1977 Minnesota Vikings season

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1977 Minnesota Vikings season
Head coachBud Grant
General managerMike Lynn
Home fieldMetropolitan Stadium
Results
Record9–5
Division place1st NFC Central
Playoff finishWon NFC Divisional Playoff (at Rams) 14–7
Lost NFC Championship Game (at Cowboys) 6–23
The Vikings' famed Purple People Eaters defensive line stopping a Rams rushing play in the 1977 NFC Divisional Playoff game.

The 1977 season was the Minnesota Vikings' 17th in the National Football League. After starting the season 5–3, the team's starting quarterback Fran Tarkenton broke his leg in week 9 and missed the rest of the season. Despite losing Tarkenton, the team managed to finish the season with a 9–5 record and went to the playoffs as winners of the NFC Central division title. They beat the Los Angeles Rams 14–7 in the Divisional Round in a game played in Los Angeles and termed the Mud Bowl, although the Vikings had lost 35–3 to the same opponent in week 6.[1][2] In the NFC Championship game in a game played in Dallas, the Vikings lost to the Dallas Cowboys 23–6.


Offseason[edit]

1977 Draft[edit]

Pro Bowler
1977 Minnesota Vikings Draft
Draft order Player name Position College
Round Choice Overall
1 27 27 Tommy Kramer Quarterback Rice
2 27 55 Dennis Swilley Guard Texas A&M
3 27 83 Tom Hannon Linebacker San Diego State
4 27 111 Traded to the Seattle Seahawks[a]
5 26 138 Ken Moore Tight end Northern Illinois
6 27 166 Traded to the New England Patriots[b]
7 27 194 Traded to the Cincinnati Bengals[c]
8 27 222 Clint Strozier Defensive back USC
9 27 250 Scott Studwell Linebacker Illinois
10 27 278 Dan Beaver Kicker Illinois
11 27 306 Keith Hartwig Wide receiver Arizona
12 27 335 Jim Kelleher Running back Colorado
^[a] Minnesota traded their 4th-round selection (111th overall) to Seattle for RB Ahmad Rashād.
^[b] Minnesota traded their 6th-round selection (166th overall) and 1976 8th-round selection (235th overall) to New England for OL Doug Dumler.
^[c] Minnesota traded their 7th-round selection (194th overall) to Cincinnati for TE Orlando Nelson.

Roster[edit]

1977 Minnesota Vikings final roster
Quarterbacks

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen

Linebackers

Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists



Practice squad



Rookies in italics
54 Active, 4 Inactive, 0 Practice squad

Preseason[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Record Venue Attendance[3]
1 August 6 at Los Angeles Rams W 22–17 1–0 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum 55,168
2 August 13 Cleveland Browns W 34–33 2–0 Metropolitan Stadium 45,370
3 August 19 at Baltimore Colts L 7–29 2–1 Memorial Stadium 45,529
4 August 26 Miami Dolphins W 33–7 3–1 Metropolitan Stadium 44,396
5 September 3 at Cincinnati Bengals L 7–26 3–2 Riverfront Stadium 52,942
6 September 10 at Buffalo Bills W 30–6 4–2 Rich Stadium 35,017

Regular season[edit]

Schedule[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Record Venue Attendance
1 September 18 Dallas Cowboys L 10–16 (OT) 0–1 Metropolitan Stadium 47,678
2 September 24 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 9–3 1–1 Tampa Stadium 66,272
3 October 2 Green Bay Packers W 19–7 2–1 Metropolitan Stadium 47,143
4 October 9 Detroit Lions W 14–7 3–1 Metropolitan Stadium 45,860
5 October 16 Chicago Bears W 22–16 (OT) 4–1 Metropolitan Stadium 47,708
6 October 24 at Los Angeles Rams L 3–35 4–2 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum 62,414
7 October 30 at Atlanta Falcons W 14–7 5–2 Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium 59,257
8 November 6 St. Louis Cardinals L 7–27 5–3 Metropolitan Stadium 47,066
9 November 13 Cincinnati Bengals W 42–10 6–3 Metropolitan Stadium 45,371
10 November 20 at Chicago Bears L 7-10 6–4 Soldier Field 49,563
11 November 27 at Green Bay Packers W 13–6 7–4 Lambeau Field 56,267
12 December 4 San Francisco 49ers W 28–27 8–4 Metropolitan Stadium 40,745
13 December 11 at Oakland Raiders L 13–35 8–5 Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum 52,771
14 December 17 at Detroit Lions W 30–21 9–5 Silverdome 78,572

Game summaries[edit]

Week 10: at Chicago Bears[edit]

1 2 34Total
Vikings 0 0 707
Bears 0 10 0010

at Soldier Field, Chicago

Game information

Week 11: at Green Bay Packers[edit]

1 2 34Total
Vikings 0 13 0013
Packers 6 0 006

at Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisconsin

Game information
First quarter
  • GB – David Whitehurst 3-yard run (kick failed). Packers 6–0.

Second quarter

  • MIN – Sammy White 40-yard pass from Bob Lee (Fred Cox kick). Vikings 7–6.
  • MIN – Fred Cox 21-yard field goal. Vikings 10–6.
  • MIN – Fred Cox 31-yard field goal. Vikings 13–6.

Third quarter

  • No scoring plays.

Fourth quarter

  • No scoring plays.

Standings[edit]

NFC Central
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
Minnesota Vikings(3) 9 5 0 .643 6–1 8–4 231 227 W1
Chicago Bears(4) 9 5 0 .643 6–1 8–4 255 253 W6
Detroit Lions 6 8 0 .429 2–5 4–8 183 252 L1
Green Bay Packers 4 10 0 .286 2–5 4–7 134 219 W1
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2 12 0 .143 0–4 2–11 103 223 W2

Postseason[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Venue Attendance
Div December 26 at Los Angeles Rams W 14–7 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum 62,538
Conf January 1 at Dallas Cowboys L 6–23 Texas Stadium 61,968

Statistics[edit]

Team leaders[edit]

Category Player(s) Value
Passing yards Fran Tarkenton 1,734
Passing touchdowns Fran Tarkenton 9
Rushing yards Chuck Foreman 1,112
Rushing touchdowns Chuck Foreman 6
Receiving yards Sammy White 760
Receiving touchdowns Sammy White 9
Points Chuck Foreman
Sammy White
54
Kickoff return yards Manfred Moore 524
Punt return yards Manfred Moore 277
Interceptions Bobby Bryant 4

League rankings[edit]

Category Total yards Yards per game NFL rank
(out of 28)
Passing offense 2,368 169.1 6th
Rushing offense 1,821 130.1 21st
Total offense 4,189 299.2 14th
Passing defense 1,581 112.9 3rd
Rushing defense 2,218 158.4 21st
Total defense 3,799 271.4 11th

References[edit]

  1. ^ Heroes of Yesteryear: Pro Football’S Dying Breed of Players from a Bygone Era, Danny Jones, Bloomington, Indiana: AuthorHouse, 2017. Chapter on Chuck Foreman.
  2. ^ The Super '70s, Tom Danyluk, Mad Uke Publishing, 2005, page 95. The person being interviewed, "LM," is former Rams running back (1972-'79) Lawrence McCutcheon.
  3. ^ [1]