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1969 Minnesota Vikings season
Head Coach Bud Grant
General Manager Jim Finks
Home Field Metropolitan Stadium
Memorial Stadium (October 5)
Results
Record 12–2
Place 1st NFL Central
Playoff Finish Won Western Conference Championship Game (Rams) 23–20
Won NFL Championship Game (Browns) 27–7
Lost Super Bowl IV
(vs. Chiefs) 7–23
Timeline
Previous season Next season
1968 1970
File:1986 Jeno's Pizza - 50 - Buck Buchanan and Curley Culp.jpg

The 1969 season was the Minnesota Vikings' ninth season in the National Football League. With a 12–2 record, the Vikings won the NFL Central division title, before beating the Los Angeles Rams in the Western Conference Championship Game, and 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.

OffseasonEdit

1969 DraftEdit

Pro Bowler
1969 Minnesota Vikings Draft
Draft order Player name Position College Notes
Round Choice Overall
11717Traded to the New Orleans Saints[a]
21339 Ed WhiteGuardCaliforniafrom Giants[b]
1743Volly MurphyWide receiverTexas-El Paso
31769Traded to the Philadelphia Eagles[c]
41795Mike McCaffreyLinebackerCalifornia
52106Jim BarnesGuardArkansasfrom Falcons[d]
8112Mike O'SheaWide receiverUtah Statefrom Lions via Steelers[e]
17121Cornelius DavisRunning backKansas State
618148Marion BatesDefensive backTexas Southernoriginally Chargers pick[f]
717173Traded to the Washington Redskins[g]
817199Harris WoodWide receiverWashington
917225Tom FinkGuardMinnesota
1019253Tom McCauleyDefensive backWisconsinoriginally Cardinals pick[h]
1117277Brian DowlingQuarterbackYale
1217303Noel JenkeLinebackerMinnesota
1317329Jim MoylanDefensive tackleTexas Tech
1417355Tommy HeadCenterSouthwest Texas State
1517381Eugene MosleyTight endJackson State
1617407Traded to the Detroit Lions[i]
1717433Wendell HousleyRunning backTexas A&M
^[a] Minnesota traded their first-round selection (17th overall) and their 1968 first-round selection (7th overall) to New Orleans for QB Gary Cuozzo.
^[b] The New York Giants traded their second-round selection (39th overall), 1967 first-round selection (2nd overall), 1967 second-round selection (28th overall), and 1968 first-round selection (1st overall) to Minnesota for QB Fran Tarkenton.
^[c] Minnesota traded their third-round selection (69th overall) to Philadelphia for QB King Hill.
^[d] Atlanta traded their fifth-round selection (106th overall) and 1968 seventh-round selection (167th overall) to Minnesota for QB Ron Vander Kelen.
^[e] Pittsburgh traded Detroit's fifth-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 seventh-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).

PreseasonEdit

Game Date Opponent Result Record Venue Attendance [1]
1 August 2 at Miami Dolphins (AFL) W 45–10 1–0 Tampa Stadium (Tampa, FL) 37,461
2 August 9 Denver Broncos (AFL) W 26–6 2–0 Metropolitan Stadium 45,918
3 August 23 St. Louis Cardinals W 41–13 3–0 Memorial Stadium (Memphis, TN) 34,417
4 August 30 New York Jets (AFL) L 21–24 3–1 Groves Stadium (Winston-Salem, NC) 31,500
5 September 6 New York Giants W 28–27 4–1 Metropolitan Stadium 47,900
6 September 13 at Cleveland Browns W 23–16 5–1 Rubber Bowl (Akron, OH) 28,551

Regular seasonEdit

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.

ScheduleEdit

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 summariesEdit

Week 1: at New York GiantsEdit

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
First quarter
  • NYG – Pete Gogolak 25-yard field goal. Giants 3–0.
  • MIN – Fred Cox 11-yard field goal. Tied 3–3.
Second quarter
Third quarter
  • MIN – Fred Cox 17-yard field goal. Vikings 20–10.
Fourth quarter
  • MIN – Fred Cox 10-yard field goal. Vikings 23–10.
  • NYG – Don Herrmann 16-yard pass from Fran Tarkenton (Pete Gogolak kick). Vikings 23–17.
  • NYG – Don Herrmann 10-yard pass from Fran Tarkenton (Pete Gogolak kick). Giants 24–23.
Top passers
Top rushers
Top receivers

