1978 Minnesota Vikings season
Head Coach Bud Grant
General Manager Mike Lynn
Home Field Metropolitan Stadium
Record 8–7–1
Place 1st NFC Central
Playoff Finish Lost NFC Divisional Playoff (at Rams) 10–34
Previous season Next season
1977 1979

The 1978 season was the Minnesota Vikings' 18th in the National Football League. The Vikings finished with an 8–7–1 record, and finished in first place in the NFC Central division, despite having a regular season point differential of −12. The team appeared in the playoffs for the 10th time in 11 years; as in each of their previous playoff seasons, this one ended with a loss. Following the season, longtime quarterback Fran Tarkenton retired.


1978 DraftEdit

1978 Minnesota Vikings Draft
Draft order Player name Position College Notes
Round Choice Overall
12121Randy HollowayDefensive EndPittsburgh
22048John TurnerDefensive BackMiami
31975Whip WaltonLinebackerSan Diego State
416100Jim HoughCenterUtah State
522132Traded to the New York Giants[a]
621159Traded to the San Francisco 49ers[b]
720186Traded to the Philadelphia Eagles[c]
810204Mike WoodKickerSoutheast Missouri Statefrom Seahawks[d]
19213Traded to the New York Jets[e]
918240Mike DeutschPunterColorado State
1022272Hughie ShawRunning BackTexas A&I
1121299Ron HarrisRunning BackColorado State
1220326Jeff MorrowOffensive TackleMinnesota
^[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 roster

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen


Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists

Practice squad

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


Week Date Opponent Result Record Venue Attendance [1]
1August 5 Washington Redskins W 20–13 1–0 Metropolitan Stadium 46,212
2August 12 at Kansas City ChiefsL 13–17 1–1 Arrowhead Stadium 41,092
3August 18 at Miami Dolphins L 22–30 1–2 Miami Orange Bowl 46,316
4August 26 Buffalo Bills W 30–27 2–2 Metropolitan Stadium 45,062

Regular season scheduleEdit

Week Date Opponent Result Record Venue Attendance
1 September 3 at New Orleans Saints L 24–31 0–1 Superdome 54,187
2 September 11 Denver Broncos W 12–9 1–1 Metropolitan Stadium 46,508
3 September 17 Tampa Bay Buccaneers L 10–16 1–2 Metropolitan Stadium 46,152
4 September 25 at Chicago Bears W 24–20 2–2 Soldier Field 53,551
5 October 1 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 24–7 3–2 Tampa Stadium 65,972
6 October 8 at Seattle Seahawks L 28–29 3–3 Kingdome 62,031
7 October 15 Los Angeles Rams L 17–34 3–4 Metropolitan Stadium 46,551
8 October 22 Green Bay Packers W 21–7 4–4 Metropolitan Stadium 47,411
9 October 26 at Dallas Cowboys W 21–10 5–4 Texas Stadium 61,848
10 November 5 Detroit Lions W 17–7 6–4 Metropolitan Stadium 46,008
11 November 12 Chicago Bears W 17–14 7–4 Metropolitan Stadium 43,286
12 November 19 San Diego Chargers L 7–13 7–5 Metropolitan Stadium 38,859
13 November 26 at Green Bay Packers T 10–10 (OT) 7–5–1 Lambeau Field 51,737
14 December 3 Philadelphia Eagles W 28–27 8–5–1 Metropolitan Stadium 38,722
15 December 9 at Detroit Lions L 14–45 8–6–1 Silverdome 78,685
16 December 17 at Oakland Raiders L 20–27 8–7–1 Oakland Coliseum 44,643


Template:1978 NFC Central standings


Week Date Opponent (seed) Result Record Venue Attendance
Divisional December 31, 1978 at Los Angeles Rams L 10–34 0–1 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum 69,631

In 2004, Football Outsiders named the 1978 Vikings as one of the "worst playoff teams ever":[1]

Awards and recordsEdit

  • QB Fran Tarkenton set a new Vikings record throwing 32 interceptions, surpassing his own record of 25 (set in 1962, which surpassed his 1961 record of 17). The club record still stands.
  • RB Rickey Young caught 88 passes, setting a Vikings single-season record as he led the NFL. The record will be surpassed by both Cris Carter and Randy Moss in many subsequent seasons.

League rankingsEdit

Category Total yards Yards per game NFL rank
(out of 28)
Passing offense 3,243 202.7 2nd
Rushing offense 1,536 96.0 28th
Total offense 4,779 298.7 17th
Passing defense 2,690 168.1 19th
Rushing defense 2,116 132.3 10th
Total defense 4,806 300.4 14th

Statistical leadersEdit

Category Player(s) Value
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
Points Rick Danmeier 72
Kickoff return yards Kevin Miller 854
Punt return yards Kevin Miller 239
Interceptions Bobby Bryant 7


AFC East Central West East Central West NFC
Baltimore Cincinnati Denver Dallas Chicago Atlanta
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 Seattle Washington Tampa Bay
1978 NFL DraftNFL PlayoffsPro BowlSuper Bowl XIII

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