1968 Minnesota Vikings season

1968 Minnesota Vikings season
Head coach Bud Grant
General manager Jim Finks
Home field Metropolitan Stadium
Results
Record 8–6
Division place 1st NFL Central
Playoff finish Lost Western Conference Championship Game (Colts) 14–24
Lost NFL Playoff Bowl (vs. Cowboys) 13–17

The 1968 season was the Minnesota Vikings' eighth in the National Football League. Under head coach Bud Grant, the Vikings won the NFL Central division title with an 8–6 record, and qualified for the postseason for the first time in franchise history. The Vikings' first trip to the playoffs saw them suffer a 24–14 loss in the Western Conference Championship Game to the eventual NFL champion and Super Bowl runner-up Baltimore Colts at Baltimore's Memorial Stadium. In the Playoff Bowl two weeks later, they again lost to the Dallas Cowboys 17–13.

Offseason

1968 Draft

Hall of Famer
1968 Minnesota Vikings Draft
Draft order Player name Position College Notes
Round Choice Overall
111Ron YaryOffensive tackleUSCfrom Giants[a]
77Traded to the New Orleans Saints[b]
2633Charlie WestDefensive backTexas-El Paso
3661Traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers[c]
2176Mike McGillLinebackerNotre Damefrom Cowboys[d]
4689Mike FreemanDefensive backFresno State
56117Traded to the Washington Redskins[e]
66144Bob GoodridgeWide receiverVanderbilt
72167Oscar ReedWide receiverColorado Statefrom Falcons[f]
6171Lenny SnowRunning backGeorgia Tech
86198Hank UrbanowiczDefensive tackleMiami
96225Mike DonohueTight endSan Francisco
106250Tom SakalDefensive backMinnesota
116279Bill HaasWide receiverNebraska-Omaha
126308Howie SmallCenterRhode Island
136333Dick WherryWide receiverNorthern State
146360Don EvansOffensive tackleArkansas-Pine Bluff
156387Jim HaynieQuarterbackWest Chester
166414Lary KuharichDefensive backBoston College
176441Bob LeeQuarterbackPacific
10445Bill HullGuardTennessee Techfrom Lions[g]
^[a] The New York Giants traded their 1st-round selection (1st overall), 1967 1st-round selection (2nd overall), 1967 2nd-round selection (28th overall), and 1969 2nd-round selection (39th overall) to Minnesota for QB Fran Tarkenton.
^[b] Minnesota traded their 1st-round selection (7th overall) and their 1969 1st-round selection (17th overall) to New Orleans for QB Gary Cuozzo.
^[c] Minnesota traded their 3rd-round selection (61st overall) to PIttsburgh for CB Brady Keys.
^[d] Dallas traded their 3rd-round selection (76th overall) to Minnesota for WR Lance Rentzel.
^[e] Minnesota traded their 5th-round selection (117th overall) to Washington for OL Bob Breitenstein.
^[f] Atlanta traded their 7th-round selection (167th overall) to Minnesota for QB Ron Vander Kelen.
^[g] Detroit traded their 17th-round selection (445th overall) to Minnesota for their 1969 16th-round selection (407th overall).

Roster

1968 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
Active, Inactive, Practice squad

Preseason

Game Date Opponent Result Record Venue Attendance
1 August 10 Kansas City Chiefs (AFL) L 10–13 0–1 Metropolitan Stadium 46,228
2 August 17 at Denver Broncos (AFL) W 39–16 1–1 University of Denver Stadium 20,901
3 August 24 Philadelphia Eagles W 52–10 2–1 Metropolitan Stadium 41,229
4 September 1 at St. Louis Cardinals L 28–31 2–2 Busch Memorial Stadium 25,233
5 September 6 New Orleans Saints W 20–17 3–2 State Fair Stadium (Shreveport, LA) 23,000

Regular season

Schedule

Week Date Opponent Result Record Venue Attendance
1 September 14 Atlanta Falcons W 47–7 1–0 Metropolitan Stadium 45,563
2 September 22 at Green Bay Packers W 26–13 2–0 Milwaukee County Stadium 49,346
3 September 29 Chicago Bears L 17–27 2–1 Metropolitan Stadium 47,644
4 October 6 Detroit Lions W 24–10 3–1 Metropolitan Stadium 44,289
5 October 13 at New Orleans Saints L 17–20 3–2 Tulane Stadium 71,105
6 October 20 Dallas Cowboys L 7–20 3–3 Metropolitan Stadium 47,644
7 October 27 at Chicago Bears L 24–26 3–4 Wrigley Field 46,562
8 November 3 Washington Redskins W 27–14 4–4 Metropolitan Stadium 47,644
9 November 10 Green Bay Packers W 14–10 5–4 Metropolitan Stadium 47,644
10 November 17 at Detroit Lions W 13–6 6–4 Tiger Stadium 48,654
11 November 24 at Baltimore Colts L 9–21 6–5 Memorial Stadium 60,238
12 December 1 Los Angeles Rams L 3–31 6–6 Metropolitan Stadium 47,644
13 December 8 at San Francisco 49ers W 30–20 7–6 Kezar Stadium 29,049
14 December 15 at Philadelphia Eagles W 24–17 8–6 Franklin Field 54,530

Note: The October 6 game against Detroit was originally scheduled to be played in Detroit. The game was switched with the November 17 game due to game 4 of the World Series.

Standings

NFL Central
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
Minnesota Vikings 8 6 0 .571 4–2 6–4 282 242 W2
Chicago Bears 7 7 0 .500 3–3 5–5 250 333 L1
Green Bay Packers 6 7 1 .462 1–4–1 2–7–1 281 227 W1
Detroit Lions 4 8 2 .333 3–2–1 4–5–1 207 241 L1

Note: Tie games were not officially counted in the standings until 1972.

Playoffs

Week Date Opponent Result Record Venue Attendance
Conference December 22 at Baltimore Colts L 14–24 0–1 Memorial Stadium 60,238
Playoff Bowl January 5 Dallas Cowboys L 13–17 0–2 Miami Orange Bowl 22,961

Statistics

Team leaders

Category Player(s) Value
Passing yardsJoe Kapp1,695
Passing touchdownsJoe Kapp10
Rushing yardsBill Brown805
Rushing touchdownsBill Brown11
Receiving yardsGene Washington756
Receiving touchdownsGene Washington6
PointsFred Cox88
Kickoff return yardsCharlie West576
Punt return yardsCharlie West201
InterceptionsPaul Krause7

League rankings

Category Total yards Yards per game NFL rank
(out of 16)
Passing offense1,685120.415th
Rushing offense1,921137.26th
Total offense3,606257.614th
Passing defense1,855132.53rd
Rushing defense1,903135.911th
Total defense3,758268.45th
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