1969 Minnesota Vikings season

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1969 Minnesota Vikings season
Head coach Bud Grant
General manager Jim Finks
Home field Metropolitan Stadium
Results
Record 12–2
Division place 1st NFL Central
Playoff finish Won Divisional Playoffs (Rams) 23–20
Won NFL Championship (1) (Browns) 27–7
Lost Super Bowl IV (Chiefs) 23–7
Timeline
Previous season Next season
< 1968 1970 >

1969 was the ninth year of season play for the Minnesota Vikings and the 50th regular season of the National Football League. The Vikings again won the NFL Central Division title, finishing with a record of 12 wins and two losses, plus playoff wins over the Los Angeles Rams in the Western Conference Championship Game, as well as the Cleveland Browns in the last NFL Championship Game ever played in the pre-merger era. With these wins, the Vikings became the last team to possess the Ed Thorp Memorial Trophy. However, Minnesota would lose the Super Bowl to the AFL champion Kansas City Chiefs in the final professional football game played between any two teams before the two leagues merged.

The Vikings are the last team to win the NFL Championship prior to the league's merger with the American Football League. The season was chronicled for America's Game: The Missing Rings, as one of the five greatest NFL teams to never win the Super Bowl.

Offseason[edit]

1969 Draft[edit]

Main article: 1969 NFL draft
Draft order Player name Position College Notes
Round Choice Overall
1 17 17 Traded to the New Orleans Saints[a]
2 13 39 Ed White Guard California from Giants[b]
17 43 Volly Murphy Wide Receiver Texas-El Paso
3 17 69 Traded to the Philadelphia Eagles[c]
4 17 95 Mike McCaffrey Linebacker California
5 2 106 Jim Barnes Guard Arkansas from Falcons[d]
8 112 Mike O'Shea Wide Receiver Utah St. from Lions via Steelers[e]
17 121 Cornelius Davis Running Back Kansas State
6 18 148 Marion Bates Defensive Back Texas Southern originally Chargers pick[f]
7 17 173 Traded to the Washington Redskins[g]
8 17 199 Harris Wood Wide Receiver Washington
9 17 225 Tom Fink Guard Minnesota
10 19 253 Tom McCauley Defensive Back Wisconsin originally Cardinals pick[h]
11 17 277 Brian Dowling Quarterback Yale
12 17 303 Noel Jenke Linebacker Minnesota
13 17 329 Jim Moylan Defensive Tackle Texas Tech
14 17 355 Tommy Head Center Southwest Texas State
15 17 381 Eugene Mosley Tight End Jackson State
16 17 407 Traded to the Detroit Lions[i]
17 17 433 Wendell Housley Running Back Texas A&M
^[a] Minnesota traded their 1st round selection (17th overall) and their 1968 1st round selection (7th overall) to New Orleans for QB Gary Cuozzo.
^[b] The New York Giants traded their 2nd round selection (39th overall), 1967 1st round selection (2nd overall), 1967 2nd round selection (28th overall), and 1968 1st round selection (1st overall) to Minnesota for QB Fran Tarkenton.
^[c] Minnesota traded their 3rd round selection (69th overall) to Philadelphia for QB King Hill.
^[d] Atlanta traded their 5th round selection (106th overall) and 1968 7th round selection (167th overall) to Minnesota for QB Ron VanderKelen.
^[e] Pittsburgh traded Detroit's 5th round selection (112th overall) to Minnesota for RB Bobby Walden.
^[f] Minnesota originally chose 147th overall but passed allowing San Diego to move up and Minnesota to choose 147th overall.
^[g] Minnesota traded their 7th round selection (173rd overall) to Washington for Safety Paul Krause.
^[h] Minnesota originally chose 251st overall but passed allowing San Diego and St. Louis to move up and Minnesota to choose 253rd overall.
^[i] Minnesota traded their 16th round selection (407th overall) to Detroit for their 1968 17th round selection (445th overall).

Regular season[edit]

The Vikings, led by head coach Bud Grant, ended the season with an NFL best 12–2 regular season record, leading the older league in total points scored (379) and fewest points allowed (133). They had scored 50 or more points in three different games. They had 12 straight victories, the longest single-season winning streak in 35 years,[1] and became the first modern NFL expansion team to win an NFL championship. Their defense, considered the most intimidating in the NFL, was anchored by a defensive line nicknamed the "Purple People Eaters", consisting of defensive tackles Gary Larsen and Alan Page, and defensive ends Carl Eller and Jim Marshall. The secondary was led by defensive backs Bobby Bryant (8 interceptions, 97 return yards), Earsell Mackbee (6 interceptions, 100 return yards), and future Pro Football Hall of Famer Paul Krause (5 interceptions, 82 return yards, 1 touchdown).

