MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Pro Football Hall of Fame released its preliminary list of 122 nominees for the 2022 class, and some fan favorite Vikings are among the names.
Perhaps the biggest names are two defensive lineman — Jared Allen and Kevin Williams. The two played in the trenches alongside each other for six seasons in Minnesota.
Allen racked up 85.5 sacks during his time with the Vikings, and has a career total of 136. He nearly broke the single season sack record in 2011, falling half a sack short.
Williams put up impressive sack numbers for a defensive tackle, totaling 60 in his time in Minnesota and 63 overall. He and fellow tackle Pat Williams formed the fearsome “Williams Wall” that was the anchor of the Vikings defense for several years.
On the offensive side of the ball, longtime center Matt Birk made the list. The Minnesota native started 123 games in the middle of the Vikings offensive line.
Though Randall Cunningham spent most of his career with the Philadelphia Eagles, perhaps his best season as a passer came in 1998 with the Vikings. That year, he led what was at the time the highest scoring offense in NFL history to a 15-1 record. Cunningham threw for 3,704 yards and 34 touchdowns that season, and the team made it to the NFC Championship, losing to the Atlanta Falcons in overtime.
Speaking of that championship game, kicker Gary Anderson is also among the nominees. Though Vikings fans remember Anderson as the kicker who missed a crucial field goal in that game, before that, he had made 100% of his extra points and field goals that season. Anderson is the third highest-scoring player in NFL history.
Another kicker who spent a few years with the Vikings, Ryan Longwell, is also among the nominees. He spent the first eight years of his career with the Green Bay Packers before crossing the border. He made 83.2% of his career kicks and is 20th on the all-time leading scorer list.
The list will be cut down to 25 in November, and 15 finalists will be named in January.
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