1975 Minnesota Vikings season

1975 Minnesota Vikings season
Head coach Bud Grant
General manager Mike Lynn
Home field Metropolitan Stadium
Record 12–2
Division place 1st NFC Central
Playoff finish Lost Divisional Playoffs (Cowboys) 17–14

The 1975 Minnesota Vikings season was the franchise's 15th season in the National Football League.

The Vikings began with ten wins before losing by one point to the Washington Redskins, though there was generally very little expectation they would equal the 1972 Dolphinsperfect season.[1] The 1975 Vikings had an even easier schedule than the often-criticised schedule of the unbeaten Dolphin team, with their fourteen opponents having a weighted average winning percentage of .332 and nine being 4–10 or worse.[2] Football journalists noted during their streak how the Vikings had been playing very weak schedules for several years and flattered thereby.[3] Their 10–0 start was not subsequently equalled until the 1984 Miami Dolphins began 11–0.[4] Only the Super Bowl-winning 1999 Rams had since, according to Pro Football Reference, a weaker schedule than the 1975 Vikings, playing only one opponent with a winning record during the regular season.[5]

They sealed their third straight NFC Central title on Thanksgiving Day in this same week when the Detroit Lions lost to the Los Angeles Rams.

The Vikings finished with a record of 12 wins and two losses, before losing to the Dallas Cowboys, 17–14 in the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at home due to a play known as the “Hail Mary”. Earlier in the season, the New York Jets made their first appearance in Minnesota in a much-anticipated match between Super Bowl quarterbacks Fran Tarkenton and Joe Namath, in what was the first regular season game sold out during the summer.[6]


1975 Draft

Main article: 1975 NFL draft
1975 Minnesota Vikings Draft
Draft order Player name Position College Notes
Round Choice Overall
12525Mark MullaneyDefensive EndColorado State
22652Robert BarberDefensive TackleUSCoriginally Steelers' pick[a]
31163Traded to the New Orleans Saints[c]from Lions[b]
2577Traded to the Cincinnati Bengals[d]
41189Harold "Champ" HensonRunning BackOhio Statefrom Bengals[d]
25103Bruce AdamsWide ReceiverKansas
525129Robert MillerRunning BackKansas
625155Bubba BroussardLinebackerHouston
725181Henry GreenRunning BackSouthern
825207Joe HollimonDefensive BackArkansas State
925233John PassanantiGuardWestern Illinois
1024258Neil ClaboPunterTennesseeoriginally Raiders' pick[e]
1125285Ike SpencerRunning BackUtah
1225311Autry BeamonDefensive BackEast Texas State
1324336Mike HurdWide ReceiverMichigan Stateoriginally Raiders' pick[f]
1425363Mike StricklandRunning BackEastern Michigan
1524388Ollie BakkenLinebackerMinnesotaoriginally Raiders' pick[g]
1624414Tom GoedjenKickerIowa Stateoriginally Colts' pick[h]
1725441Adolph BellizeareRunning BackPennsylvania
^[a] Minnesota originally chose 51st overall but passed allowing Pittsburgh to move up and Minnesota to choose 52nd overall.
^[b] Detroit traded their 3rd round selection (63rd overall) to Minnesota for CB Charlie West.
^[c] Minnesota traded Detroit's third round selection (63rd overall) to New Orleans for OL Andy Maurer.
^[d] The details of this trade are unknown.
^[e] Minnesota originally chose 259th overall but moved up to the 258th overall selection when Oakland passed.
^[f] Minnesota originally chose 337th overall but moved up to the 336th overall selection when Washington passed on the 334th overall selection and allowed Miami, San Diego, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Miami, Baltimore, Atlanta, Cleveland, Chicago, and New Orleans to move up.
^[g] Minnesota originally chose 389th overall but moved up to the 388th overall selection when Oakland passed.
^[h] Minnesota originally chose 415th overall but moved up to the 414th overall selection when Baltimore passed and allowed Minnesota and Pittsburgh to move up.