On offense, quarterback Joe Kapp was known for his superb leadership and his running ability, both throwing on the run and running for extra yards. And when Kapp did take off and run, instead of sliding when he was about to be tackled like most quarterbacks, he lowered his shoulder and went right at the tackler. This style of play earned him the nickname "Indestructible". In the NFL Championship Game against Cleveland Browns, he collided with linebacker Jim Houston while running for a first down, and Houston had to be helped off the field after the play ended. Also, Kapp was known for being an extremely unselfish leader: when he was voted the Vikings' Most Valuable Player, he turned the award down and said that every player on the team was equally valuable.

Running back Dave Osborn was the team's top rusher with 643 yards and 7 touchdowns. He also caught 22 passes for 236 yards and another touchdown. In the passing game, Pro Bowl wide receiver Gene Washington averaged 21.1 yards per catch by recording 821 yards and 9 touchdowns of off just 39 receptions. Wide receiver John Henderson caught 34 passes for 553 yards and 5 touchdowns. The Vikings offensive line was anchored by Pro Bowlers Grady Alderman and Mick Tingelhoff.

Schedule[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Venue Attendance
1 September 21 at New York Giants L 23–24 Yankee Stadium
62,900
2 September 28 Baltimore Colts W 52–14 Metropolitan Stadium
47,900
3 October 5 Green Bay Packers W 19–7 Memorial Stadium
60,740
4 October 12 at Chicago Bears W 31–0 Wrigley Field
45,757
5 October 19 at St. Louis Cardinals W 27–10 Busch Memorial Stadium
49,430
6 October 26 Detroit Lions W 24–10 Metropolitan Stadium
47,900
7 November 2 Chicago Bears W 31–14 Metropolitan Stadium
47,900
8 November 9 Cleveland Browns W 51–3 Metropolitan Stadium
47,900
9 November 16 at Green Bay Packers W 9–7 Milwaukee County Stadium
48,321
10 November 23 Pittsburgh Steelers W 52–14 Metropolitan Stadium
47,202
11 November 27 at Detroit Lions W 27–0 Tiger Stadium
57,906
12 December 7 at Los Angeles Rams W 20–13 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
80,430
13 December 14 San Francisco 49ers W 10–7 Metropolitan Stadium
43,028
14 December 21 at Atlanta Falcons L 3–10 Atlanta Stadium
52,872

Game summaries[edit]

Week 1: at New York Giants[edit]

Week 1: Minnesota Vikings at New York Giants – Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
Vikings 3 14 3 3 23
Giants 3 7 0 14 24

at Yankee StadiumBronx, New York

Game information
First quarter
  • NYG – Pete Gogolak 25-yard field goal. Giants 3–0.
  • MIN – Fred Cox 11-yard field goal. Tied 3–3.
Second quarter
Third quarter
  • MIN – Fred Cox 17-yard field goal. Vikings 20–10.
Fourth quarter
  • MIN – Fred Cox 10-yard field goal. Vikings 23–10.
  • NYG – Don Herrmann 16-yard pass from Fran Tarkenton (Pete Gogolak kick). Vikings 23–17.
  • NYG – Don Herrmann 10-yard pass from Fran Tarkenton (Pete Gogolak kick). Giants 24–23.
Top passers
Top rushers
Top receivers

Week 2: vs. Baltimore Colts[edit]

Week 2: Baltimore Colts at Minnesota Vikings – Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
Colts 0 7 7 0 14
Vikings 14 17 14 7 52

at Metropolitan StadiumBloomington, Minnesota

Game information
First quarter
Second quarter
  • BAL – Tom Matte 42-yard pass from Earl Morrall (Lou Michaels kick). Vikings 14–7.
  • MIN – Bob Grim 21-yard pass from Joe Kapp (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 21–7.
  • MIN – Fred Cox 40-yard field goal. Vikings 24–7.
  • MIN – Kent Kramer 13-yard pass from Joe Kapp (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 31–7.
Third quarter
  • MIN – Gene Washington 42-yard pass from Joe Kapp (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 38–7.
  • BAL – Tom Matte 4-yard run (Lou Michaels kick). Vikings 38–14.
  • MIN – John Beasley 1-yard pass from Joe Kapp (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 45–14.
Fourth quarter
  • MIN – Jim Lindsey 15-yard pass from Joe Kapp (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 52–14.
Top passers
Top rushers
Top receivers

Week 3: vs. Green Bay Packers[edit]

