The Vikings opened up their new stadium with a 17–10 win over Tampa Bay in the season opener. A close loss to Buffalo on the road followed.
The season was then interrupted by the players' 57-day strike that reduced the NFL regular season to nine games. Upon resumption of play in November, the Vikings went 4–3 to close out the abbreviated regular season and closed the campaign with a 5–4 record. Games against Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay, New Orleans, San Francisco, Tampa Bay and Washington were canceled.
As three of Minnesota's losses were to AFC opponents, their 4–1 conference record put them at the top of a logjam of teams with similar records in the playoff seedings. In 1982, the NFL took the top eight teams from each conference regardless of division record for playoff consideration. The Vikings earned the #4 seed based on this tiebreaker and home field advantage in round one.
In their opening round playoff game, the Vikings took on the Atlanta Falcons. The game was a back-and-forth affair that saw Minnesota take a 13–7 halftime lead, only to see the Falcons retake the lead late in the final period on a 41-yard field goal by Mick Luckhurst. With just under two minutes remaining, the Vikings began a game-winning drive that culminated in a Ted Brown 5-yard TD run to win the game and send the Vikings on to round two.
In the second round, the Vikings were defeated by the eventual Super Bowl champion Washington Redskins, 21–7, at RFK Stadium. The Vikings trailed 14–0 after one quarter. Ted Brown's TD run in the second period cut it to 14–7, but Joe Theismann hit Alvin Garrett late in the quarter with an 18-yard TD strike to make it 21–7. Neither team scored in the second half.
QB Tommy Kramer threw for 2,037 yards and 15 TDs in the short season. RB Ted Brown had 515 yards to lead all rushers, and WR Sammy White tallied 503 yards and 5 TDs to lead receivers.
LB Matt Blair anchored the Vikings defense and also made the 1982 Pro Bowl.