1978 Minnesota Vikings season
|1978 Minnesota Vikings season|
|Head coach||Bud Grant|
|General manager||Mike Lynn|
|Home field||Metropolitan Stadium|
|Division place||1st NFC Central|
|Playoff finish||Lost NFC Divisional Playoff (at Rams) 10–34|
The 1978 Minnesota Vikings season was the team's 18th in the National Football League. The Vikings finished with a record of eight wins, seven losses, and one tie, and finished in first place in the NFC Central division, despite being outscored by twelve points in the regular season.
|1978 Minnesota Vikings Draft|
|Draft order||Player name||Position||College||Notes|
|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.
|1978 Minnesota Vikings final roster|
|1||September 3, 1978||at New Orleans Saints||L 31–24||Superdome||
|2||September 11, 1978||Denver Broncos||W 12–9||Met Stadium||
|3||September 17, 1978||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||L 16–10||Met Stadium||
|4||September 25, 1978||at Chicago Bears||W 24–20||Soldier Field||
|5||October 1, 1978||at Tampa Bay Buccaneers||W 24–7||Tampa Stadium||
|6||October 8, 1978||at Seattle Seahawks||L 29–28||Kingdome||
|7||October 15, 1978||Los Angeles Rams||L 34–17||Met Stadium||
|8||October 22, 1978||Green Bay Packers||W 21–7||Met Stadium||
|9||October 26, 1978||at Dallas Cowboys||W 21–10||Texas Stadium||
|10||November 5, 1978||Detroit Lions||W 17–7||Met Stadium||
|11||November 12, 1978||Chicago Bears||W 17–14||Met Stadium||
|12||November 19, 1978||San Diego Chargers||L 13–7||Met Stadium||
|13||November 26, 1978||at Green Bay Packers||T 10–10 (OT)||Lambeau Field||
|14||December 3, 1978||Philadelphia Eagles||W 28–27||Met Stadium||
|15||December 9, 1978||at Detroit Lions||L 45–14||Silverdome||
|16||December 17, 1978||at Oakland Raiders||L 27–20||Oakland Coliseum||
|Divisional||December 31, 1978||at Los Angeles Rams||L 34–10||Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum||
"A 10–10 tie against the Packers on Thanksgiving weekend helped the Vikings clinch the division. The Vikings won the first meeting between the two teams, but the Packers would eventually have a better division record (the Vikings had lost to the 5–11 Buccaneers early in the year). A win might have given the Packers the division. Green Bay led 10–3 with under two minutes to play, but Fran Tarkenton led a 57-yard drive that ended with a five-yard touchdown pass to Ahmad Rashād to force overtime. Both teams missed field goals in overtime, and the Vikings emerged with a better head-to-head record.
The Vikings were 7–5–1 after that game and looked like a legitimate playoff team, but after a tight win against the Eagles, the team lost their final two games, including a 45–14 blowout at the hands of the Lions. The weak finish foreshadowed a quick exit from the postseason. The Rams beat the Vikings in the opening round of the playoffs 34–10, outgaining Bud Grant's team 409–244.Were those Vikings an up-and-coming team? Just the opposite: they were a perennial Super Bowl contender on their way down. They had talent, but players like Tarkenton (38 years old), Carl Eller (36), Jim Marshall (40), Mick Tingelhoff (38) and Paul Krause (36) were on their last legs. The Vikings had spent the early part of the 1970s beating up on the NFC Central. [...] [I]n 1975, the Vikings went 12–2, and no division opponents was [Sic] above .500. In 1977 and 1978, they started falling back to earth."
|Green Bay Packers||8||7||1||.531||5–2–1||6–5–1||249||269||L2|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||5||11||0||.313||2–6||3–11||241||259||L4|
|Category||Total yards||Yards per game||NFL rank
(out of 28)
|Passing Offense||3,243 Yards||202.7 YPG||2nd|
|Rushing Offense||1,536 Yards||96.0 YPG||28th|
|Total Offense||4,779 Yards||298.7 YPG||17th|
|Passing Defense||2,690 Yards||168.1 YPG||19th|
|Rushing Defense||2,116 Yards||132.3 YPG||10th|
|Total Defense||4,806 Yards||300.4 YPG||14th|
|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|
|Kickoff Return Yards||Kevin Miller||854|
|Punt Return Yards||Kevin Miller||239|