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1969 Minnesota Vikings season

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Title: 1969 Minnesota Vikings season  
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Subject: Minnesota Vikings, Oakland Raiders, Super Bowl IV, Bud Grant, Jim Finks, Super Bowl XL, Super Bowl XLII, NFC North, 1969 NFL playoffs, National Football League Coach of the Year Award
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

1969 Minnesota Vikings season

1969 Minnesota Vikings season
Head coach Bud Grant
General manager Jim Finks
Home field Metropolitan Stadium
Record 12-2
Division place 1st NFL Central
Playoff finish Won Divisional Playoffs (Rams) 23-20
Won NFL Championship (1) (Browns) 27-7
Lost Super Bowl IV (Chiefs) 23-7
Previous season      Next season
< 1968      1970 >

1969 was the ninth year of season play for the Minnesota Vikings and the 50th regular season of the National Football League. The Vikings again won the NFL Central Division title, as finished with a record of 12 wins and two losses, plus playoff wins over the Los Angeles Rams in the Western Conference Championship Game, as well as the Cleveland Browns in the last NFL Championship Game ever played in the pre-merger era, before losing the Super Bowl to the AFL champion Kansas City Chiefs in the final professional football game played between any two teams before the two leagues merged.

The Vikings are the last team to win the 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.


1969 Draft

Main article: 1969 NFL Draft
Draft order Player name Position College Notes
Round Choice Overall
1 17 17 Traded to the New Orleans Saints[a]
2 13 39 Ed White Guard California from Giants[b]
17 43 Volly Murphy Wide Receiver Texas-El Paso
3 17 69 Traded to the Philadelphia Eagles[c]
4 17 95 Mike McCaffrey Linebacker California
5 2 106 Jim Barnes Guard Arkansas from Falcons[d]
8 112 Mike O'Shea Wide Receiver Utah St. from Lions via Steelers[e]
17 121 Cornelius Davis Running Back Kansas State
6 18 148 Marion Bates Defensive Back Texas Southern originally Chargers pick[f]
7 17 173 Traded to the Washington Redskins[g]
8 17 199 Harris Wood Wide Receiver Washington
9 17 225 Tom Fink Guard Minnesota
10 19 253 Tom McCauley Defensive Back Wisconsin originally Cardinals pick[h]
11 17 277 Brian Dowling Quarterback Yale
12 17 303 Noel Jenke Linebacker Minnesota
13 17 329 Jim Moylan Defensive Tackle Texas Tech
14 17 355 Tommy Head Center Southwest Texas State
15 17 381 Eugene Mosley Tight End Jackson State
16 17 407 Traded to the Detroit Lions[i]
17 17 433 Wendell Housley Running Back Texas A&M
^[a] Minnesota traded their 1st round selection (17th overall) and their 1968 1st round selection (7th overall) to New Orleans for QB Gary Cuozzo.
^[b] The New York Giants traded their 2nd round selection (39th overall), 1967 1st round selection (2nd overall), 1967 2nd round selection (28th overall), and 1968 1st round selection (1st overall) to Minnesota for QB Fran Tarkenton.
^[c] Minnesota traded their 3rd round selection (69th overall) to Philadelphia for QB King Hill.
^[d] Atlanta traded their 5th round selection (106th overall) and 1968 7th round selection (167th overall) to Minnesota for QB Ron VanderKelen.
^[e] Pittsburgh traded Detroit's 5th 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 7th 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).

Regular season

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 of 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.


