1980 Minnesota Vikings season

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1980 Minnesota Vikings season
Head coach Bud Grant
General manager Mike Lynn
Home field Metropolitan Stadium
Results
Record 9–7
Division place 1st NFC Central
Playoff finish Lost Divisional

The 1980 Minnesota Vikings season was the team's 20th year in the National Football League's 61st season. The Vikings finished with a record of nine wins and seven losses. The Vikings won the NFC Central division, winning the tiebreaker with Detroit, who also had a 9–7 record.

The most dramatic game of the season came in a Week 15 home game against Cleveland, with Minnesota at 8–6. The Vikings came back from a fourteen-point deficit to come within 23–22, with only 0:05 left on the clock from Cleveland's 46-yard line. (The Vikings had missed two field goals and two extra points during the game.) Quarterback Tommy Kramer threw a hail mary pass which was caught by Ahmad Rashād at the two yard line. Rashād backed into the end zone to give Minnesota a 28–23 win with no time left.[1][2]

Offseason[edit]

1980 Draft[edit]

Main article: 1980 NFL draft
1980 Minnesota Vikings Draft
Draft order Player name Position College Notes
Round Choice Overall
1 9 9 Doug Martin Defensive Tackle Washington
2 2 30 Willie Teal Defensive Back Louisiana State from 49ers[a]
11 39 Traded to the San Francisco 49ers[a]
3 9 65 Traded to the San Francisco 49ers[a]
12 68 Brent Boyd Center UCLA from Saints[b]
4 9 92 Dennis Johnson Linebacker USC
5 11 121 Doug Paschal Running Back North Carolina
12 122 Paul Jones Running Back California from Saints[b]
6 10 148 Ray Yakavonis Defensive End East Stroudsburg (PA)
7 9 175 Henry Johnson Linebacker Georgia Tech
8 11 205 Traded to the Seattle Seahawks[c]
9 11 233 Dennis Mosley Running Back Iowa originally Bills pick[d]
10 9 259 Kenny Brown Wide Receiver Nebraska
11 11 289 Sam Harrell Running Back East Carolina
12 10 316 Thomas Lane Defensive Back Florida A&M
^[a] Minnesota traded their 2nd round selection (39th overall) and 3rd round selection (65th overall) to San Francisco to move up 9 spots to the 30th overall selection and make this pick.
^[b] New Orleans traded their 3rd round selection (68th overall) and 5th round selection (122nd overall) to Minnesota for RB Steve Riley.
^[c] Minnesota traded their 8th round selection (205th overall) to Seattle for DL Steve Niehaus.
^[d] Minnesota originally chose 232nd overall but passed allowing Buffalo to move up and Minnesota to choose 233rd overall.

Regular season[edit]

Schedule[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Venue Attendance
1 September 7, 1980 Atlanta Falcons W 24–23 Met Stadium
44,773
2 September 14, 1980 Philadelphia Eagles L 42–7 Met Stadium
46,460
3 September 21, 1980 at Chicago Bears W 34–14 Soldier Field
59,983
4 September 28, 1980 at Detroit Lions L 27–7 Silverdome
80,291
5 October 5, 1980 Pittsburgh Steelers L 23–17 Met Stadium
47,583
6 October 12, 1980 Chicago Bears W 13–7 Met Stadium
46,751
7 October 19, 1980 at Cincinnati Bengals L 14–0 Riverfront Stadium
44,487
8 October 26, 1980 at Green Bay Packers L 16–3 Lambeau Field
56,191
9 November 2, 1980 at Washington Redskins W 39–14 RFK Stadium
52,060
10 November 9, 1980 Detroit Lions W 34–0 Met Stadium
46,264
11 November 16, 1980 Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 38–30 Met Stadium
46,032
12 November 23, 1980 Green Bay Packers L 25–13 Met Stadium
47,234
13 November 30, 1980 at New Orleans Saints W 23–20 Superdome
30,936
14 December 7, 1980 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 21–10 Tampa Stadium
65,649
15 December 14, 1980 Cleveland Browns W 28–23 Met Stadium
42,202
16 December 21, 1980 at Houston Oilers L 20–16 Astrodome
51,064

Game summaries[edit]

Week 15[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Browns 7 6 3 7 23
Vikings 0 0 9 19 28
  • Date: December 14
  • Location: Metropolitan Stadium • Bloomington, Minnesota
  • Game start: 12:00 p.m.
  • Game weather: 23°F • Wind 12
  • Referee: Ben Dreith
  • TV announcers (NBC): Charlie Jones & Len Dawson

Trailing 23–9 entering the fourth quarter the Vikings came back and won on a desperation Hail Mary pass from quarterback Tommy Kramer to wide receiver Ahmad Rashād to clinch the NFC Central Division title in what became known as the "Miracle at the Met".

Playoffs[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Venue Attendance
Divisional January 3, 1981 at Philadelphia Eagles L 31–16 Veterans Stadium
68,434

Standings[edit]

NFC Central
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
Minnesota Vikings(3) 9 7 0 .563 5–3 8–4 317 308 L1
Detroit Lions 9 7 0 .563 5–3 9–5 334 272 W2
Chicago Bears 7 9 0 .438 5–3 7–5 304 264 W1
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 5 10 1 .344 1–6–1 4–7–1 271 341 L3
Green Bay Packers 5 10 1 .344 3–4–1 4–7–1 231 371 L4

Statistics[edit]

Team leaders[edit]

Category Player(s) Value
Passing Yards Tommy Kramer 3,582
Passing Touchdowns Tommy Kramer 19
Rushing Yards Ted Brown 912
Rushing Touchdowns Ted Brown 8
Receiving Yards Ahmad Rashād 1,095
Receiving Touchdowns Joe Senser 7
Points Rick Danmeier 81
Kickoff Return Yards Eddie Payton 1,184
Punt Return Yards Eddie Payton 251
Interceptions John Turner 6

League rankings[edit]

Category Total yards Yards per game NFL rank
(out of 28)
Passing Offense 3,688 Yards 230.5 YPG 3rd
Rushing Offense 1,642 Yards 102.6 YPG 27th
Total Offense 5,330 Yards 333.1 YPG 11th
Passing Defense 3,400 Yards 212.5 YPG 24th
Rushing Defense 2,456 Yards 153.5 YPG 25th
Total Defense 5,856 Yards 366.0 YPG 26th

References[edit]