1975 Minnesota Vikings season

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

The 1975 season was the Minnesota Vikings' 15th 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-criticized 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 have 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]

Offseason

1975 Draft

1975 Minnesota Vikings Draft
Draft order Player name Position College Notes
Round Choice Overall
1 25 25 Mark Mullaney Defensive end Colorado State
2 26 52 Robert Barber Defensive tackle USC originally Steelers' pick[a]
3 11 63 Traded to the New Orleans Saints[c] from Lions[b]
25 77 Traded to the Cincinnati Bengals[d]
4 11 89 Champ Henson Running back Ohio State from Bengals[d]
25 103 Bruce Adams Wide receiver Kansas
5 25 129 Robert Miller Running back Kansas
6 25 155 Bubba Broussard Linebacker Houston
7 25 181 Henry Green Running back Southern
8 25 207 Joe Hollimon Defensive back Arkansas State
9 25 233 John Passananti Guard Western Illinois
10 24 258 Neil Clabo Punter Tennessee originally Raiders' pick[e]
11 25 285 Ike Spencer Running back Utah
12 25 311 Autry Beamon Defensive back East Texas State
13 24 336 Mike Hurd Wide receiver Michigan State originally Raiders' pick[f]
14 25 363 Mike Strickland Running back Eastern Michigan
15 24 388 Ollie Bakken Linebacker Minnesota originally Raiders' pick[g]
16 24 414 Tom Goedjen Kicker Iowa State originally Colts' pick[h]
17 25 441 Adolph Bellizeare Running back Pennsylvania
^[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.

Roster

1975 Minnesota Vikings final roster
Quarterbacks

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen

Linebackers

Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists



Practice squad



Rookies in italics
53 Active, 5 Inactive, 5 Practice squad

Preseason

Week Date Opponent Result Record Venue Attendance [1]
1 August 9 New York Jets L 15–20 0–1 Sun Devil Stadium, (Tempe, AZ) 51,323
2 August 17 at New England Patriots L 10–36 0–2 Schaefer Stadium 40,218
3 August 23 at Dallas Cowboys W 16–13 1–2 Texas Stadium 45,395
4 September 1 Miami Dolphins W 20–7 2–2 Metropolitan Stadium 47,653
5 September 6 St. Louis Cardinals L 6–13 2–3 Metropolitan Stadium 46,975
6 September 13 at San Diego Chargers T 14–14 (OT) 2–3–1 San Diego Stadium 31,642

Regular season

Schedule

Week Date Opponent Result Record Venue Attendance
1 September 21, 1975 San Francisco 49ers W 27–17 1-0 Metropolitan Stadium
46,479
2 September 28, 1975 at Cleveland Browns W 42–10 2-0 Cleveland Stadium
68,064
3 October 5, 1975 Chicago Bears W 28–3 3-0 Metropolitan Stadium
47,578
4 October 12, 1975 New York Jets W 29–21 4-0 Metropolitan Stadium
47,739
5 October 19, 1975 Detroit Lions W 25–19 5-0 Metropolitan Stadium
47,872
6 October 27, 1975 at Chicago Bears W 13–9 6-0 Soldier Field
51,259
7 November 2, 1975 at Green Bay Packers W 28–17 7-0 Lambeau Field
57,267
8 November 9, 1975 Atlanta Falcons W 38–0 8-0 Metropolitan Stadium
43,751
9 November 16, 1975 at New Orleans Saints W 20–7 9-0 Louisiana Superdome
52,765
10 November 23, 1975 San Diego Chargers W 28–13 10-0 Metropolitan Stadium
43,737
11 November 30, 1975 at Washington Redskins L 30–31 10-1 RFK Stadium
54,498
12 December 7, 1975 Green Bay Packers W 24–3 11-1 Metropolitan Stadium
46,147
13 December 14, 1975 at Detroit Lions L 10–17 11-2 Silverdome
73,130
14 December 20, 1975 at Buffalo Bills W 35–13 12-2 Rich Stadium
54,993

Game summaries

Week 1

1 2 3 4 Total
49ers 0 10 0 7 17
• Vikings 3 10 0 14 27
  • Date: September 21
  • Location: Metropolitan Stadium
  • Game start: 2:00 p.m. EDT
  • Game attendance: 46,479
  • Game weather: 50°F; wind 12

[7]

Playoffs

Week Date Opponent Result Venue Attendance
Divisional December 28, 1975 Dallas Cowboys L 14–17 Metropolitan Stadium
46,425

NFC Divisional Playoff

Dallas Cowboys 17, Minnesota Vikings 14
1 2 3 4 Total
Cowboys 0 0 7 10 17
Vikings 0 7 0 7 14

at Metropolitan Stadium, Bloomington, Minnesota

  • Date: December 28
  • Game time: 1:00 p.m.
  • Game weather: 25 °F (−4 °C), wind 8 mph, wind chill 17 °F (−8 °C), relative humidity 76%
  • Referee: Chuck Heberling
  • TV announcers (CBS): Gary Bender, Johnny Unitas
  • Pro-Football-Reference.com
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

Standings

NFC Central
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
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

Statistics

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 2,861 204.4 3rd
Rushing offense 2,094 149.6 10th
Total offense 4,955 353.9 5th
Passing defense 1,621 115.8 1st
Rushing defense 1,532 109.4 1st
Total defense 3,153 262.2 1st

References

  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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