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1975 Minnesota Vikings season
Head Coach Bud Grant
General Manager Mike Lynn
Home Field Metropolitan Stadium
Results
Record 12–2
Place 1st NFC Central
Playoff Finish Lost NFC Divisional Playoff (Cowboys) 14–17
Timeline
Previous season Next season
1974 1976

The 1975 season was the Minnesota Vikings' 15th in the National Football League.

The Vikings began with a 10-game win streak before losing by one point to the Washington Redskins, though there was generally very little expectation they would equal the 1972 Dolphins' perfect season.[1] The 1975 Vikings had an even easier schedule than the often-criticized one of the unbeaten Dolphin team, with their 14 opponents having a weighted average winning percentage of .332 and nine being 4–10 or worse.[2] Football journalists noted during their streak how the Vikings had been playing very weak schedules for several years and flattered thereby.[3] Their 10–0 start was not subsequently equalled until the 1984 Miami Dolphins began 11–0.[4] According to Pro-Football-Reference.com, only the Super Bowl-winning 1999 Rams have since had a weaker schedule than the 1975 Vikings, playing only one opponent with a winning record during the regular season.[5]

They sealed their third straight NFC Central title on Thanksgiving Day in this same week when the Detroit Lions lost to the Los Angeles Rams.

The Vikings finished with a record of 12 wins and two losses, before losing to the Dallas Cowboys, 17–14 in the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at home due to a play known as the "Hail Mary". Earlier in the season, the New York Jets made their first appearance in Minnesota in a much-anticipated match between Super Bowl quarterbacks Fran Tarkenton and Joe Namath, in what was the first regular season game sold out during the summer.[6]

OffseasonEdit

1975 DraftEdit

1975 Minnesota Vikings Draft
Draft order Player name Position College Notes
Round Selection
125 Mark MullaneyDefensive endColorado State
252 Robert BarberDefensive tackleUSCoriginally Steelers' pick[a]
363 Traded to the New Orleans Saints[c]from Lions[b]
77 Traded to the Cincinnati Bengals[d]
489 Champ HensonRunning backOhio Statefrom Bengals[d]
103 Bruce AdamsWide receiverKansas
5129 Robert MillerRunning backKansas
6155 Bubba BroussardLinebackerHouston
7181 Henry GreenRunning backSouthern
8207 Joe HollimonDefensive backArkansas State
9233 John PassanantiGuardWestern Illinois
10258 Neil ClaboPunterTennesseeoriginally Raiders' pick[e]
11285 Ike SpencerRunning backUtah
12311 Autry BeamonDefensive backEast Texas State
13336 Mike HurdWide receiverMichigan Stateoriginally Raiders' pick[f]
14363 Mike StricklandRunning backEastern Michigan
15388 Ollie BakkenLinebackerMinnesotaoriginally Raiders' pick[g]
16414 Tom GoedjenKickerIowa Stateoriginally Colts' pick[h]
17441 Adolph BellizeareRunning backPenn
^[a] The Vikings originally held the 51st overall selection but passed, allowing Pittsburgh to move up before making their pick 52nd overall.
^[b] The Vikings traded CB Charlie West to the Detroit Lions in exchange for Detroit's third-round selection (63rd overall).
^[c] The Vikings traded the third-round selection they acquired from Detroit (63rd overall) to the New Orleans Saints in exchange for OL Andy Maurer.
^[d] The details of this trade are unknown.
^[e] The Vikings originally held the 259th overall selection but moved up to 258th overall when the Oakland Raiders passed.
^[f] The Vikings originally held the 337th overall selection but moved up to 336th overall when the Washington Redskins passed on the 334th overall selection and allowed Miami, San Diego, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Miami, Baltimore, Atlanta, Cleveland, Chicago, and New Orleans to move up.
^[g] The Vikings originally held the 389th overall selection but moved up to 388th overall when the Oakland Raiders passed.
^[h] The Vikings originally held the 415th overall selection but moved up to 414th overall when the Baltimore Colts passed and allowed Minnesota and Pittsburgh to move up.

RosterEdit

1975 Minnesota Vikings roster
Quarterbacks

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen

Linebackers

Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists



Practice squad



Rookies in italics
53 Active, 5 Inactive, 5 Practice squad

PreseasonEdit

Week Date Opponent Result Record Venue Attendance[7]
1 August 9 New York Jets L 15–20 0–1 Sun Devil Stadium, (Tempe, AZ) 51,323
2 August 17 at New England Patriots L 10–36 0–2 Schaefer Stadium 40,218
3 August 23 at Dallas Cowboys W 16–13 1–2 Texas Stadium 45,395
4 September 1 Miami Dolphins W 20–7 2–2 Metropolitan Stadium 47,653
5 September 6 St. Louis Cardinals L 6–13 2–3 Metropolitan Stadium 46,975
6 September 13 at San Diego Chargers T 14–14 (OT) 2–3–1 San Diego Stadium 31,642

