1978 Minnesota Vikings season

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

The 1978 season was the Minnesota Vikings' 18th in the National Football League. The Vikings finished with an 8–7–1 record, and finished in first place in the NFC Central division, despite having a regular season point differential of −12. The team appeared in the playoffs for the 10th time in 11 years; as in each of their previous playoff seasons, this one ended with a loss. Following the season, longtime quarterback Fran Tarkenton retired.

Offseason

1978 Draft

1978 Minnesota Vikings Draft
Draft order Player name Position College Notes
Round Choice Overall
1 21 21 Randy Holloway Defensive End Pittsburgh
2 20 48 John Turner Defensive Back Miami
3 19 75 Whip Walton Linebacker San Diego State
4 16 100 Jim Hough Center Utah State
5 22 132 Traded to the New York Giants[a]
6 21 159 Traded to the San Francisco 49ers[b]
7 20 186 Traded to the Philadelphia Eagles[c]
8 10 204 Mike Wood Kicker Southeast Missouri State from Seahawks[d]
19 213 Traded to the New York Jets[e]
9 18 240 Mike Deutsch Punter Colorado State
10 22 272 Hughie Shaw Running Back Texas A&I
11 21 299 Ron Harris Running Back Colorado State
12 20 326 Jeff Morrow Offensive Tackle Minnesota
^[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.

Roster

1978 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

  • August 5 Washington W 20-13
  • August 12 at Kansas City L 13-17
  • August 18 at Miami L 22-30
  • August 26 Buffalo W 30-27

Regular season schedule

Week Date Opponent Result Record Venue Attendance
1 September 3 at New Orleans Saints L 31–24 0–1 Superdome 54,187
2 September 11 Denver Broncos W 12–9 1–1 Met Stadium 46,508
3 September 17 Tampa Bay Buccaneers L 16–10 1–2 Met Stadium 46,152
4 September 25 at Chicago Bears W 24–20 2–2 Soldier Field 53,551
5 October 1 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 24–7 3–2 Tampa Stadium 65,972
6 October 8 at Seattle Seahawks L 29–28 3–3 Kingdome 62,031
7 October 15 Los Angeles Rams L 34–17 3–4 Met Stadium 46,551
8 October 22 Green Bay Packers W 21–7 4–4 Met Stadium 47,411
9 October 26 at Dallas Cowboys W 21–10 5–4 Texas Stadium 61,848
10 November 5 Detroit Lions W 17–7 6–4 Met Stadium 46,008
11 November 12 Chicago Bears W 17–14 7–4 Met Stadium 43,286
12 November 19 San Diego Chargers L 13–7 7–5 Met Stadium 38,859
13 November 26 at Green Bay Packers T 10–10 (OT) 7–5–1 Lambeau Field 51,737
14 December 3 Philadelphia Eagles W 28–27 8–5–1 Met Stadium 38,722
15 December 9 at Detroit Lions L 45–14 8–6–1 Silverdome 78,685
16 December 17 at Oakland Raiders L 27–20 8–7–1 Oakland Coliseum 44,643

Standings

NFC Central
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
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

Playoffs

Week Date Opponent (seed) Result Record Venue Attendance
Divisional December 31, 1978 at Los Angeles Rams L 34–10 0–1 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum 69,631

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

Awards and records

  • QB Fran Tarkenton set a new Vikings record throwing 32 interceptions, surpassing his own record of 25 (set in 1962, which surpassed his 1961 record of 17). The club record still stands.
  • RB Rickey Young caught 88 passes, setting a Vikings single-season record as he led the NFL. The record will be surpassed by both Cris Carter and Randy Moss in many subsequent seasons.

League rankings

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

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

References

  1. ^ Football Outsiders: Skin of the Teeth: The Worst Playoff Teams Ever
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