The Vikings kick off their preseason campaign tonight, 55 years after their NFL debut in Minnesota.
Coached by future Hall of Fame quarterback Norm Van Brocklin, the Vikings couldn’t have asked for a better start thanks to another future Hall of Fame signal caller. Minnesota opened its expansion season at Metropolitan Stadium against Chicago and defeated the Bears 37-13. Rookie quarterback Fran Tarkenton came off the bench and threw four touchdown passes.
It went downhill from there as the Vikings lost their next seven games and eventually finished with a 3-11 record. Tarkenton had 18 touchdown passes on the season and leading rusher Hugh McElhenny made the Pro Bowl.