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 Divisional Playoffs (Cowboys) 17–14
Timeline
Previous season Next season
< 1974 1976 >

1975 was the 15th year of season play for the Minnesota Vikings and the 56th regular season of 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-criticised 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 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[edit]

1975 Draft[edit]

Main article: 1975 NFL 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 Harold "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.

Regular season[edit]

Schedule[edit]

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

Playoffs[edit]

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

NFC Divisional Playoff[edit]

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

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[edit]

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

Roster[edit]

Awards and records[edit]

Statistics[edit]

Team leaders[edit]

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[edit]

Category Total Yards Yards Per Game NFL Rank
(out of 26)
Passing Offense 2,861 Yards 204.4 YPG 3rd
Rushing Offense 2,094 Yards 149.6 YPG 10th
Total Offense 4,955 Yards 353.9 YPG 5th
Passing Defense 1,621 Yards 115.8 YPG 1st
Rushing Defense 1,532 Yards 109.4 YPG 1st
Total Defense 3,153 Yards 262.2 YPG 1st

References[edit]

  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. ^ http://www.maxwellfootballclub.org/content/awards/bell/past_bell.htm