Week 2: vs. Baltimore ColtsEdit

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
First quarter
Second quarter
  • BAL – Tom Matte 42-yard pass from Earl Morrall (Lou Michaels kick). Vikings 14–7.
  • MIN – Bob Grim 21-yard pass from Joe Kapp (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 21–7.
  • MIN – Fred Cox 40-yard field goal. Vikings 24–7.
  • MIN – Kent Kramer 13-yard pass from Joe Kapp (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 31–7.
Third quarter
  • MIN – Gene Washington 42-yard pass from Joe Kapp (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 38–7.
  • BAL – Tom Matte 4-yard run (Lou Michaels kick). Vikings 38–14.
  • MIN – John Beasley 1-yard pass from Joe Kapp (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 45–14.
Fourth quarter
  • MIN – Jim Lindsey 15-yard pass from Joe Kapp (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 52–14.
Top passers
Top rushers
Top receivers

Week 3: vs. Green Bay PackersEdit

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
First quarter
  • MIN – Fred Cox 33-yard field goal. Vikings 3–0.
  • MIN – Fred Cox 27-yard field goal. Vikings 6–0.
Second quarter
  • MIN – Dave Osborn 3-yard run (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 13–0.
Third quarter
  • MIN – Fred Cox 41-yard field goal. Vikings 16–0.
Fourth quarter
Top passers
Top rushers
Top receivers

Week 4: at Chicago BearsEdit

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
First quarter
Second quarter
  • None.
Third quarter
Fourth quarter
  • MIN – Fred Cox 24-yard field goal. Vikings 17–0.
  • MIN – Clint Jones 18-yard run (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 24–0.
  • MIN – Dave Osborn 58-yard run (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 31–0.
Top passers
Top rushers
Top receivers

Week 5: at St. Louis CardinalsEdit

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
First quarter
Second quarter
  • STL – Bob Rowe 18-yard interception return (Jim Bakken kick). Cardinals 10–7.
  • MIN – John Henderson 7-yard pass from Joe Kapp (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 14–10.
Third quarter
  • MIN – John Henderson 39-yard pass from Joe Kapp (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 21–10.
Fourth quarter
  • MIN – Fred Cox 21-yard field goal. Vikings 24–10.
  • MIN – Fred Cox 15-yard field goal. Vikings 27–10.
Top passers
Top rushers
Top receivers

Week 6: vs. Detroit LionsEdit

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
First quarter
  • MIN – Fred Cox 33-yard field goal. Vikings 3–0.
Second quarter
Third quarter
  • None.
Fourth quarter
  • DET – Nick Eddy 1-yard run (Errol Mann kick). Vikings 24–10.
Top passers
Top rushers
Top receivers

Week 7: vs. Chicago BearsEdit

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
First quarter
Second quarter
  • CHI – Brian Piccolo 7-yard run (Mac Percival kick). Tied 7–7.
  • MIN – Fred Cox 48-yard field goal. Vikings 10–7.
  • MIN – John Beasley 13-yard pass from Joe Kapp (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 17–7.
Third quarter
  • MIN – Dave Osborn 1-yard run (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 24–7.
Fourth quarter
  • MIN – Clint Jones 80-yard run (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 31–7.
  • CHI – Gale Sayers 24-yard run (Mac Percival kick). Vikings 31–14.
Top passers
Top rushers
Top receivers

Week 8: vs. Cleveland BrownsEdit

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
First quarter
Second quarter
  • MIN – Gene Washington 10-yard pass from Joe Kapp (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 17–0.
  • CLE – Don Cockroft 28-yard field goal. Vikings 17–3.
  • MIN – Fred Cox 28-yard field goal. Vikings 20–3.
  • MIN – Gene Washington 1-yard pass from Joe Kapp (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 27–3.
Third quarter
  • MIN – Dave Osborn 5-yard run (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 34–3.
Fourth quarter
  • MIN – Clint Jones 1-yard run (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 41–3.
  • MIN – Fred Cox 32-yard field goal. Vikings 44–3.
  • MIN – Jim Lindsey 2-yard run (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 51–3.
Top passers
Top rushers
Top receivers

Week 9: at Green Bay PackersEdit

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
First quarter
  • MIN – Fred Cox 10-yard field goal. Vikings 3–0.
Second quarter
Third quarter
  • MIN – Fred Cox 12-yard field goal. Packers 7–6.
Fourth quarter
  • MIN – Fred Cox 20-yard field goal. Vikings 9–7.
Top passers
Top rushers
Top receivers