Regular seasonEdit

ScheduleEdit

Week Date Opponent Result Record Venue Attendance
1 September 21 San Francisco 49ers W 27–17 1–0 Metropolitan Stadium 46,479
2 September 28 at Cleveland Browns W 42–10 2–0 Cleveland Stadium 68,064
3 October 5 Chicago Bears W 28–3 3–0 Metropolitan Stadium 47,578
4 October 12 New York Jets W 29–21 4–0 Metropolitan Stadium 47,739
5 October 19 Detroit Lions W 25–19 5–0 Metropolitan Stadium 47,872
6 October 27 at Chicago Bears W 13–9 6–0 Soldier Field 51,259
7 November 2 at Green Bay Packers W 28–17 7–0 Lambeau Field 57,267
8 November 9 Atlanta Falcons W 38–0 8–0 Metropolitan Stadium 43,751
9 November 16 at New Orleans Saints W 20–7 9–0 Louisiana Superdome 52,765
10 November 23 San Diego Chargers W 28–13 10–0 Metropolitan Stadium 43,737
11 November 30 at Washington Redskins L 30–31 10–1 RFK Stadium 54,498
12 December 7 Green Bay Packers W 24–3 11–1 Metropolitan Stadium 46,147
13 December 14 at Detroit Lions L 10–17 11–2 Silverdome 73,130
14 December 20 at Buffalo Bills W 35–13 12–2 Rich Stadium 54,993

Game summariesEdit

Week 1: vs. San Francisco 49ersEdit

Week 1: San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings – Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
49ers 0 10 0 7

17

Vikings 3 10 0 14

27

at Metropolitan Stadium, Bloomington, Minnesota

Game information

First quarter

  • MIN – Fred Cox 28-yard field goal. Vikings 3–0.

Second quarter

  • MIN – Fred Cox 29-yard field goal. Vikings 6–0.
  • MIN – Terry Brown 26-yard fumble return (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 13–0.
  • SF – Steve Mike-Mayer 19-yard field goal. Vikings 13–3.
  • SF – Gene Washington 22-yard pass from Norm Snead (Steve Mike-Mayer kick). Vikings 13–10.

Third quarter

  • No scoring plays.

Fourth quarter

Top passers

Top rushers

Top receivers

  • SF – Gene Washington – 6 receptions, 86 yards, TD
  • MIN – Brent McClanahan – 6 receptions, 73 yards, TD

StandingsEdit

Template:1975 NFC Central standings

PostseasonEdit

ScheduleEdit

Week Date Opponent Result Venue Attendance
Divisional December 28 Dallas Cowboys (4) L 14–17 Metropolitan Stadium 46,425

Game summariesEdit

NFC Divisional Playoffs: vs. (#4) Dallas CowboysEdit

NFC Divisional Playoff: (#4) Dallas Cowboys at (#1) Minnesota Vikings – Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
Cowboys 0 0 7 10

17

Vikings 0 7 0 7

14

at Metropolitan Stadium, Bloomington, Minnesota

Game information

First quarter

  • No scoring plays.

Second quarter

Third quarter

Fourth quarter

  • DAL – Toni Fritsch 24-yard field goal. Cowboys 10–7.
  • MIN – Brent McClanahan 1-yard run (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 14–10.
  • DAL – Drew Pearson 50-yard pass from Roger Staubach (Toni Fritsch kick). Cowboys 17–14.

Top passers

Top rushers

Top receivers

Awards and recordsEdit

StatisticsEdit

Team leadersEdit

Category Player(s) Value
Passing yards Fran Tarkenton 2,994
Passing touchdowns Fran Tarkenton 25
Rushing yards Chuck Foreman 1,070
Rushing touchdowns Chuck Foreman 13
Receiving yards John Gilliam 777
Receiving touchdowns Chuck Foreman 9
Points Chuck Foreman 132
Kickoff return yards Brent McClanahan 360
Punt return yards Bobby Bryant 125
Interceptions Paul Krause 10 *

* Vikings single season record.

League rankingsEdit

Category Total yards Yards per game NFL rank
(out of 26)
Passing offense 2,861 204.4 3rd
Rushing offense 2,094 149.6 10th
Total offense 4,955 353.9 5th
Passing defense 1,621 115.8 1st
Rushing defense 1,532 109.4 1st
Total defense 3,153 262.2 1st

ReferencesEdit

  1. Lowitt, Bruce; "Streaking Vikings Meet Old Nemesis in Falcons"; in Star-Banner (Ocala, Florida); November 7, 1975; p. 7B
  2. 1975 Minnesota Vikings at ProFootball
  3. Donovan, Mark; "National Central"; in Sports Illustrated; September 22, 1975
  4. "Last Undefeated NFL Team in Each Season". http://www.footballgeography.com/?p=3190.
  5. 1999 Rams Against Opponents with Winning Record
  6. Kallestad, Brent; "Fran, Joe Square Off First Time"; in The Evening News; October 10, 1975; p. 7B
  7. [1]
  8. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 19, 2009. https://web.archive.org/web/20090619081037/http://www.maxwellfootballclub.org/content/awards/bell/past_bell.htm. Retrieved June 28, 2010.
AFC East Central West East Central West NFC
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Buffalo Cleveland Kansas City NY Giants Detroit Los Angeles
Miami Houston Oakland Philadelphia Green Bay New Orleans
New England Pittsburgh San Diego St. Louis Minnesota San Francisco
NY Jets Washington
1975 NFL DraftNFL PlayoffsPro BowlSuper Bowl X

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