Tom Brady has established himself as the greatest quarterback to ever play football. The Minnesota Vikings have established themselves as the most heartbreaking franchise to ever play football. We all know the story of Tom Brady with the Patriots and now the Buccaneers; it’s epic. But what if the Vikings took a flyer on a lanky quarterback out of Michigan? Let’s take a look at what would have happened if the Minnesota Vikings had drafted Tom Brady. Warning: delusional thoughts and subpar photoshops ahead.
The 2001 season was the first year they had missed the playoffs since 1995. It was the last year of Dennis Green and Cris Carter and the start of the Mike Tice era. But it could have been the start of an entirely new era: TB12. (Technically, it was the start of the TB12 era, just for a different team).
Though it may not have been that simple. That season Daunte Culpepper was still heaving the ball down the field, and the team’s passing offense was ranked 7th in the NFL. Despite their record, the offense was still good, so there’s no major reason to bench Daunte. Had the Vikings selected Brady, it’s also safe to assume it would have to be a late-round pick. There wouldn’t be much pressure to get him in the game immediately unless there was an injury akin to Bledsoe. Let’s say Daunte doesn’t get hurt or benched in 2001, and Brady stays the backup. For the Patriots, this means Drew Bledsoe returns from his injury in the playoffs, but the Rams beat the Patriots in overtime.
Training camp of the 2002 season is where the Minnesota Vikings become Tom Brady’s team. This is Mike Tice’s first full year as head coach; he will not want to miss the playoffs again. In real life, the three quarterbacks on the roster were Daunte, Shaun Hill, and Todd Bouman. Brady can beat them out. Daunte is a great trade candidate at this point, and anyone with eyes in training camp can see Tom Brady is miles better. Daunte gets traded, and Brady is named the starter for week 1.
Here we go.
With Culpepper under center, the Vikings started 0-4. We all know Tom Brady does not start 0-4, no matter which team he’s playing on. Instead, the Vikings get off to a 3-1 start, dropping their game to Seattle before the bye.
Tom Brady, Michael Bennet, Randy Moss, and Jim Kleinsasser rip through the league. Matt Birk and Bryant McKinnie ensure Brady rarely gets sacked. The Vikings finish the regular season 14-2 with the #1 overall seed. That would have made the NFC playoffs look something like this
1. Minnesota Vikings
2. Philadelphia Eagles
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
4. Green Bay Packers
5. San Fransico 49ers
6. New York Giants
History tells us Brady struggles with two of the teams on that list. The Giants would have beat Green Bay that year, leading to a New York Giants vs Minnesota Vikings divisional round. However, Eli Manning was still playing for the Ole Miss Rebels. Minnesota has no issues dispatching the Giants and moving on to face the Buccaneers for a trip to the Super Bowl.
Gruden’s team was hard to beat that year, having (actually) beaten the Vikings 38-24 earlier in the real version of this season. But this is make-believe, and my version of this story ends differently. Tom Brady and Randy Moss rip apart the Buccaneers, stealing what would be their first Super Bowl. The Vikings are sent on their way to Qualcomm Stadium to face Oakland. Tom Brady leads the Minnesota Vikings to their first Super Bowl in franchise history, but certainly not their last.
In the 2003 season, the real Minnesota Vikings finished 9-7. But not in this story. No no, the Minnesota Vikings don’t lose their playoff spot on the last play of the game against the Cardinals. Instead, Tom Brady, Randy Moss, and rookie Nate Burleson cruise to a 12-4 season. They lose only to the Rams, the Chargers, and for some reason, the Packers twice. It wasn’t ideal, but it ends up okay.
The Vikings made it back to the Super Bowl, and they do still play against the New England Patriots. After not selecting Tom Brady, they needed to find a replacement for Drew Bledsoe. They find it in another Drew in the 2001 NFL draft: Drew Brees.