Week 10: vs. Pittsburgh SteelersEdit

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
First quarter
Second quarter
  • MIN – Fred Cox 22-yard field goal. Vikings 10–0.
  • PIT – Don McCall 101-yard kickoff return (Gene Mingo kick). Vikings 10–7.
  • MIN – Bill Brown 1-yard run (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 17–7.
Third quarter
Fourth quarter
  • MIN – Oscar Reed 6-yard pass from Gary Cuozzo (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 38–14.
  • MIN – Oscar Reed 1-yard run (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 45–14.
  • MIN – John Henderson 7-yard pass from Bob Lee (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 52–14.
Top passers
Top rushers
Top receivers

Week 11: at Detroit LionsEdit

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
First quarter
Second quarter
  • MIN – Fred Cox 41-yard field goal. Vikings 10–0.
Third quarter
Fourth quarter
  • MIN – Alan Page 15-yard touchdown on a lateral (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 24–0.
  • MIN – Fred Cox 38-yard field goal. Vikings 27–0.
Top passers
Top rushers
Top receivers

Week 12: at Los Angeles RamsEdit

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
First quarter
Second quarter
  • MIN – Bill Brown 1-yard run (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 14–0.
  • LA – Bruce Gossett 37-yard field goal. Vikings 14–3.
  • MIN – Fred Cox 39-yard field goal. Vikings 17–3.
Third quarter
  • LA – Bruce Gossett 27-yard field goal. Vikings 17–6.
Fourth quarter
  • MIN – Fred Cox 29-yard field goal. Vikings 20–6.
  • LA – Larry Smith 4-yard pass from Roman Gabriel (Bruce Gossett kick). Vikings 20–13.
Top passers
Top rushers
Top receivers

Week 13: vs. San Francisco 49ersEdit

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
First quarter
  • None.
Second quarter
  • MIN – Fred Cox 37-yard field goal. Vikings 3–0.
Third quarter
  • None.
Fourth quarter
Top passers
Top rushers
Top receivers

Week 14: at Atlanta FalconsEdit

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
First quarter
  • MIN – Fred Cox 19-yard field goal. Vikings 3–0.
Second quarter
Third quarter
  • ATL – Bob Etter 28-yard field goal. Falcons 10–3.
Fourth quarter
  • None.
Top passers
Top rushers
Top receivers

StandingsEdit

Template:1969 NFL Central standings

PostseasonEdit

PlayoffsEdit

Week Date Opponent Result Venue Attendance
Conference December 27 Los Angeles Rams W 23–20 Metropolitan Stadium 47,900
NFL Championship January 4 Cleveland Browns W 27–7 Metropolitan Stadium 47,900
Super Bowl IV January 11 Kansas City Chiefs L 7–23 Tulane Stadium 80,562

Western Conference Championship GameEdit

NFL Western Conference Championship Game: Los Angeles Rams at Minnesota Vikings – Game summary
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: 11 °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

First quarter

Second quarter

  • LA – Bruce Gossett 20-yard field goal. Rams 10–7
  • LA – Billy Truax 2-yard pass from Roman Gabriel (Bruce Gossett kick). Rams 17–7

Third quarter

  • MIN – Dave Osborn 1-yard run (Fred Cox kick). Rams 17–14

Fourth quarter

  • LA – Bruce Gossett 27-yard field goal. Rams 20–14
  • MIN – Joe Kapp 2-yard run (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 21–20
  • MIN – Safety, Roman Gabriel tackled in end zone by Carl Eller. Vikings 23–20

Top passers

Top rushers

Top receivers

Three weeks prior to this game, the teams met in Los Angeles in a battle between the undefeated (11–0) Rams and the 10–1 Vikings. The Vikings won that game 20–13. The rematch was played in the cold and snow of Minnesota. Despite committing more turnovers (3 to 1) and only gaining 20 more total yards (275–255), the Vikings managed to edge out the Rams for their first postseason win in franchise history.

In the game in L.A., the Viking defense shut down the Rams' wide receivers and outside running game, so in this game, the Rams attacked the middle of the Viking defense and neutralized the Viking pass rush with short quick passes to the tight ends. The Rams defense held Minnesota's high powered offense in check, with the "Fearsome Foursome" defensive line harassing Viking QB Joe Kapp. Early on, the momentum seemed to be in LA's favor. Rams safety Richie Petitbon recovered a fumble from fullback Bill Brown that gave his team a first down on the Minnesota 45-yard line. On the next play, it appeared that the Vikings took a quick lead as Carl Eller intercepted a Roman Gabriel pass and returned for a touchdown but the score was nullified on an offside penalty on Alan Page. Taking advantage of their second chance, running back Larry Smith gained 19 yards on three carries, and Gabriel eventually finished the drive with a 3-yard touchdown pass to tight end Bob Klein. The Vikings quickly stormed back, with Kapp completing four consecutive passes on a 10-play, 75-yard drive. Three of the completions were to receiver Gene Washington for 49 total yards, including a 27-yard reception that gave the Vikings the ball on the Rams' 4-yard line. Dave Osborn ran for a touchdown on the next play, tying the score at 7 with a little over 3 minutes left in the first quarter.

