1978 Minnesota Vikings season

1978 Minnesota Vikings season
Head coach Bud Grant
General manager Mike Lynn
Home field Metropolitan Stadium
Record 8–7–1
Division place 1st NFC Central
Playoff finish Lost Divisional Playoffs (at Rams) 10–34

The 1978 Minnesota Vikings season was the team's 18th in the National Football League. The Vikings finished with a record of eight wins, seven losses, and one tie, and finished in first place in the NFC Central division, despite being outscored by twelve points in the regular season.


1978 Draft

Main article: 1978 NFL draft
1978 Minnesota Vikings Draft
Draft order Player name Position College Notes
Round Choice Overall
12121Randy HollowayDefensive EndPittsburgh
22048John TurnerDefensive BackMiami
31975Whip WaltonLinebackerSan Diego State
416100Jim HoughCenterUtah State
522132Traded to the New York Giants[a]
621159Traded to the San Francisco 49ers[b]
720186Traded to the Philadelphia Eagles[c]
810204Mike WoodKickerSoutheast Missouri Statefrom Seahawks[d]
19213Traded to the New York Jets[e]
918240Mike DeutschPunterColorado State
1022272Hughie ShawRunning BackTexas A&I
1121299Ron HarrisRunning BackColorado State
1220326Jeff MorrowOffensive TackleMinnesota
^[a] Minnesota traded their 5th round selection (132nd overall) to the New York Giants for TE Bob Tucker.
^[b] Minnesota traded their 6th round selection (159th overall) to San Francisco for DBs Windlan Hill and Nate Allen.
^[c] Minnesota traded their 7th round selection (186th overall) to Philadelphia for Safety Bill Bradley.
^[d] Seattle traded their 8th round selection (204th overall) to Minnesota for CB Autry Beamon and LB Amos Martin.
^[e] Minnesota traded their 8th round selection (213th overall) and 1979 10th round selection (263rd overall) to the New York Jets for Safety Phil Wise.


Week Date Opponent Result Venue Attendance
1 September 3, 1978 at New Orleans Saints L 31–24 Superdome
2 September 11, 1978 Denver Broncos W 12–9 Met Stadium
3 September 17, 1978 Tampa Bay Buccaneers L 16–10 Met Stadium
4 September 25, 1978 at Chicago Bears W 24–20 Soldier Field
5 October 1, 1978 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 24–7 Tampa Stadium
6 October 8, 1978 at Seattle Seahawks L 29–28 Kingdome
7 October 15, 1978 Los Angeles Rams L 34–17 Met Stadium
8 October 22, 1978 Green Bay Packers W 21–7 Met Stadium
9 October 26, 1978 at Dallas Cowboys W 21–10 Texas Stadium
10 November 5, 1978 Detroit Lions W 17–7 Met Stadium
11 November 12, 1978 Chicago Bears W 17–14 Met Stadium
12 November 19, 1978 San Diego Chargers L 13–7 Met Stadium
13 November 26, 1978 at Green Bay Packers T 10–10 (OT) Lambeau Field
14 December 3, 1978 Philadelphia Eagles W 28–27 Met Stadium
15 December 9, 1978 at Detroit Lions L 45–14 Silverdome
16 December 17, 1978 at Oakland Raiders L 27–20 Oakland Coliseum


Week Date Opponent Result Venue Attendance
Divisional December 31, 1978 at Los Angeles Rams L 34–10 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

In 2004, Football Outsiders named the 1978 Vikings as one of the "worst playoff teams ever":[1]

"A 10–10 tie against the Packers on Thanksgiving weekend helped the Vikings clinch the division. The Vikings won the first meeting between the two teams, but the Packers would eventually have a better division record (the Vikings had lost to the 5–11 Buccaneers early in the year). A win might have given the Packers the division. Green Bay led 10–3 with under two minutes to play, but Fran Tarkenton led a 57-yard drive that ended with a five-yard touchdown pass to Ahmad Rashad to force overtime. Both teams missed field goals in overtime, and the Vikings emerged with a better head-to-head record.

The Vikings were 7–5–1 after that game and looked like a legitimate playoff team, but after a tight win against the Eagles, the team lost their final two games, including a 45–14 blowout at the hands of the Lions. The weak finish foreshadowed a quick exit from the postseason. The Rams beat the Vikings in the opening round of the playoffs 34–10, outgaining Bud Grant's team 409–244.

Were those Vikings an up-and-coming team? Just the opposite: they were a perennial Super Bowl contender on their way down. They had talent, but players like Tarkenton (38 years old), Carl Eller (36), Jim Marshall (40), Mick Tingelhoff (38) and Paul Krause (36) were on their last legs. The Vikings had spent the early part of the 1970s beating up on the NFC Central. [...] [I]n 1975, the Vikings went 12–2, and no division opponents was [Sic] above .500. In 1977 and 1978, they started falling back to earth."


NFC Central
Minnesota Vikings(3) 8 7 1 .531 5–2–1 7–4–1 294 306 L2
Green Bay Packers 8 7 1 .531 5–2–1 6–5–1 249 269 L2
Detroit Lions 7 9 0 .438 4–4 5–7 290 300 W2
Chicago Bears 7 9 0 .438 3–5 7–5 253 274 W2
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 5 11 0 .313 2–6 3–11 241 259 L4

League rankings

Category Total yards Yards per game NFL rank
(out of 28)
Passing Offense 3,243 Yards 202.7 YPG 2nd
Rushing Offense 1,536 Yards 96.0 YPG 28th
Total Offense 4,779 Yards 298.7 YPG 17th
Passing Defense 2,690 Yards 168.1 YPG 19th
Rushing Defense 2,116 Yards 132.3 YPG 10th
Total Defense 4,806 Yards 300.4 YPG 14th



Roster from Minnesota Vikings Media Guide 1978

Statistical leaders

Category Player(s) Value
Passing Yards Fran Tarkenton 3,468
Passing Touchdowns Fran Tarkenton 25
Rushing Yards Chuck Foreman 749
Rushing Touchdowns Chuck Foreman 5
Receiving Yards Ahmad Rashād 769
Receiving Touchdowns Sammy White 9
Points Rick Danmeier 72
Kickoff Return Yards Kevin Miller 854
Punt Return Yards Kevin Miller 239
Interceptions Bobby Bryant 7


This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/20/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.