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1971 Minnesota Vikings season


1971 Minnesota Vikings season

1971 Minnesota Vikings season
Head coach Bud Grant
General manager Jim Finks
Home field Metropolitan Stadium
Record 11–3
Division place 1st NFC Central
Playoff finish Lost Divisional Playoffs (Cowboys) 20–12
Previous season      Next season
< 1970      1972 >

1971 was the 11th year of season play for the Minnesota Vikings and the 52nd regular season of the National Football League. The Vikings won the NFC Central title as they finished with a record of 11 wins and three losses, before losing to the eventual Super Bowl champion Dallas Cowboys at home, 20–12, in the NFC Divisional Playoff game.

In 2007, ranked the 1971 Vikings as the fourth-greatest defense in NFL history, [1] saying, "[c]onsidering that their motto was 'Meet at the quarterback,' it's no surprise that the [Purple People] Eaters held opposing QBs to a 40.4 rating, one of the lowest ever." ESPN also noted that the 1971 Vikings "shut out three opponents, and only one team scored more than 20 points against them. As a result, Alan Page became the first defensive player to ever be named NFL MVP. Carl Eller, Jim Marshall and safety Paul Krause joined Page on the All-Pro team."


1971 Draft

Main article: 1971 NFL Draft
Draft order Player name Position College Notes
Round Choice Overall
1 24 24 Leo Hayden Running Back Ohio State
2 24 50 Traded to the Philadelphia Eagles[a]
3 24 76 Eddie Hackett Wide Receiver Alcorn A&M
4 24 102 Vince Clements Running Back Connecticut
5 24 128 Traded to the Pittsburg Steelers[b]
6 24 154 Traded to the Philadelphia Eagles[a]
7 24 180 Gene Mack Linebacker Texas-El Paso
8 26 208 John Farley Defensive End Johnson C. Smith originally Colts pick[c]
9 24 232 Tim Sullivan Running Back Iowa
10 24 258 Chris Morris Guard Indiana
11 24 284 Mike Walker Linebacker Tulane
12 24 310 Reggie Holmes Defensive Back Wisconsin–Stout
13 24 336 Benny Fry Center Houston
14 24 362 Jim Gallagher Linebacker Yale
15 24 388 Jeff Wright Defensive Back Minnesota
16 23 413 Greg Edmonds Wide Receiver Penn State originally 49ers pick[d]
17 23 439 Ken Duncan Punter Tulsa originally 49ers pick[e]
^[a] Minnesota traded their 2nd round selection (50th overall), 6th round selection (154th overall), 1972 3rd round selection (76th overall), and OL Steve Smith to Philadelphia for QB Norm Snead.
^[b] Minnesota traded their 5th round selection (128th overall) to Pittsburg for QB Kent Nix.
^[c] Minnesota originally chose 206th overall but passed allowing Dallas and Baltimore to move up and Minnesota to choose 208th overall.
^[d] Minnesota originally chose 414th overall but moved up to the 413th overall selection when San Francisco passed.
^[e] Minnesota originally chose 440th overall but moved up to the 439th overall selection when Oakland passed on the 435th overall selection and allowed Los Angeles, Detroit, Miami, San Francisco, Minnesota, Dallas, and Baltimore to move up

Regular season


Week Date Opponent Results Venue Attendance
Final score Team record
1 September 20 at Detroit Lions W 16–13 1–0 Tiger Stadium
2 September 26 Chicago Bears L 20–17 1–1 Metropolitan Stadium
3 October 3 Buffalo Bills W 19–0 2–1 Metropolitan Stadium
4 October 10 at Philadelphia Eagles W 13–0 3–1 Veterans Stadium
5 October 17 at Green Bay Packers W 24–13 4–1 Lambeau Field
6 October 25 Baltimore Colts W 10–3 5–1 Metropolitan Stadium
7 October 31 at New York Giants W 17–10 6–1 Yankee Stadium
8 November 7 San Francisco 49ers L 13–9 6–2 Metropolitan Stadium
9 November 14 Green Bay Packers W 3–0 7–2 Metropolitan Stadium
10 November 21 at New Orleans Saints W 23–10 8–2 Tulane Stadium
11 November 28 Atlanta Falcons W 24–7 9–2 Metropolitan Stadium
12 December 5 at San Diego Chargers L 30–14 9–3 San Diego Stadium
13 December 11 Detroit Lions W 29–10 10–3 Metropolitan Stadium
14 December 19 at Chicago Bears W 27–10 11–3 Soldier Field

Game summaries

Week 6

1 234Total
Colts 0 003 3
• Vikings 7 030 10



Round Date Opponent Result Venue Attendance
Divisional December 25 Dallas Cowboys L 20–12 Metropolitan Stadium


NFC Central
Minnesota Vikings 11 3 0 .786 245 139 W-5
Detroit Lions 7 6 1 .538 341 286 L-3
Chicago Bears 6 8 0 .429 185 276 L-5
Green Bay Packers 4 8 2 .333 274 298 L-1

Awards, records, and honors


First Team

Pro Bowlers

League leaders

  • Bob Lee – Most punts (89), most punting yards (3515)
  • Charlie West – Longest interception return (89 yards)
  • Alan Page – Most safeties (2)


Template:Navbox season by team

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