LA moved the ball effectively on their next drive, but it ended on a missed 38-yard field goal attempt by Bruce Gossett. The next time they got the ball, they did much better, taking up the majority of the second quarter, including a 13-yard run by Gabriel to convert a third down. Gossett finished the drive with a 20-yard field goal to put the Rams up 10–7 with 4:30 left before halftime. Following a punt, Gabriel led his team back for more points. This time he completed passes to tight end Billy Truax for gains of 18 and 16 yards before finishing the 13-play, 65-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown pass to Truax. The Rams went into halftime leading 17–7, having scored on three of their four first half possessions.

In the second half, Viking coach Bud Grant adjusted his defense to stop the Ram tight ends, and his "Purple People Eaters" continued to punish the Ram running game. They also got increasing pressure on Gabriel. On offense, Grant neutralized the Ram pass rush by having QB Kapp run the ball, either on designed plays like quarterback draws or roll outs, or by instructing him to take off and run at the first sign of pressure. Kapp began frustrating the Rams with runs; this threat caused their pass rush to be less aggressive.

After forcing the Rams to punt for the first time in the game on the opening possession of the second half, Kapp completed a 41-yard pass to Washington on the LA 12-yard line. After a Rams penalty and a 5-yard run by Kapp, Osborn finished the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run that cut Minnesota's deficit to 17–14. However, Minnesota's comeback attempt suffered major setbacks over the next few drives against a punishing effort from the Rams defense. The next time the Vikings got the ball, they drove deep into Rams territory, only to have Kapp throw an interception to safety Ed Meador on the LA 4-yard line. Meador fumbled the ball during the return, but linebacker Jim Purnell recovered it. After an LA punt, Kapp was intercepted again, this time by Petitbon, who returned the ball 4 yards to the Vikings' 36. Once again, the Viking defense bent but didn't break, stopping the Rams inside the 10 yard line and making them settle for a 27-yard Gossett field goal. So instead of being down 24–14, it was only 20–14 going into the fourth quarter.

Kapp subsequently marched the Vikings 65 yards downfield, completing three passes for 40 yards and going the final 2 yards himself as Minnesota took its first lead of the game, 21–20, with 8:24 on the clock. Then the Viking defense took over. After their special teams unit tackled returner Ron Smith on the 12-yard line during the ensuing kickoff, Carl Eller sacked Gabriel in the end zone for a safety, giving the Vikings a 23–20 lead and the ball. But the Rams defense held, and 1969 NFL MVP Gabriel began to march the Rams down field in the last two minutes. As they crossed midfield, it appeared the Rams might get the tying field goal or winning touchdown, but a Gabriel pass was tipped and intercepted at the Viking 40-yard line by Alan Page with 30 seconds left, allowing his team to run out the clock and win.[3]

Gabriel completed 22/30 passes for 150 yards and two touchdowns, with 1 interception, while also rushing for 26 yards. Larry Smith was the top rusher of the game with 11 carries for 60 yards, and he caught 6 passes for 36. Kapp completed 12/19 passes for 196 yards with 2 interceptions, while also rushing for 41 yards and a touchdown. Washington caught 4 passes for 90 yards.

NFL Championship GameEdit

NFL Championship Game: Cleveland Browns at Minnesota Vikings – Game summary
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

First quarter

Second quarter

  • MIN – Fred Cox 30-yard field goal. Vikings 17–0.
  • MIN – Dave Osborn 20-yard run (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 24–0.

Third quarter

  • MIN – Fred Cox 32-yard field goal. Vikings 27–0.

Fourth quarter

Top passers

Top rushers

Top receivers

Cleveland had lost the previous season's NFL title game 34–0, and this time fared little better. The Vikings dominated the game, racking up 381 yards without losing a single turnover, while Cleveland gained just 268 yards and turned the ball over three times.