Week 3: Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings – Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
Packers 0 0 0 7 7
Vikings 6 7 3 3 19

at Memorial StadiumMinneapolis, Minnesota

Game information
First quarter
  • MIN – Fred Cox 33-yard field goal. Vikings 3–0.
  • MIN – Fred Cox 27-yard field goal. Vikings 6–0.
Second quarter
  • MIN – Dave Osborn 3-yard run (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 13–0.
Third quarter
  • MIN – Fred Cox 41-yard field goal. Vikings 16–0.
Fourth quarter
Top passers
Top rushers
Top receivers

Week 4: at Chicago Bears[edit]

Week 4: Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears – Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
Vikings 7 0 7 17 31
Bears 0 0 0 0 0

at Wrigley FieldChicago, Illinois

Game information
First quarter
Second quarter
  • None.
Third quarter
Fourth quarter
  • MIN – Fred Cox 24-yard field goal. Vikings 17–0.
  • MIN – Clint Jones 18-yard run (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 24–0.
  • MIN – Dave Osborn 58-yard run (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 31–0.
Top passers
Top rushers
Top receivers

Week 5: at St. Louis Cardinals[edit]

Week 5: Minnesota Vikings at St. Louis Cardinals – Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
Vikings 7 7 7 6 27
Cardinals 3 7 0 0 10

at Busch Memorial StadiumSt. Louis, Missouri

Game information
First quarter
Second quarter
  • STL – Bob Rowe 18-yard interception return (Jim Bakken kick). Cardinals 10–7.
  • MIN – John Henderson 7-yard pass from Joe Kapp (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 14–10.
Third quarter
  • MIN – John Henderson 39-yard pass from Joe Kapp (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 21–10.
Fourth quarter
  • MIN – Fred Cox 21-yard field goal. Vikings 24–10.
  • MIN – Fred Cox 15-yard field goal. Vikings 27–10.
Top passers
Top rushers
Top receivers

Week 6: vs. Detroit Lions[edit]

Week 6: Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings – Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
Lions 0 3 0 7 10
Vikings 3 21 0 0 24

at Metropolitan StadiumBloomington, Minnesota

Game information
First quarter
  • MIN – Fred Cox 33-yard field goal. Vikings 3–0.
Second quarter
Third quarter
  • None.
Fourth quarter
  • DET – Nick Eddy 1-yard run (Errol Mann kick). Vikings 24–10.
Top passers
Top rushers
Top receivers

Week 7: vs. Chicago Bears[edit]

Week 7: Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings – Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
Bears 0 7 0 7 14
Vikings 7 10 7 7 31

at Metropolitan StadiumBloomington, Minnesota

Game information
First quarter
Second quarter
  • CHI – Brian Piccolo 7-yard run (Mac Percival kick). Tied 7–7.
  • MIN – Fred Cox 48-yard field goal. Vikings 10–7.
  • MIN – John Beasley 13-yard pass from Joe Kapp (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 17–7.
Third quarter
  • MIN – Dave Osborn 1-yard run (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 24–7.
Fourth quarter
  • MIN – Clint Jones 80-yard run (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 31–7.
  • CHI – Gale Sayers 24-yard run (Mac Percival kick). Vikings 31–14.
Top passers
Top rushers
Top receivers

Week 8: vs. Cleveland Browns[edit]

Week 8: Cleveland Browns at Minnesota Vikings – Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
Browns 0 3 0 0 3
Vikings 10 17 7 17 51

at Metropolitan StadiumBloomington, Minnesota

Game information
First quarter
Second quarter
  • MIN – Gene Washington 10-yard pass from Joe Kapp (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 17–0.
  • CLE – Don Cockroft 28-yard field goal. Vikings 17–3.
  • MIN – Fred Cox 28-yard field goal. Vikings 20–3.
  • MIN – Gene Washington 1-yard pass from Joe Kapp (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 27–3.
Third quarter
  • MIN – Dave Osborn 5-yard run (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 34–3.
Fourth quarter
  • MIN – Clint Jones 1-yard run (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 41–3.
  • MIN – Fred Cox 32-yard field goal. Vikings 44–3.
  • MIN – Jim Lindsey 2-yard run (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 51–3.
Top passers
Top rushers
Top receivers

Week 9: at Green Bay Packers[edit]

Week 9: Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers – Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
Vikings 3 0 3 3 9
Packers 0 7 0 0 7

at Milwaukee County StadiumMilwaukee, Wisconsin

Game information
First quarter
  • MIN – Fred Cox 10-yard field goal. Vikings 3–0.
Second quarter
Third quarter
  • MIN – Fred Cox 12-yard field goal. Packers 7–6.
Fourth quarter
  • MIN – Fred Cox 20-yard field goal. Vikings 9–7.
Top passers
Top rushers
Top receivers

