2003 Minnesota Vikings season

2003 Minnesota Vikings season
Head coach Mike Tice
Home field Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome
Record 9–7
Division place 2nd NFC North
Playoff finish did not qualify

The 2003 Minnesota Vikings season was the team's 43rd year in the National Football League. The Vikings gained 6,294 yards on offense, by far the most in the league; however the team 416 points were only 6th best in the NFL.

The Vikings won their first six games of the 2003 season, then lost their next four games, after which they alternated wins and losses for the remainder of the season. Green Bay won the division at 10–6, while the Vikings finished 9–7. The Vikings set a new mark for futility during the season when they lost to every 4–12 team (Giants, Chargers, Raiders, and Cardinals) during their 3–7 finish. Curiously, the Vikings went 4–2 against 2003 playoff teams, but only 5–5 against teams with losing records. The Vikings were 6–2 at home, and 8–3 in domes overall. (They only played one cold-weather game, a loss to Chicago in Week Fifteen.)

The Vikings were officially eliminated from postseason contention when a touchdown reception on 4th and 25 by Arizona Cardinals receiver Nate Poole handed the Vikings a dramatic last-second 18–17 loss in their final game.[1]

The season is notable for Randy Moss leading the NFL with 17 touchdown receptions. It's the third time in his career that Moss led the league in that category.

After the past two seasons of inconsistentcy, a rejuvenated Daunte Culpepper was voted to play in the Pro Bowl after the season. It was Culpepper's second Pro Bowl appearance.


2003 Draft

Main article: 2003 NFL draft
=Pro Bowler
2003 Minnesota Vikings Draft
Draft order Player name Position College Notes
Round Choice Overall
1 99 Kevin WilliamsDefensive TackleOklahoma Statein lieu of #7 (time expired)[a]
2840 E.J. HendersonLinebackerMaryland
3771Nate BurlesonWide ReceiverNevada
48105Onterrio SmithRunning BackOregon
57142Traded to the Cleveland Browns[b]
67180Eddie JohnsonPunterIdaho State
17190Mike NattielLinebackerFloridafrom Saints[c]
77221Keenan HowryWide ReceiverOregon
^[a] The draft took an odd turn with the Minnesota Vikings' pick in the first round. The Vikings were apparently attempting to consummate a trade when their fifteen-minute time allowance elapsed. The Jaguars who selected next were quick to pounce, turning in their card to select QB Byron Leftwich immediately after the Vikings' time elapsed. The Panthers also took advantage of the gaffe, selecting OT Jordan Gross before the Vikings recovered and selected DT Kevin Williams.[2] Nevertheless, the mistake may have worked in the Vikings' favor as Williams went on to be a mainstay on their team, missing only four games in his first 10 seasons in the NFL and making six Pro Bowls.
^[b] Minnesota traded their 5th round selection (142nd overall) to Cleveland for their 2002 7th round selection and QB Stalin Colinet on October 16, 2001.
^[c] New Orleans traded their 6th round selection (190th overall) to Minnesota in exchange for QB Todd Bouman on March 13, 2003.

Regular season


Week Date Opponent Result Venue Record Network Kickoff (CST) Attendance
1 September 7 at Green Bay Packers W 30–25 Lambeau Field 1–0 FOX 12:00pm
2 September 14 Chicago Bears W 24–13 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome 2–0 ESPN 7:30pm
3 September 21 at Detroit Lions W 23–13 Ford Field 3–0 FOX 12:00pm
4 September 28 San Francisco 49ers W 35–7 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome 4–0 FOX 12:00pm
5 October 5 at Atlanta Falcons W 39–26 Georgia Dome 5–0 FOX 12:00pm
6 Bye week
7 October 19 Denver Broncos W 28–20 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome 6–0 CBS 12:00pm
8 October 26 New York Giants L 17–29 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome 6–1 FOX 12:00pm
9 November 2 Green Bay Packers L 27–30 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome 6–2 ESPN 7:30pm
10 November 9 at San Diego Chargers L 28–42 Qualcomm Stadium 6–3 FOX 3:15pm
11 November 16 at Oakland Raiders L 18–28 Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum 6–4 FOX 3:15pm
12 November 23 Detroit Lions W 24–14 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome 7–4 FOX 12:00pm
13 November 30 at St. Louis Rams L 17–48 Edward Jones Dome 7–5 FOX 3:15pm
14 December 7 Seattle Seahawks W 34–7 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome 8–5 FOX 12:00pm
15 December 14 at Chicago Bears L 10–13 Soldier Field 8–6 FOX 12:00pm
16 December 20 Kansas City Chiefs W 45–20 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome 9–6 CBS 3:00pm
17 December 28 at Arizona Cardinals L 17–18 Sun Devil Stadium 9–7 FOX 3:15pm


NFC North
(4) Green Bay Packers 10 6 0 .625 4–2 7–5 442 307 W4
Minnesota Vikings 9 7 0 .563 4–2 7–5 416 353 L1
Chicago Bears 7 9 0 .438 2–4 4–8 283 346 L1
Detroit Lions 5 11 0 .313 2–4 4–8 270 379 W1


Team leaders

Category Player(s) Value
Passing Yards Daunte Culpepper 3,479
Passing Touchdowns Daunte Culpepper 25
Rushing Yards Moe Williams 745
Rushing Touchdowns Moe Williams
Onterrio Smith
Receiving Yards Randy Moss 1,632 *
Receiving Touchdowns Randy Moss 17
Points Randy Moss
Aaron Elling
Kickoff Return Yards Onterrio Smith 588
Punt Return Yards Keenan Howry 247
TacklesBrian Russell 95
Sacks Kevin Williams 10.5
Interceptions Brian Russell 9
Forced Fumbles Kenny Mixon 4

League rankings

Category Total yards Yards per game NFL rank
(out of 32)
Passing Offense 3,951 Yards 246.9 YPG 4th
Rushing Offense 2,343 Yards 146.4 YPG 4th
Total Offense 6,294 Yards 393.4 YPG 1st
Passing Defense 3,477 Yards 217.3 YPG 26th
Rushing Defense 1,879 Yards 117.4 YPG 17th
Total Defense 5,356 Yards 334.8 YPG 23rd



2003 Minnesota Vikings staff
Front Office

Head Coaches

Offensive Coaches

  • Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks – Scott Linehan
  • Running Backs – Dean Dalton
  • Wide Receivers – Charlie Baggett
  • Tight Ends/Assistant Offensive Line – John Tice
  • Offensive Line – Steve Loney
  • Offensive Quality Control – Randy Hanson

Defensive Coaches

  • Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Line – George O'Leary
  • Linebackers – Brian Baker
  • Secondary – Chuck Knox, Jr.
  • Assistant Secondary – Kevin Ross
  • Defensive Assistant/Assistant Defensive Line – Pete Bercich
  • Defensive Quality Control – Jim Panagos

Special Teams Coaches

Strength and Conditioning

  • Strength and Conditioning – Steve Wetzel
  • Assistant Strength and Conditioning – Daryl Lawrence


Final roster

2003 Minnesota Vikings final roster

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen


Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists

Practice squad

Rookies in italics
54 Active, 3 Inactive, 3 Practice squad

External links


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