This begins the start of one of the biggest rivalries in the NFL. Drew and Tom both have incredible games, but in the end, Tom leads the Vikings to a last-second Field goal from something called Aaron Elling. Because Tom had lifted the curse from the Vikings the year before, nobody had to sweat a field goal to win the game. It just worked like it was supposed to. Super Bowl number two in the books.
The 2004 season was a wild one. The Vikings are looking for that illustrious title of ‘dynasty’ after back-to-back Super Bowl victories. Brady is firing on all cylinders, but a matchup versus the Eagles in the NFC Championship game proves too much. The dream ends, and the Eagles move on to face Drew Brees and the Patriots in the Super Bowl, with Drew and Bill finally putting it all together and capturing their 1st Super Bowl.
With Tom Brady at the helm, Randy Moss doesn’t force his way out of town. The Vikings didn’t need to draft Troy Williamson to drop balls in 2005. Instead, on a flyer, they move up to number 23 and select quarterback Aaron Rodg… okay, just kidding. Ignore the draft; the season goes well. They also don’t rent a boat on Lake Minnetonka this year. They dispatch Matt Hasselback and the Seahawks to make it back to the Super Bowl for the third time in four years. The Steelers put up an incredible fight, but in the end, the Vikings win 24-21. This etches their name in dynasty history. Three Super Bowls down.
The Vikings failed to make the playoffs in 2006 due to a freak Brady injury. He burns his hands on the grill at the Nook while filming an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. The Nook had named a new stuffed burger after him that had 12 different kinds of cheese inside. The Vikings finish the season 6-10 and receive the 7th overall pick in the upcoming draft, where they select Adrian Peterson.
Back from injury and with star running back Adrian Peterson in the mix, Tom Brady and the Vikings finish the 2007 season with a perfect record. They face the New York Giants in the NFC Championship game. It looked like the Vikings were going to win it, but David Tyree made an incredible helmet catch late in the game. This led to a Plaxico Burress, game-winning touchdown, ruining the Minnesota Vikings’ perfect season. Ouch. The Giants face the Colts in the Super Bowl in the battle of the Mannings. Peyton wins easily.
2008 was erased from the history books. There’s no record of it ever happening.
Without the option of the Vikings, Brett Favre heads to the New Orleans Saints, where on January 24th, the number 1 seed Saints host the number 2 seed Vikings. This is a bloodbath with what will eventually be known as bountygate. The Saints brutalize Tom Brady, but he never falters. Tied 28-28 late in the 4th, Brett Favre is charging down the field. The crowd is going bananas. This is it; the Saints are going to win the game. It’s 3rd and 15, 15 seconds left on the clock, and the Saints are already arguably in field goal range. This is not good for the purple. But Brett Favre is still Brett Favre. He fired over the middle and across his body, directly into the hands of Antoine Winfield Sr. Brady marched the Vikings down in overtime and wins the game. Then he defeats the Colts two weeks later for the Vikings’ fourth Super Bowl.
Tom Brady to the Vikings is going well, and it’s about to get better.
At this point, the Vikings are absolutely stacked. Randy Moss is still very much a part of the team. Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin are lighting the world on fire. Adrian Peterson is running over Pittsburgh Steelers, and this offense is about to get even better.
Jim Kleinsasser decides he’s had enough. He’s won four Super Bowls and is a Hall of Famer. Plus, we’re only one year off from the real year he retired anyway. With the 32nd pick in the first round, the Minnesota Vikings select his replacement: Rob Gronkowski.
The Vikings are the heaviest favorite of any NFL team in the history of the sport, and everyone hates them. Brady, Moss, Gronk, Harvin, Rice, Peterson. This is the greatest offense that has ever been put together. They run through the entire NFL this year, finishing 16-0 for the second time in Brady’s career. But this time is different. Eli and the Giants didn’t make the playoffs that year. Green Bay knocks the Eagles out in the first round. Brady and the Vikings have no problem beating a young Aaron Rodgers. An easy matchup against a dumb Jay Cutler and then finally Big Ben to clinch the first 19-0 season in NFL history. Eat your hearts out, Dolphins. Five Super Bowl down.
