Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Killing Time: Current Vikings on the All Time Leaderboard

As you may have noticed, I've been playing around on Pro Football Reference lately, mainly checking out quarterbacks, but I also took a look at where the Vikings' current roster ranks among the Vikings' leaders all time. Surprisingly (since it seems most of the players haven't been in Purple that long), they are quite a few near the top of the charts.

For instance, Adrian Peterson is currently 21st all time in rushing yards, but, if he's able to match his rookie total each year, it'll only take him about 4 seasons to pass Robert Smith for the franchise record. He should be in the top 20 within a game or so (he only needs 168 yards to pass Rick Fenney) and in the top ten by the end of the season--he needs 1208 yards to pass Fran Tarkenton. And what does it say about the longevity of your franchise's running backs when your tenth and eleventh all time rushers are quarterbacks? I mean, Chester Taylor should crack the top ten this year as well (he only needs 489 yards to pass Tark), and that'll be after three seasons, only one as a full time running back. No wonder the Vikings' thought trading for Herschel Walker was a good idea.

Some more rankings:

Peterson and Taylor are 18th and 16th in rushing touchdowns, and each could crack the top ten with 10 touchdowns.

Jim Kleinsasser has the most receiving yards as a Viking on the team, with 1374 yards but he's still in 28th place all time. He would need 482 yards to pass Qadry Ismail and crack the top twenty and he would need 1848 yards to crack the top ten. Bobby Wade is second to him on the team, but he's in 59th place, with 647 yards. Sidney Rice is 78th all time. And unlike with rushing yards, one good season won't get you into the top twenty--you need 1009 receiving yards just to crack the top 50.

If you thought running back was a weak position for the Vikings, don't look at the quarterback position. Tarvaris Jackson could crack the top ten in all time passing yards as a Viking even if he throws for fewer yards this year than he did last year. He needs less than a thousand yards. It'll be a little harder for him to crack the top ten in passing touchdowns though, since he needs twelve, but not appreciably. Seriously, all you need to know about the all time quarterbacks for the Vikings is that Jeff George is 10th all time in passing touchdowns for the Purple, and 12th all time in passing yards. He only played in 12 games for the Vikings, and only started 10.

After Week 13, the Vikings had both the franchise leader in kickoffs returned for a touchdown (Aundrae Allison, with 1) and punts returned for a touchdown (Mewelde Moore, with 2). Of course, Allison is tied with ten other players for the lead, and Moore was tied with David Palmer. Yeah...the Vikings aren't so great at scoring on returns. Thankfully, they signed Maurice Hicks (zero return touchdowns) to return kicks!

Tackles are a weird stat, in that they haven't been recorded consistently, but E.J. Henderson and Antoine Winfield are 10th and 11th all time for the Vikings. That should be taken with a grain of salt though, since the site doesn't have a player listed on the tackles leader board from before 1983, and I have a feeling some of the players from the Bud Grant era had more tackles in Purple than Henderson and Winfield.

You should use the same grain of salt with these tidbits (sacks weren't recorded until 1982), but Kevin Williams has the seventh most sacks of any Viking. Jared Allen only needs double digits to crack the top 25, and, if Ray Edwards sets the record for most sacks in a year this season, he'll be seventh all time.

Darren Sharper only needs two interceptions to crack the top ten players with the most picks as a Viking. And yes, that was a great decision by the Packers to let him walk because of his age, though still not as bad as the Redskins decision to trade Paul Krause after four seasons for Marlin McKeever (yeah, I didn't know who he was either) and a 7th round pick. If Sharper does get those two interceptions, I'd be willing to bet that he's the only player to be in the top ten for interceptions on two different teams (he's fifth all time on the Packers' list).

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