Defensive Tackle, Minnesota Vikings
5th season in pro football & with Vikings
College: Notre Dame
Height: 6’4” Weight: 245
Page was taken by the Vikings in the first round of the 1967 NFL draft, moved into the starting lineup in the fourth game of his rookie season, and stayed there. He became a part of an outstanding defensive line and was an aggressive pass rusher from the tackle position, with great speed and long arms that provided him with an outstanding reach to bat away passes. He was selected to the Pro Bowl for the first time in 1968 and, in addition, was a first-team All-Pro choice following the 1969 and ’70 seasons. Page led the NFL in fumbles recovered with 7 in 1970.
1971 Season Summary
Appeared and started in all 14 games
(Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20)
Sacks – N/A
Interceptions – 0
Fumble recoveries – 3
Postseason: 1 G (NFC Divisional playoff vs. Dallas)
Sacks – 1 (unofficial)
Interceptions – 0
TD – 0
Scored one safety
Awards & Honors:
NFL MVP: AP
NFL Defensive Player of the Year: AP
1st team All-NFL: AP, PFW, NEA, Pro Football Weekly
1st team All-NFC: AP, UPI, Pro Football Weekly, Sporting News
Vikings went 11-3 to finish first in the NFC Central while giving up the fewest points in the NFL (139). Lost Divisional playoff to Dallas Cowboys (20-12).
Page continued to excel, going to five more Pro Bowls (for a total of 9) and gaining first-team All-Pro recognition on three more occasions (6 in all). Thanks largely to their defense, the Vikings won three NFC Championships during Page’s tenure. He played a total of 11 full seasons in Minnesota before being waived and picked up by the Chicago Bears during the 1978 season (he had refused to bulk up and actually lost weight during his career). Page played until 1981, a total of 15 years and 218 regular season games. While sacks were not an official statistic prior to 1982, he has been unofficially credited with 148.5 career sacks (research by John Turney). He also recovered 23 fumbles and blocked 28 kicks. The Vikings retired Page’s #88 and he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 1988.
MVP Profiles feature players who were named MVP or Player of the Year in the NFL, AAFC (1946-49), AFL (1960-69), WFL (1974), or USFL (1983-85) by a recognized organization (Associated Press, Pro Football Writers Association, Newspaper Enterprise Association, United Press International, The Sporting News, Maxwell Club – Bert Bell Award, or the league itself).