Week 10: vs. Pittsburgh Steelers[edit]

Week 10: Pittsburgh Steelers at Minnesota Vikings – Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
Steelers 0 7 7 0 14
Vikings 7 10 14 21 52

at Metropolitan StadiumBloomington, Minnesota

Game information
First quarter
Second quarter
  • MIN – Fred Cox 22-yard field goal. Vikings 10–0.
  • PIT – Don McCall 101-yard kickoff return (Gene Mingo kick). Vikings 10–7.
  • MIN – Bill Brown 1-yard run (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 17–7.
Third quarter
Fourth quarter
  • MIN – Oscar Reed 6-yard pass from Gary Cuozzo (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 38–14.
  • MIN – Oscar Reed 1-yard run (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 45–14.
  • MIN – John Henderson 7-yard pass from Bob Lee (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 52–14.
Top passers
Top rushers
Top receivers

Week 11: at Detroit Lions[edit]

Week 11: Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions – Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
Vikings 7 3 7 10 27
Lions 0 0 0 0 0

at Tiger StadiumDetroit, Michigan

Game information
First quarter
Second quarter
  • MIN – Fred Cox 41-yard field goal. Vikings 10–0.
Third quarter
Fourth quarter
  • MIN – Alan Page 15-yard touchdown on a lateral (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 24–0.
  • MIN – Fred Cox 38-yard field goal. Vikings 27–0.
Top passers
Top rushers
Top receivers

Week 12: at Los Angeles Rams[edit]

Week 12: Minnesota Vikings at Los Angeles Rams – Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
Vikings 7 10 0 3 20
Rams 0 3 3 7 13

at Los Angeles Memorial ColiseumLos Angeles, California

Game information
First quarter
Second quarter
  • MIN – Bill Brown 1-yard run (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 14–0.
  • LA – Bruce Gossett 37-yard field goal. Vikings 14–3.
  • MIN – Fred Cox 39-yard field goal. Vikings 17–3.
Third quarter
  • LA – Bruce Gossett 27-yard field goal. Vikings 17–6.
Fourth quarter
  • MIN – Fred Cox 29-yard field goal. Vikings 20–6.
  • LA – Larry Smith 4-yard pass from Roman Gabriel (Bruce Gossett kick). Vikings 20–13.
Top passers
Top rushers
Top receivers

Week 13: vs. San Francisco[edit]

Week 13: San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings – Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
49ers 0 0 0 7 7
Vikings 0 3 0 7 10

at Metropolitan StadiumBloomington, Minnesota

Game information
First quarter
  • None.
Second quarter
  • MIN – Fred Cox 37-yard field goal. Vikings 3–0.
Third quarter
  • None.
Fourth quarter
Top passers
Top rushers
Top receivers

Week 14: at Atlanta Falcons[edit]

Week 14: Minnesota Vikings at Atlanta Falcons – Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
Vikings 3 0 0 0 3
Falcons 0 7 3 0 10

at Atlanta StadiumAtlanta, Georgia

Game information
First quarter
  • MIN – Fred Cox 19-yard field goal. Vikings 3–0.
Second quarter
Third quarter
  • ATL – Bob Etter 28-yard field goal. Falcons 10–3.
Fourth quarter
  • None.
Top passers
Top rushers
Top receivers

Standings[edit]

Central Division
Team W L T PCT PF PA
Minnesota Vikings 12 2 0 .857 379 133
Detroit Lions 9 4 1 .692 259 188
Green Bay Packers 8 6 0 .571 269 221
Chicago Bears 1 13 0 .071 210 339

Postseason[edit]

Playoffs[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Venue Attendance
Western Conference December 27, 1969 Los Angeles Rams W 23–20 Metropolitan Stadium
47,900
NFL Championship January 4, 1970 Cleveland Browns W 27–7 Metropolitan Stadium
47,900
Super Bowl IV January 11, 1970 N Kansas City Chiefs L 7–23 Tulane Stadium
80,562

Western Conference Championship Game[edit]