At this point, Tom Brady and the Vikings have five Super Bowls together. Mike Tice is already seen as one of the greatest coaches of all time. As we know, Brady was far from done in 2010.
The Minnesota Vikings are perennial Super Bowl favorites. Tom Brady is on top of the league, and it seems like they just can’t be stopped. But a divisional-round matchup against the 9-7 Giants proves otherwise. The Giants narrowly got by the Vikings 21-17. It looked like Tom was going to mount a last-second comeback on a 50-yard hail mary. But the ball bounces too far away from Gronk, ending the season. The Giants move on and lose to the Patriots in the Super Bowl.
Minnesota makes it back to the NFC championship game in 2012 for a matchup against Colin Kaepernick’s San Francisco 49ers. Because I like the fact that two brothers got to face off in a Super Bowl, Colin Kaepernick is too much to handle and beats the Vikings. Onto 2013. Baltimore takes down the 49ers in the Super Bowl.
The Vikings make it to the playoffs but lose to Seattle in the NFC championship game. It may sound like the Vikings make it to many NFC Championship games, but Tom Brady is the quarterback. That almost assures you a trip to the championship round. Seattle moves on and wins their first Super Bowl.
In a repeat of last year’s NFC championship game, the Minnesota Vikings face the Seattle Seahawks for a trip to the Super Bowl. However, this year, Tom Brady and the Vikings have what it takes to get past the legion of boom thanks to an undrafted WR, Adam Thielen. For some reason, Tom has a massive affinity to Thielen. They move on to face a familiar foe: Drew Brees and the New England Patriots. It looks like, for a moment, Drew is going to beat Tom Brady’s Vikings with 26 seconds left in the 4th. The Patriots were down 24-28 and had the ball on the 1-yard line. On 2nd down, for some crazy reason, Bill Belichick decides to throw the ball. This will be forever known as one of the biggest blunders in Super Bowl history.
A mostly unknown rookie cornerback, Antom Exum, intercepts Drew Brees’ throw—clinching the Vikings Super Bowl victory.
Super Bowl number six is locked up.
Carolina beats the Vikings in the NFC championship game. Denver wins, and Peyton Manning retires after winning his second Super Bowl.
Randy Moss announced that his 18th year will be his final. He already has cruised by Jerry Rice and has 27,224 receiving yards with 2,037 receptions and 259 touchdowns. He’s a six-time super bowl champion. He’s the greatest wide receiver this game will ever see. Vikings fans will be treated to one more glorious Randy Ratio season.
Drew Brees’ Patriots had been on a tear that season. The Vikings make it back to the Super Bowl, but for some weird reason going into the year, people started to wonder if Brady’s reign on the NFL was over. At one point in this Super Bowl, it looked like that may be the case. Brees had his Patriots up 28-3 with 2:12 left in the 3rd. Is this the end of the Vikings’ run? Is this really how Randy Moss is going to go out?
No, it’s not. Tom Brady manufactures the most incredible comeback the NFL will ever see. I know this sounds outlandish, but he marches them all the way back to tie the game at 28 in the 4th and forces overtime. In overtime, the Vikings win the coin flip. On the first play, Brady tosses it to Moss for an 80-yard, Super Bowl-winning touchdown. Paul Allen passes away in the booth, but Pete Bercich still somehow steps on his touchdown call. The greatest comeback in Super Bowl history is complete. Randy is the GOAT; The Vikings claim their seventh Super Bowl trophy. Tom Brady is back on top of the mountain.
Some say the Patriots never recover from this loss. With his contract expiring, Adrian Peterson also announces he will retire after the game. He quickly realizes he’s broke and starts the second half of his career as a journeyman.