The Vikings took a lead just four minutes into the first quarter, driving 70 yards for a touchdown in 8 plays. The key play of the drive was a pass from Joe Kapp to receiver Gene Washington that was nearly 5 yards short of the mark. Despite the short throw, Washington was able to come back and haul it in for a 33-yard gain to the Browns' 24-yard line. Two plays later, Dave Osborn's 12-yard run moved the ball to the 7. Then two plays after that, Bill Brown accidentally slipped and bumped into Kapp while moving up to take a handoff, but Kapp simply kept the ball himself and ran it 7 yards for a touchdown.

The situation never got any better for Cleveland. The next time Minnesota got the ball, defensive back Erich Barnes slipped while in one-on-one coverage with Washington, enabling him to catch a pass from Kapp and take off for a 75-yard touchdown completion. Near the end of the first quarter, Browns running back Leroy Kelly lost a fumble that was recovered by linebacker Wally Hilgenberg on the Cleveland 43. Kapp then completed a 12-yard pass to Washington before Fred Cox finished the drive with a 30-yard field goal, putting the Vikings up 17–0. Later in the second period, Hilgenberg snuffed out a Cleveland scoring threat by intercepting a pass from Bill Nelsen on the Vikings' 33-yard line. Minnesota subsequently drove 67 yards in 8 plays. Kapp started the drive with a pair of completions to John Henderson for 17 total yards, while Osborn broke off a 16-yard run and ended up finishing the drive with a 20-yard touchdown burst, giving the Vikings a 24–0 lead with 4:46 left in the first half. Cleveland responded with a drive to the Vikings' 17, but turned the ball over on downs when Nelsen overthrew receiver Gary Collins in the end zone on 4th-and-3.

The third quarter was mostly uneventful, other than Cox's 32-yard field goal that gave Minnesota a 27–0 lead after an 11-play, 80-yard drive. The most noteworthy play was a 13-yard scramble by Kapp in which he plowed into 240-pound Browns linebacker Jim Houston so hard that Houston was knocked out of the game. In the fourth quarter, Cleveland finally got on the board when a diving 18-yard reception by Paul Warfield set up Nelsen's 3-yard touchdown pass to Collins. There were still 13 minutes on the clock at this point, but there would be no more scoring. The Vikings had a drive to the Cleveland 2-yard line, but decided to let the clock run out instead of going for another score.[4]

Kapp completed just seven of 13 pass attempts, but threw for 169 yards and a touchdown, while also rushing for 57 yards and another score. Osborn rushed 18 times for 108 yards and a touchdown. Washington had 120 yards and a touchdown on just three receptions. Kelly was the Browns' top rusher with 80 yards, while also catching two passes for 17. Nelsen completed just 17 of 33 passes for 181 yards, with one touchdown and two interceptions.

Super Bowl IVEdit

Super Bowl IV: Minnesota Vikings vs. Kansas City Chiefs – Game summary
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 85%
  • Game attendance: 80,562
  • TV: CBS
  • Pro-Football-Reference.com
Game information

First quarter

Second quarter

  • KC – Jan Stenerud 32-yard field goal. Chiefs 6–0.
  • KC – Jan Stenerud 25-yard field goal. Chiefs 9–0.
  • KC – Mike Garrett 5-yard run (Jan Stenerud kick). Chiefs 16–0.

Third quarter

Fourth quarter

  • No scoring plays.

Top passers

Top rushers

Top receivers

Awards and recordsEdit

  • Led NFL, points scored (379)
  • Led NFL, fewest points allowed (133)
  • Joe Kapp – 7 passing touchdowns in a single game (NFL record)Week 2

RosterEdit

1969 Minnesota Vikings 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

StatisticsEdit

Team leadersEdit

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 rankingsEdit

Category Total yards Yards per game NFL rank
(out of 16)
Passing offense 2,246 160.4 12th
Rushing offense 1,850 132.1 4th
Total offense 4,096 292.6 10th
Passing defense 1,631 116.5 1st
Rushing defense 1,089 77.8 2nd
Total defense 2,720 194.3 1st

ReferencesEdit

Template:1969 Minnesota Vikings

Eastern Conference Western Conference
Capitol Century Coastal Central
Dallas Cleveland Atlanta Chicago
New Orleans NY Giants Baltimore Detroit
Philadelphia Pittsburgh Los Angeles Green Bay
Washington St. Louis San Francisco Minnesota
1969 NFL DraftNFL PlayoffsNFL ChampionshipPro BowlSuper Bowl IV
Related: 1969 AFL Season

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