1969 Minnesota Vikings season

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
1969 Minnesota Vikings season
Head coach Bud Grant
General manager Jim Finks
Home field Metropolitan Stadium
Memorial Stadium (October 5)
Results
Record 12–2
Division place 1st NFL Central
Playoff finish Won Divisional Playoffs
(Los Angeles Rams, 23–20)
Won NFL Championship (1) (Cleveland Browns, 27–7)
Lost Super Bowl IV
(Kansas City Chiefs, 23–7)

The 1969 Minnesota Vikings season was the franchise's 9th season in the National Football League. The Vikings 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, introduced 35 years earlier in 1934.

However, Minnesota lost Super Bowl IV in New Orleans to the AFL champion Kansas City Chiefs in the final professional football game between the two leagues. It was the second consecutive Super Bowl win for the younger league.

The Vikings won the last 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
=Pro Bowler
1969 Minnesota Vikings 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 State 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 Vander Kelen.
^[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 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.

The Vikings clinched the division title in week 11, after their second defeat of the Detroit Lions on November 27,[2] which also secured home field advantage for the NFL playoffs. The playoff sites were rotated until 1975; the Central division hosted the Coastal (as in 1967), and the Western Conference hosted the NFL championship game in odd-numbered years.

Schedule[edit]

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

^ The October 5 game was played in Minneapolis at Memorial Stadium at the University of Minnesota, due to a clash with the Minnesota Twins hosting game three of the 1969 ALCS at Metropolitan Stadium on Monday, October 6.

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 Stadium, Bronx, New York

Game information

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 Stadium, Bloomington, Minnesota

Game information

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 Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Game information

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 Field, Chicago, Illinois

Game information

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 Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri

Game information

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 Stadium, Bloomington, Minnesota

Game information

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 Stadium, Bloomington, Minnesota

Game information

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 Stadium, Bloomington, Minnesota

Game information

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 Stadium, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Game information

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 Stadium, Bloomington, Minnesota

Game information

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 Stadium, Detroit, Michigan

Game information

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 Coliseum, Los Angeles, California

Game information

Week 13: vs. San Francisco 49ers[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 Stadium, Bloomington, Minnesota

Game information

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 Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia

Game information

Standings[edit]

NFL Central
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
Minnesota Vikings 12 2 0 .857 6–0 9–1 379 133 L1
Detroit Lions 9 4 1 .692 3–3 6–3–1 259 188 W2
Green Bay Packers 8 6 0 .571 3–3 5–5 269 221 W2
Chicago Bears 1 13 0 .071 0–6 0–10 210 339 L6

Note: Tie games were not officially counted in the standings until 1972.

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 (11 km/h), wind chill −1 °F (−18 °C), relative humidity 83%
  • Game attendance: 47,900
  • TV: CBS
  • Pro-Football-Reference.com
Game information

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 (14 km/h), wind chill −6 °F (−21 °C), relative humidity 75%
  • Game attendance: 47,900
  • TV: CBS
  • Pro-Football-Reference.com
Game information

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 (23 km/h), relative humidity 84%
  • Game attendance: 80,562
  • TV: CBS
  • Pro-Football-Reference.com
Game information

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]

1969 Minnesota Vikings final roster
Quarterbacks

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen

Linebackers

Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists
Vacant


Practice squad

Vacant


Rookies in italics
44 Active, 0 Inactive, 0 Practice squad

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
  2. ^ "Vikings stuff Lions with 27-0 victory". Milwaukee Journal. press dispatches. November 28, 1969. p. 21, part 2.