2005 Minnesota Vikings season

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2005 Minnesota Vikings season
Head coach Mike Tice
General manager Rob Brzezinski
Owner Zygi Wilf
Home field Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome
Record 9–7
Division place 2nd NFC North
Playoff finish did not qualify

The 2005 season was the Minnesota Vikings' 45th in the National Football League, and Mike Tice's fourth and final season as head coach. The Vikings finished the season with a 9–7 record and missed the playoffs despite going 8–3 over the final 11 weeks. Quarterback Daunte Culpepper was injured after seven games, resulting in Brad Johnson taking over as starter. The loss of Culpepper and the departure of Randy Moss to the Oakland Raiders resulted in the Vikings dropping from 2nd in passing offense in 2004 to 20th in 2005.

During the team's bye week in week 5, a scandal arose surrounding an alleged sex party aboard a pair of boats on Lake Minnetonka.


In February 2005, Vikings owner Red McCombs agreed to sell the team to Arizona-based entrepreneur Reggie Fowler; however, Fowler was unable to prove his finances sound enough to complete the purchase and his application to buy the team was rejected by the league. He brought in various partners, including New York-based real estate developer Zygi Wilf, who took over as the lead owner, with Fowler as one of the minor partners. The deal to install Wilf as owner was concluded in May 2005.[1]

2005 Draft[edit]

2005 Minnesota Vikings Draft
Draft order Player name Position College Notes
Round Choice Overall
1 7 7 Troy Williamson Wide receiver South Carolina from Raiders[a]
18 18 Erasmus James Defensive end Wisconsin
2 17 49 Marcus Johnson Offensive tackle Mississippi
3 16 80 Dustin Fox Cornerback Ohio State
4 11 112 Ciatrick Fason Running back Florida from Redskins[b]
19 120 Traded to the Washington Redskins[b]
5 18 154 Traded to the Washington Redskins[b]
6 17 191 C.J. Mosley Defensive tackle Missouri
7 5 219 Adrian Ward Cornerback Texas-El Paso from Raiders[a]
16 230 Traded to the New York Jets[c]
^[a] Oakland traded their 1st round selection (7th overall), 7th round selection (219th overall), and LB Napoleon Harris to Minnesota in exchange for WR Randy Moss.
^[b] Minnesota traded their 4th round selection (120th overall) and 5th round selection (154th overall) to Washington to move up 8 spots to the 112th overall selection and make this pick.
^[c] Minnesota traded their 7th round selection (230th overall) to the Jets for LB Sam Cowart.

Regular season[edit]

The Vikings started off by losing their first two games to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (24–13) and the Cincinnati Bengals (37–8). They would win in Week 3 against the New Orleans Saints (33–16), but then they would go on to lose their next two road games to the Atlanta Falcons (30–10) and their division rival Chicago Bears (28–3). The Vikings would win at home against fellow division rival Green Bay Packers 23–20 by winning the same way the Packers did last season, which was a last second field goal. However, the Vikes had little to celebrate when in the next week- not only did they lose to the Carolina Panthers 38–13 on the road, but they also lost their star QB Daunte Culpepper for the season with a knee injury. Culpepper had thrown twice as many interceptions as touchdowns up at that point. At this point the Vikings were 2–5.

Taking Culpepper's place would be Brad Johnson (Viking from 1992–98 and quarterback of the Super Bowl XXXVII champion Buccaneers) and, upon taking over, led the Vikings to a six-game winning streak, including victories over the Detroit Lions at home (27–14), the New York Giants (24–21), the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field (20–17, once again on a last second field goal), the Cleveland Browns (24–12), the Detroit Lions at Ford Field (21–16), and a 27–13 home victory over the St. Louis Rams. Johnson ended up with the lowest interception to attempt ratio in Vikings history and the 3rd best passer rating in the NFC. The streak ended with an 18–3 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, the eventual Super Bowl champions. After having their chances of winning the NFC North extinguished when the Bears defeated the Packers 24–17 in Lambeau Field earlier in the day, the Vikings were officially eliminated from NFC playoff contention with a 30–23 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. The Vikings won their last game of the 2005 season against the Bears, with a 34–10 victory. However, the Vikings fired head coach Mike Tice immediately following the game. They ended up with a 9–7 record and one win away from the playoffs.