The 2017 season was big. The defending champion Minnesota Vikings play host to Super Bowl LII. No team has ever played in a Super Bowl they hosted. Oh yeah, with Adrian Peterson moving on, the Vikings needed a running back. With the 32nd pick in the first round of the 2017 draft, the Minnesota Vikings select running back Dalvin Cook. The Vikings finish the season as the number two seed only behind the Philadelphia Eagles, who recently caught fire with their backup quarterback, Nick Foles. No miracle required; the Vikings run through the Saints and their quarterback Matt Ryan pretty easily. Things get hairy when they travel to Philly to play Nick Foles’ Eagles. Beer cans are thrown at Vikings fans; violence occurs, and horse poop is eaten. This is a different situation.
But not on the field. Tom Brady throws for more than 500 yards, and because the Vikings defense is actually good, and six-time Super Bowl champion head coach Mike Tice doesn’t fold in big moments, Nick Foles is completely exposed. Vikings win 38-7 and face the Jacksonville Jaguars led by Blake Bortles. In a game that is closer than anyone expected, the Vikings narrowly defeat the Jags 24-20 after another 4th quarter comeback manufactured by now eight-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady.
Tom Brady and the Vikings have done a lot in their time together, but the one thing they haven’t done is a three-peat. Super Bowl LIII is their chance. They’ve made it to the NFC championship game and only have to beat the Rams to have a chance. Spoiler alert: they do.
Patrick Mahomes has finally made it to a Super Bowl. Everyone says he will replace Brady as the King of the NFL, but Tom has some words to say about that first. The last two Super Bowls the Vikings have been in were nail-biters and this one is no different. This game has it all: lead changes, huge plays, and massive momentum swings. Mahomes ties the game late in the 4th to force an OT. It’s 31 a pop and the Vikings get the ball. Brady passes deep to Gronk in OT, placing the ball on the 4-yard line. Brady tosses right to Dalvin Cook, who rushes it in for the Vikings 9th Super Bowl and 3rd in a row.
Brady wants more. Brady wants four. And he gets close – The Vikings, a mainstay in the NFC Championship game, make it back again. But Brady and the Vikings have an awful game at Levi’s Stadium. The 49ers run over the Vikings, winning 27-10 in one of the worst beats of Tom Brady’s career. The 49ers move on to face the Chiefs, where Patrick Mahomes claims his first Super Bowl.
No team has ever been this good for this long, and having lost so badly to the 49ers; people start to wonder if the magic is gone. Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin both call it a career. Gronk says he’s thinking about being done. Tom starts to wonder if he should go elsewhere for the twilight of his career to prove he can win elsewhere. There’s a lot of conversation about Tom Brady not being able to win without Mike Tice and vice-versa. It seems both want to prove that they can do it on their own.
But that doesn’t happen. Tom decides he wants to play until he’s good and ready because he forever loves Minnesota. Mike Tice lets him run the show entirely since he has no idea what he’s doing, and Tom loves that.
2020, Tom Brady’s Final Year.
With Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin retired, the Minnesota Vikings decide to trade up in the draft. They select wide receiver, Justin Jefferson. Tom Brady finds massive success with his core of Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson and rides them to a fifth Super Bowl in six years and a rematch of 2018 versus the Cheifs.
The Vikings are more than ready for Mahomes, handing him one of the most frustrating games in his young career. The Vikings easily handle the Chiefs, clinching Tom Brady and the Minnesota Vikings’ 10th Super Bowl. Being a local, Tom Brady shows up to my wedding for real.
So that’s the story of what if the Minnesota Vikings had drafted Tom Brady. Does it sound crazy? I mean, who even goes to 10 Super Bowls?! That’s impossible. Oh, wait. Tom Brady has gone to 10 Super Bowls in this same exact time frame, and very much could have won all of them. So is this story of mine that unrealistic? We’ll never know. We know Minnesota Vikings have are a unique group. But just imagine what our lives would be like if the Minnesota Vikings had drafted Tom Brady.
BUT WAIT, WHERE’S 2021, 2022, and 2023? I don’t know what to tell you; I wrote this a while back. But here are some more blogs of mine to check out!
I was in at least 3 people’s Myspace Top 8. I have as many NBA Championships as Tom Brady. I’m probably too old to be here. @NickLewis37