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1978 Minnesota Vikings season


1978 Minnesota Vikings season

1978 Minnesota Vikings season
Head coach Bud Grant
Home field Metropolitan Stadium
Record 8-7-1
Division place 1st NFC Central
Playoff finish Lost Divisional Round
Previous season      Next season
< 1977      1979 >

The 1978 Minnesota Vikings season was the team's 18th in the National Football League. The Vikings finished with a record of eight wins, seven losses, and one tie, and finished in first place in the NFC Central division.

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

A 10-10 tie against the Packers on Thanksgiving weekend helped the Vikings clinch the division. The Vikings won the first meeting between the two teams, but the Packers would eventually have a better division record (the Vikings had lost to the 5-11 Buccaneers early in the year). A win might have given the Packers the division. Green Bay led 10-3 with under two minutes to play, but Fran Tarkenton led a 57-yard drive that ended with a five-yard touchdown pass to Ahmad Rashad to force overtime. Both teams missed field goals in overtime, and the Vikings emerged with a better head-to-head record.

The Vikings were 7-5-1 after that game and looked like a legitimate playoff team, but after a tight win against the Eagles, the team lost their final two games, including a 45-14 blowout at the hands of the Rams. The weak finish foreshadowed a quick exit from the postseason. The Rams beat the Vikings in the opening round of the playoffs 34-10, outgaining Bud Grant's team 409-244.

Were those Vikings an up-and-coming team? Just the opposite: they were a perennial Super Bowl contender on their way down. They had talent, but players like Tarkenton (38 years old), Carl Eller (36), Jim Marshall (40), Mick Tingelhoff (38) and Paul Krausse (36) were on their last legs. The Vikings had spent the early part of the 1970s beating up on the NFC Central. [...] [I]n 1975, the Vikings went 12-2, and no division opponents was above .500. In 1977 and 1978, they started falling back to earth.

The Vikings won the division despite being outscored by twelve points in the regular season.


1978 Draft

Main article: 1978 NFL Draft
Draft order Player name Position College Notes
Round Choice Overall
1 21 21 Randy Holloway Defensive End Pittsburgh
2 20 48 John Turner Defensive Back Miami
3 19 75 Whip Walton Linebacker San Diego State
4 16 100 Jim Hough Center Utah State
5 22 132 Traded to the New York Giants[a]
6 21 159 Traded to the San Francisco 49ers[b]
7 20 186 Traded to the Philadelphia Eagles[c]
8 10 204 Mike Wood Kicker Southeast Missouri State from Seahawks[d]
19 213 Traded to the New York Jets[e]
9 18 240 Mike Deutsch Punter Colorado State
10 22 272 Hughie Shaw Running Back Texas A&I
11 21 299 Ron Harris Running Back Colorado State
12 20 326 Jeff Morrow Offensive Tackle Minnesota
^[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) 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.


Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 3, 1978 at New Orleans Saints L 31-24
2 September 11, 1978 Denver Broncos W 12-9
3 September 17, 1978 Tampa Bay Buccaneers L 16-10
4 September 25, 1978 at Chicago Bears W 24-20
5 October 1, 1978 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 24-7
6 October 8, 1978 at Seattle Seahawks L 29-28
7 October 15, 1978 Los Angeles Rams L 34-17
8 October 22, 1978 Green Bay Packers W 21-7
9 October 26, 1978 at Dallas Cowboys W 21-10
10 November 5, 1978 Detroit Lions W 17-7
11 November 12, 1978 Chicago Bears W 17-14
12 November 19, 1978 San Diego Chargers L 13-7
13 November 26, 1978 at Green Bay Packers T 10-10 (OT)
14 December 3, 1978 Philadelphia Eagles W 28-27
15 December 9, 1978 at Detroit Lions L 45-14
16 December 17, 1978 at Oakland Raiders L 27-20


Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
Divisional December 31, 1978 at Los Angeles Rams L 34-10


Template:1978 NFC Central standings


Template:Navbox season by team

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