Week Date Opponent Result Record Venue Attendance
1 September 11 Tampa Bay Buccaneers L 13–24 0–1 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome 63,939
2 September 18 at Cincinnati Bengals L 8–37 0–2 Paul Brown Stadium 65,763
3 September 25 New Orleans Saints W 33–16 1–2 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome 63,952
4 October 2 at Atlanta Falcons L 10–30 1–3 Georgia Dome 69,552
5 Bye
6 October 16 at Chicago Bears L 3–28 1–4 Soldier Field 62,143
7 October 23 Green Bay Packers W 23–20 2–4 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome 64,278
8 October 30 at Carolina Panthers L 13–38 2–5 Bank of America Stadium 73,502
9 November 6 Detroit Lions W 27–14 3–5 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome 63,813
10 November 13 at New York Giants W 24–21 4–5 Giants Stadium 78,637
11 November 21 at Green Bay Packers W 20–17 5–5 Lambeau Field 70,610
12 November 27 Cleveland Browns W 24–12 6–5 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome 63,814
13 December 4 at Detroit Lions W 21–16 7–5 Ford Field 61,375
14 December 11 St. Louis Rams W 27–13 8–5 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome 64,005
15 December 18 Pittsburgh Steelers L 3–18 8–6 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome 64,136
16 December 25 at Baltimore Ravens L 23–30 8–7 M&T Bank Stadium 70,246
17 January 1 Chicago Bears W 34–10 9–7 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome 64,023


NFC North
(2) Chicago Bears 11 5 0 .688 5–1 10–2 260 202 L1
Minnesota Vikings 9 7 0 .563 5–1 8–4 306 344 W1
Detroit Lions 5 11 0 .313 1–5 3–9 254 345 L1
Green Bay Packers 4 12 0 .250 1–5 4–8 298 344 W1


Team leaders[edit]

Category Player(s) Value
Passing yards Brad Johnson 1,885
Passing touchdowns Brad Johnson 12
Rushing yards Mewelde Moore 662
Rushing touchdowns Ciatrick Fason 4
Receiving yards Travis Taylor 604
Receiving touchdowns Marcus Robinson 5
Points Paul Edinger 106
Kickoff return yards Koren Robinson 1221
Punt return yards Mewelde Moore 245
Tackles Antoine Winfield 98
Sacks Lance Johnstone 7.5
Interceptions Darren Sharper 9
Forced fumbles Brian Williams
Richard Owens

League rankings[edit]

Category Total yards Yards per game NFL rank
(out of 32)
Passing offense 3,146 196.6 20th
Rushing offense 1,467 91.7 27th
Total offense 4,613 288.3 25th
Passing defense 3,332 208.2 22nd
Rushing defense 1,841 115.1 19th
Total defense 5,173 323.3 21st



2005 Minnesota Vikings staff
Front Office

Head Coaches

Offensive Coaches

  • Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line – Steve Loney
  • Quarterbacks – Rich Olson
  • Running Backs – Dean Dalton
  • Wide Receivers – Wes Chandler
  • Tight Ends/Assistant Offensive Line – John Tice
  • Offensive Assistant/Assistant Quarterbacks – Randy Hanson

Defensive Coaches

  • Defensive Line – Brian Baker
  • Assistant Defensive Line – Jim Panagos
  • Linebackers – Pete Bercich
  • Coverage Coordinator – Chuck Knox, Jr.
  • Assistant Secondary – Kevin Ross

Special Teams Coaches

  • Special Teams Coordinator – Rusty Tillman
  • Assistant Special Teams – Jim Panagos

Strength and Conditioning

  • Strength and Conditioning – Kurtis Shultz
  • Assistant Strength and Conditioning – Mark Ellis


Final roster[edit]

2005 Minnesota Vikings final roster

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen


Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists

Practice squad

Rookies in italics
49 Active, 9 Inactive, 2 Practice squad


  1. ^ Williams, Brandt (May 25, 2005). "NFL owners approve Vikings sale to Wilf". Minnesota Public Radio. Retrieved February 7, 2018. 
  2. ^ 2009 Minnesota Vikings Media Guide. p. 251. Retrieved 2010-03-06.