American Football Database
1985 Minnesota Vikings season
Head Coach Bud Grant
General Manager Mike Lynn
Home Field Metrodome
Record 7–9
Place 3rd NFC Central
Playoff Finish did not qualify
Pro Bowlers SS Joey Browner[1]
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1984 1986

The 1985 season was the Minnesota Vikings' 25th in the National Football League. Under returning head coach Bud Grant, they finished with a 7–9 record and missed the playoffs for a third season in a row. At the end of the season, Grant retired for good after 18 years with the franchise.


1985 Draft

Pro Bowler
1985 Minnesota Vikings Draft
Draft order Player name Position College Notes
Round Selection
1 2 Traded to the Atlanta Falcons[b] from Oilers[a]
3 Traded to the Houston Oilers[a]
4 Chris Doleman Defensive end Pittsburgh from Falcons[b]
2 30 Issiac Holt Cornerback Alcorn State Provisional trade not exercised[a][c]
3 59 Kirk Lowdermilk Center Ohio State
60 Tim Meamber Linebacker Washington from Falcons[b]
66 Tim Long Offensive tackle Memphis State from Chargers[d]
4 85 George Rhymes Wide receiver Oklahoma
106 Kyle Morrell Defensive back BYU from Rams[e]
5 115 Mark MacDonald Guard Boston College
6 142 Steve Bono Quarterback UCLA
164 Tim Newton Defensive tackle Florida from Raiders[f]
7 171 Traded to the Green Bay Packers[g]
8 198 Nikita Blair Linebacker UTEP
9 227 Jamie Covington Running back Syracuse
10 254 Juan Johnson Wide receiver Langston
11 283 Tim Williams Defensive back North Carolina A&T
12 310 Byron Jones Defensive tackle Tulsa
^[a] In an attempt to draft QB Bernie Kosar, the Vikings traded their first-round selection (3rd overall) and a provisional second-round selection (30th overall)[c] to the Houston Oilers in exchange for Houston's first-round selection (2nd overall).
^[b] When Kosar did not declare for the draft and instead controversially waited for the supplemental draft, the traded the first-round selection they received from the Oilers to the Atlanta Falcons in exchange for Atlanta's first- and third-round selections (4th and 60th overall).
^[c] As part of the trade between the Vikings and Oilers[a], the Vikings agreed not to draft DE Ray Childress or trade the pick to a team that would draft Childress. Houston drafted Childress with the 3rd overall pick and this provisional selection was returned to Minnesota.
^[d] The Vikings traded CB John Turner to the San Diego Chargers in exchange for San Diego's third-round selection (66th overall).
^[e] The Vikings traded QB Steve Dils to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for the Rams' fourth-round selection (106th overall).
^[f] The Vikings traded LB Brad Van Pelt to the Los Angeles Raiders in exchange for the Raiders' sixth-round selection (164th overall) and 1986 second-round selection.
^[g] The Vikings traded their seventh-round selection (171st overall) to the Green Bay Packers in exchange for K Jan Stenerud.


Week Date Opponent Result Record Venue Attendance[2]
1 August 10 at Miami Dolphins W 16–13 1–0 Miami Orange Bowl 41,129
2 August 17 Pittsburgh Steelers W 41–34 2–0 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome 56,887
3 August 24 Seattle Seahawks L 10–27 2–1 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome 56,562
4 August 30 at Denver Broncos W 13–9 3–1 Mile High Stadium 69,373