Week Date Opponent Result Venue Attendance
1 September 21, 1969 at New York Giants L 23-24 Yankee Stadium
2 September 28, 1969 Baltimore Colts W 52-14 Metropolitan Stadium
3 October 5, 1969 Green Bay Packers W 19-7 Memorial Stadium
4 October 12, 1969 at Chicago Bears W 31-0 Wrigley Field
5 October 19, 1969 at St. Louis Cardinals W 27-10 Busch Memorial Stadium
6 October 26, 1969 Detroit Lions W 24-10 Metropolitan Stadium
7 November 2, 1969 Chicago Bears W 31-14 Metropolitan Stadium
8 November 9, 1969 Cleveland Browns W 51-3 Metropolitan Stadium
9 November 16, 1969 at Green Bay Packers W 9-7 Milwaukee County Stadium
10 November 23, 1969 Pittsburgh Steelers W 52-14 Metropolitan Stadium
11 November 27, 1969 at Detroit Lions W 27-0 Tiger Stadium
12 December 7, 1969 at Los Angeles Rams W 20-13 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
13 December 14, 1969 San Francisco 49ers W 10-7 Metropolitan Stadium
14 December 21, 1969 at Atlanta Falcons L 3-10 Atlanta Stadium

Game summaries

Week 1

1 234Total
Vikings 3 1433 23
Giants 3 7014 24


Week 2

1 234Total
Colts 0 770 14
Vikings 14 17147 52
  • MIN: Joe Kapp 28/43, 449 YDS, 7 TD, INT



Western Conference
Central Division
Minnesota Vikings 12 2 0 .857 379 133
Detroit Lions 9 4 1 .692 259 188
Green Bay Packers 8 6 0 .571 269 221
Chicago Bears 1 13 0 .071 210 339



Running Backs

  • RB Bill Brown
  • RB Billy Harris
  • RB Clint Jones
  • RB Jim Lindsey
  • RB Dave Osborn
  • RB Oscar Reed

Wide Receivers

  • WR Bob Grim
  • WR/DB Tom Hall
  • WR John Henderson
  • WR Gene Washington

Tight Ends

  • TE John Beasley
  • TE Kent Kramer

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen


  • LB Jim Hargrove
  • LB Wally Hilgenberg
  • LB John Kirby
  • LB Mike McGill
  • LB Mike Reilly
  • LB Lonnie Warwick
  • LB Roy Winston

Defensive Backs

  • DB Bobby Bryant
  • DB Dale Hackbart
  • DB Karl Kassulke
  • DB Paul Krause
  • DB Earsell Mackbee
  • DB Ed Sharockman
  • DB Charlie West

Special Teams



Week Date Opponent Result Venue Attendance
Western Conference December 27, 1969 Los Angeles Rams W 23-20 Metropolitan Stadium
NFL Championship January 4, 1970 Cleveland Browns W 27-7 Metropolitan Stadium
Super Bowl January 11, 1970 N Kansas City Chiefs L 7-23 Tulane Stadium

NFL Championship Game

1 2 3 4 Total
Browns 0 0 0 7 7
Vikings 14 10 3 0 27

Minnesota Vikings 27, Cleveland Browns 7


  • MIN - Kapp 7 run (Cox kick)
  • MIN - Washington 75 pass from Kapp (Cox kick)
  • MIN - FG Cox 30
  • MIN - Osborn 20 run (Cox kick)
  • MIN - FG Cox 32
  • CLE - Collins 3 pass from Nelsen (Cockroft kick)

Super Bowl IV

Quarter Time Team Drive Scoring Information Score
Length Plays Time MIN KC
1 6:52 KC 42 8 4:06 FG: Jan Stenerud 48 yards 0 3
2 13:20 KC 55 8 4:48 FG: Jan Stenerud 32 yards 0 6
2 7:52 KC 27 4 2:13 FG: Jan Stenerud 25 yards 0 9
2 5:34 KC 19 6 1:47 TD: Mike Garrett 5-yard run (Jan Stenerud kick) 0 16
3 4:32 MIN 69 10 4:34 TD: Dave Osborn 4-yard run (Fred Cox kick) 7 16
3 1:22 KC 82 6 3:10 TD: Otis Taylor 46-yard pass from Len Dawson (Jan Stenerud kick) 7 23

Awards and records

  • Led NFL, Points Scored (379)



  • Vikings on Football Reference

Template:Navbox season by team

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