Western Conference Championship Game: Los Angeles Rams at Minnesota Vikings
1 2 3 4 Total
Rams 7 10 0 3 20
Vikings 7 0 7 9 23

at Metropolitan Stadium, Bloomington, Minnesota

  • Date: December 27
  • Game weather: 10 °F (−12 °C), wind 7 mph, wind chill −1 °F (−18 °C), relative humidity 83%
  • Game attendance: 47,900
  • TV: CBS
  • Pro-Football-Reference.com
Game information
First Quarter
Second Quarter
  • LA – Bruce Gossett 20-yard field goal. Rams 10–7
  • LA – Billy Truax 2-yard pass from Roman Gabriel (Bruce Gossett kick). Rams 17–7
Third Quarter
  • MIN – Dave Osborn 1-yard run (Fred Cox kick). Rams 17–14
Fourth Quarter
  • LA – Bruce Gossett 27-yard field goal. Rams 20–14
  • MIN – Joe Kapp 2-yard run (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 21–20
  • MIN – Safety, Roman Gabriel tackled in end zone by Carl Eller. Vikings 23–20
Top passers
Top rushers
Top receivers

NFL Championship Game[edit]

NFL Championship Game: Cleveland Browns at Minnesota Vikings
1 2 3 4 Total
Browns 0 0 0 7 7
Vikings 14 10 3 0 27

at Metropolitan Stadium, Bloomington, Minnesota

  • Date: January 4
  • Game weather: 8 °F (−13 °C), wind 9 mph, wind chill −6 °F (−21 °C), relative humidity 75%
  • Game attendance: 47,900
  • TV: CBS
  • Pro-Football-Reference.com
Game information
First Quarter
Second Quarter
  • MIN – Fred Cox 30-yard field goal. Vikings 17–0
  • MIN – Dave Osborn 20-yard run (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 24–0
Third Quarter
  • MIN – Fred Cox 32-yard field goal. Vikings 27–0
Fourth Quarter
Top passers
Top rushers
Top receivers

Super Bowl IV[edit]

Main article: Super Bowl IV
Super Bowl IV: Minnesota Vikings vs. Kansas City Chiefs
1 2 3 4 Total
Vikings 0 0 7 0 7
Chiefs 3 13 7 0 23

at Tulane Stadium, New Orleans, Louisiana

  • Date: January 11
  • Game weather: 55 °F (13 °C), wind 14 mph, relative humidity 84%
  • Game attendance: 80,562
  • TV: CBS
  • Pro-Football-Reference.com
Game information
First Quarter
Second Quarter
  • KC – Jan Stenerud 32-yard field goal. Chiefs 6–0
  • KC – Jan Stenerud 25-yard field goal. Chiefs 9–0
  • KC – Mike Garrett 5-yard run (Jan Stenerud kick). Chiefs 16–0
Third Quarter
Top passers
Top rushers
Top receivers

Awards and records[edit]

  • Led NFL, Points Scored (379)
  • Led NFL, Fewest Points Allowed (133)
  • Joe Kapp – 7 passing touchdowns in a single game (NFL Record)Week 2

Milestones[edit]

Roster[edit]

Minnesota Vikings roster
Quarterbacks

Running Backs

  • RB Bill Brown
  • RB Billy Harris
  • RB Clint Jones
  • RB Jim Lindsey
  • RB Dave Osborn
  • RB Oscar Reed

Wide Receivers

  • WR Bob Grim
  • WR/DB Tom Hall
  • WR John Henderson
  • WR Gene Washington

Tight Ends

  • TE John Beasley
  • TE Kent Kramer

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen

Linebackers

  • LB Jim Hargrove
  • LB Wally Hilgenberg
  • LB John Kirby
  • LB Mike McGill
  • LB Mike Reilly
  • LB Lonnie Warwick
  • LB Roy Winston

Defensive Backs

  • DB Bobby Bryant
  • DB Dale Hackbart
  • DB Karl Kassulke
  • DB Paul Krause
  • DB Earsell Mackbee
  • DB Ed Sharockman
  • DB Charlie West

Special Teams

Statistics[edit]

Team leaders[edit]

Category Player(s) Value
Passing Yards Joe Kapp 1,726
Passing Touchdowns Joe Kapp 19
Rushing Yards Dave Osborn 643
Rushing Touchdowns Dave Osborn 7
Receiving Yards Gene Washington 821
Receiving Touchdowns Gene Washington 9
Points Fred Cox 121
Kickoff Return Yards Clint Jones 444
Punt Return Yards Charlie West 245
Interceptions Bobby Bryant 8

League rankings[edit]

Category Total Yards Yards Per Game NFL Rank
(out of 16)
Passing Offense 2,246 Yards 160.4 YPG 12th
Rushing Offense 1,850 Yards 132.1 YPG 4th
Total Offense 4,096 Yards 292.6 YPG 10th
Passing Defense 1,631 Yards 116.5 YPG 1st
Rushing Defense 1,089 Yards 77.8 YPG 2nd
Total Defense 2,720 Yards 194.3 YPG 1st

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Super Bowl IV," Super Bowl I-X Collector's Set. NFL Productions, LLC, 2003