Regular season


Week Date Opponent Result Record Venue Attendance
1 September 8 San Francisco 49ers W 28–21 1–0 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome 57,375
2 September 15 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 31–16 2–0 Tampa Stadium 46,188
3 September 19 Chicago Bears L 24–33 2–1 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome 61,242
4 September 29 at Buffalo Bills W 27–20 3–1 Rich Stadium 45,667
5 October 6 at Los Angeles Rams L 10–13 3–2 Anaheim Stadium 61,139
6 October 13 at Green Bay Packers L 17–20 3–3 Milwaukee County Stadium 54,674
7 October 20 San Diego Chargers W 21–17 4–3 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome 61,670
8 October 27 at Chicago Bears L 9–27 4–4 Soldier Field 63,815
9 November 3 Detroit Lions W 16–13 5–4 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome 58,012
10 November 10 Green Bay Packers L 17–27 5–5 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome 59,970
11 November 17 at Detroit Lions L 21–41 5–6 Silverdome 54,647
12 November 24 New Orleans Saints L 23–30 5–7 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome 54,117
13 December 1 at Philadelphia Eagles W 28–23 6–7 Veterans Stadium 54,688
14 December 8 Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 26–7 7–7 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome 51,593
15 December 15 at Atlanta Falcons L 13–14 7–8 Atlanta Fulton County Stadium 14,167
16 December 22 Philadelphia Eagles L 35–37 7–9 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome 49,722


NFC Central
view · talk · edit W L T PCT PF PA STK
Chicago Bears 15 1 0 .938 456 198 W3
Green Bay Packers 8 8 0 .500 337 355 W2
Minnesota Vikings 7 9 0 .438 346 359 L2
Detroit Lions 7 9 0 .438 307 366 L3
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2 14 0 .125 294 448 L4




1985 Minnesota Vikings staff
Front office
  • President – Max Winter
  • General manager – Mike Lynn

Head coaches

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches

Special teams coaches

  • Special teams – Tom Batta



1985 Minnesota Vikings roster

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen


Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists

Practice squad

Rookies in italics
Active, Inactive, Practice squad


Team leaders

Category Player(s) Value
Passing yards Tommy Kramer 3,522
Passing touchdowns Tommy Kramer 19
Rushing yards Darrin Nelson 893
Rushing touchdowns Ted Brown 7
Receiving yards Anthony Carter 821
Receiving touchdowns Anthony Carter 8
Points Jan Stenerud 86
Kickoff return yards Buster Rhymes 1,345
Punt return yards Darrin Nelson 133
Tackles Chris Doleman 113
Sacks Keith Millard 11.0
Interceptions John Turner 5

League rankings

Category Total yards Yards per game NFL rank
(out of 28)
Passing offense 3,635 227.2 7th
Rushing offense 1,516 94.8 27th
Total offense 5,151 321.9 16th
Passing defense 3,241 202.6 15th
Rushing defense 2,223 138.9 22nd
Total defense 5,464 341.5 16th

25 year team

The team recognized an all-time team in 1985 as part of the celebration of the 25th season VIKINGS 25TH SEASON ALL-TIME TEAM 1961–85 [2]

  • Offense
    • WRs: Ahmad Rashad, Sammy White
    • T: Ron Yary, Grady Alderman
    • G: Ed White, Milt Sunde
    • C: Mick Tingelhoff
    • TE: Stu Voigt
    • QB: Fran Tarkenton
    • RB: Bill Brown, Chuck Foreman
    • K: Fred Cox
  • Defense
    • DE: Jim Marshall, Carl Eller
    • DT: Alan Page, Gary Larsen
    • OLB: Matt Blair, Roy Winston
    • ILB: Jeff Siemon, Scott Studwell
    • S: Paul Krause, Karl Kassulke
    • CB: Bobby Bryant, Ed Sharockman
    • P: Greg Coleman
  • Head coach: Bud Grant


AFC East Central West East Central West NFC
Buffalo Cincinnati Denver Dallas Chicago Atlanta
Indianapolis Cleveland Kansas City NY Giants Detroit LA Rams
Miami Houston LA Raiders Philadelphia Green Bay New Orleans
New England Pittsburgh San Diego St. Louis Minnesota San Francisco
NY Jets Seattle Washington Tampa Bay
1985 NFL DraftNFL PlayoffsPro BowlSuper Bowl XX