Regular season


Week Date Opponent Result Venue Attendance
1 September 21, 1975 San Francisco 49ers W 27–17 Met Stadium
2 September 28, 1975 at Cleveland Browns W 42–10 Cleveland Stadium
3 October 5, 1975 Chicago Bears W 28–3 Met Stadium
4 October 12, 1975 New York Jets W 29–21 Met Stadium
5 October 19, 1975 Detroit Lions W 25–19 Met Stadium
6 October 27, 1975 at Chicago Bears W 13–9 Soldier Field
7 November 2, 1975 at Green Bay Packers W 28–17 Lambeau Field
8 November 9, 1975 Atlanta Falcons W 38–0 Atlanta Fulton County Stadium
9 November 16, 1975 at New Orleans Saints W 20–7 Louisiana Superdome
10 November 23, 1975 San Diego Chargers W 28–13 Met Stadium
11 November 30, 1975 at Washington Redskins L 30–31 RFK Stadium
12 December 7, 1975 Green Bay Packers W 24–3 Met Stadium
13 December 14, 1975 at Detroit Lions L 10–17 Silverdome
14 December 20, 1975 at Buffalo Bills W 35–13 Rich Stadium

Game summaries

Week 1

1 234Total
49ers 0 1007 17
Vikings 3 10014 27
  • Date: September 21
  • Location: Metropolitan Stadium
  • Game start: 2:00 p.m. EST
  • Game attendance: 46,479
  • Game weather: 50°F; wind 12



Week Date Opponent Result Venue Attendance
Divisional December 28, 1975 Dallas Cowboys L 14–17 Met Stadium

NFC Divisional Playoff

Dallas Cowboys 17, Minnesota Vikings 14
1 2 34Total
Cowboys 0 0 71017
Vikings 0 7 0714

at Metropolitan Stadium, Bloomington, Minnesota

Game information
First Quarter
Second Quarter
Third Quarter
Fourth Quarter
  • DAL - Toni Fritsch 24-yard field goal - Cowboys 10-7
  • MIN - Brent McClanahan 1-yard run (Fred Cox kick) - Vikings 14-10
  • DAL - Drew Pearson 50-yard pass from Roger Staubach (Toni Fritsch kick) - Cowboys 17-14


NFC Central
Minnesota Vikings(1) 12 2 0 .857 5–1 8–2 377 180 W1
Detroit Lions 7 7 0 .500 4–2 6–5 245 262 L1
Chicago Bears 4 10 0 .286 2–4 4–7 191 379 W1
Green Bay Packers 4 10 0 .286 1–5 4–7 226 285 W1

Awards and records


Team leaders

Category Player(s) Value
Passing Yards Fran Tarkenton 2,994
Passing Touchdowns Fran Tarkenton 25
Rushing Yards Chuck Foreman 1,070
Rushing Touchdowns Chuck Foreman 13
Receiving Yards John Gilliam 777
Receiving Touchdowns Chuck Foreman 9
Points Chuck Foreman 132
Kickoff Return Yards Brent McClanahan 360
Punt Return Yards Bobby Bryant 125
Interceptions Paul Krause 10 *

League rankings

Category Total yards Yards per game NFL rank
(out of 26)
Passing Offense 2,861 Yards 204.4 YPG 3rd
Rushing Offense 2,094 Yards 149.6 YPG 10th
Total Offense 4,955 Yards 353.9 YPG 5th
Passing Defense 1,621 Yards 115.8 YPG 1st
Rushing Defense 1,532 Yards 109.4 YPG 1st
Total Defense 3,153 Yards 262.2 YPG 1st


  1. Lowitt, Bruce; “Streaking Vikings Meet Old Nemesis in Falcons”; in Ocala Star-Banner; November 7, 1975; p. 7B
  2. 1975 Minnesota Vikings at ProFootball
  3. Donovan, Mark; “National Central”; in Sports Illustrated; September 22, 1975
  4. Last Undefeated NFL Team in Each Season
  5. 1999 Rams Against Opponents with Winning Record
  6. Kallestad, Brent; “Fran, Joe Square Off First Time”; in The Evening News; October 10, 1975; p. 7B
  7. Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2016-Jan-08.
  8. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-06-19. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
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