee played 11 years for Minnesota and was an integral part of those late 80s to early 90s secondaries. Lee's best stretch of play was from 1988-90 where he made a Pro-Bowl every year, including his 1988 campaign where he was 1st Team All-Pro and was a DPOY Finalist. 

3. Kirk Cousins, QB

How dare I put Kirk Cousins as the 3rd most underrated player in franchise history! In an age of social media not many QBs in the entire NFL are as scrutinized as Kirk Cousins. While I agree that Kirk has his flaws, his play has been a bright spot for the Vikings over the past 4 years, regardless of what people may say. Kirk has all the stats and awards to back up his play: 16,387 yards, 124 TDs, 36 INTs, while being a pro-bowler for 2 of his 4 years as the starting quarterback. Kirks biggest knock is his ability to win. While I agree PARTIALLY with that sentiment, the Vikings have had a different offensive coordinator every year along with the recent firing of HC Mike Zimmer and GM Rick Spielman. Not to mention the Vikings over the past two seasons have had historically bad defensive units. So how much blame should we really be putting on Captain Kirk?

2. Chuck Foreman, RB/FB

Being a back from the early 1970s and with Adrian Peterson being known as a top 5 RB ever, it's easy for people to forget about you. But I can assure you Chuck Foreman was that dude. The 12th overall selection in the 1973 NFL Draft started his career out on fire with ROTY honors along with 5 straight Pro-Bowls, 3 All-Pro selections, and was in the running for MVP in 1974 and 1975. Chuck Foreman was also a pioneer, known as one the best pass catching backs for his time with 336 receptions and 23 receiving TDs over 7 years with the Vikings. While Chuck didn't play for a long time with the team compared to the others on this list, his time in Minnesota was so dominant that it would be a disservice to not include him on this list. 

1. Mick Tingelhoff, C

When I composed this list, I wanted the top spot to be reserved for someone truly underrated and overlooked and Mick Tingelhoff was the perfect candidate. Mick played for 17 (!) seasons all of which were with the Minnesota Vikings. Tingelhoff was, and still is, one of the most durable players of all time. At the time of his retirement, he was 2nd all time in consecutive games played with 240, only behind Jim Marshall at 270. Not only did Tingelhoff play for a long time, but he was also one of the best centers in the league for a majority of his career. In his first 8 years in the league, Tingelhoff was a ROTY finalist, 6-time Pro-Bowler, and made 6 All-Pro teams, 5 of which he was 1st Team. 

Remember, this is my personal list. I am sorry I did not include your favorite player from 1933. Thank you for viewing. 

Top 5 Underrated Players in Vikings Franchise History

Ever since the inception of the Minnesota Vikings, we have had hundreds of phenomenal players and a multitude of Pro-Bowl, All-Pro, and Hall...