1985 Minnesota Vikings season

1985 Minnesota Vikings season
Head coach Bud Grant
General manager Mike Lynn
Owner Max Winter
Home field Metrodome
Record 7–9
Division place 3rd NFC Central
Playoff finish did not qualify
Pro Bowlers SS Joey Browner[1]
AP All-Pros SS Joey Browner[2]

The 1985 Minnesota Vikings season was the franchise's 25th season in the National Football League The Vikings finished with a record of seven wins and nine losses.

Bud Grant returned to coach the Vikings after a year absence. Following the season, Grant retired for good after 18 years with the franchise.


1985 Draft

=Pro Bowler
1985 Minnesota Vikings Draft
Draft order Player name Position College Notes
Round Choice Overall
122Traded to the Atlanta Falcons[b]from Oilers[a]
33Traded to the Houston Oilers[a]
44Chris DolemanDefensive EndPittsburghfrom Falcons[b]
2230Issiac HoltCornerbackAlcorn StateProvisional trade not exercised[a][c]
3359Kirk LowdermilkCenterOhio State
460Tim MeamberLinebackerWashingtonfrom Falcons[b]
1066Tim LongOffensive TackleMemphis Statefrom Chargers[d]
4185George RhymesWide ReceiverOklahoma
22106Kyle MorrellDefensive BackBYUfrom Rams[e]
53115Mark MacDonaldOffensive GuardBoston College
62142Steve BonoQuarterbackUCLA
24164Tim NewtonDefensive TackleFloridafrom Raiders[f]
73171Traded to the Green Bay Packers[g]
82198Nikita BlairLinebackerTexas-El Paso
93227Jamie CovingtonRunning BackSyracuse
102254Juan JohnsonWide ReceiverLangston
113283Tim WilliamsDefensive BackNorth Carolina A&T
122310Byron JonesDefensive TackleTulsa
^[a] In an attempt to draft QB Bernie Kosar, Minnesota traded their 1st round selection (3rd overall) and a provisional 2nd round selection (30th overall)[c] to Houston to move up 1 spot to the Oilers 2nd overall position on April 9, 1985.
^[b] When QB Bernie Kosar did not declare for the draft and instead controversially waited for the supplemental draft, Minnesota traded the 2nd overall pick to Atlanta for their 1st round selection (4th overall) and 3rd round selection (60th overall).
^[c] As part of the initial trade between the Vikings and Oilers[a], the Vikings agreed to not draft DE Ray Childress or trade the pick to a team that would draft Childress. Houston drafted Childress with the 3rd overall pick and this provisional selection was returned to Minnesota.
^[d] San Diego traded their 3rd round selection (66th overall) to Minnesota for CB John Turner.
^[e] The Rams traded their 4th round selection (106th overall) to Minnesota for QB Steve Dils.
^[f] The Raiders traded their 6th round selection (164th overall) and 1986 2nd round selection to Minnesota for LB Brad Van Pelt.
^[g] Minnesota traded their 7th round selection (171st overall) to Green Bay for PK Jan Stenerud.


1August 10at Miami DolphinsW 16-131-0Miami Orange Bowl41,129
2August 17Pittsburgh SteelersW 41-342-0Metrodome56,887
3August 24Seattle SeahawksL 10-272-1Metrodome56,562
4August 30at Denver BroncosW 13-93-1Mile High Stadium69,373

Regular season


Week Date Opponent Result Record Venue Attendance
1 September 8, 1985 San Francisco 49ers W 28–21 1–0 Metrodome
2 September 15, 1985 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 31–16 2–0 Tampa Stadium
3 September 19, 1985 Chicago Bears L 24–33 2–1 Metrodome
4 September 29, 1985 at Buffalo Bills W 27–20 3–1 Rich Stadium
5 October 6, 1985 at Los Angeles Rams L 10–13 3–2 Anaheim Stadium
6 October 13, 1985 at Green Bay Packers L 17–20 3–3 Milwaukee County Stadium
7 October 20, 1985 San Diego Chargers W 21–17 4–3 Metrodome
8 October 27, 1985 at Chicago Bears L 9–27 4–4 Soldier Field
9 November 3, 1985 Detroit Lions W 16–13 5–4 Metrodome
10 November 10, 1985 Green Bay Packers L 17–27 5–5 Metrodome
11 November 17, 1985 at Detroit Lions L 21–41 5–6 Silverdome
12 November 24, 1985 New Orleans Saints L 23–30 5–7 Metrodome
13 December 1, 1985 at Philadelphia Eagles W 28–23 6–7 Veterans Stadium
14 December 8, 1985 Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 26–7 7–7 Metrodome
15 December 15, 1985 at Atlanta Falcons L 13–14 7–8 Atlanta Fulton County Stadium
16 December 22, 1985 Philadelphia Eagles L 35–37 7–9 Metrodome


NFC Central
Chicago Bears(1) 15 1 0 .938 8–0 12–0 456 198 W3
Green Bay Packers 8 8 0 .500 6–2 8–4 337 355 W2
Minnesota Vikings 7 9 0 .438 3–5 5–9 346 359 L2
Detroit Lions 7 9 0 .438 2–6 5–7 307 366 L3
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2 14 0 .125 1–7 2–10 294 448 L4



1985 Minnesota Vikings staff
Front office
  • President – Max Winter
  • General Manager – Mike Lynn

Head coaches

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches

Special teams coaches

  • Special Teams – Tom Batta



1985 Minnesota Vikings final roster

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen


Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists

Practice squad

Rookies in italics
Active, Inactive, Practice squad


Team leaders

Category Player(s) Value
Passing YardsTommy Kramer3,522
Passing TouchdownsTommy Kramer19
Rushing YardsDarrin Nelson893
Rushing TouchdownsTed Brown7
Receiving YardsAnthony Carter821
Receiving TouchdownsAnthony Carter8
PointsJan Stenerud86
Kickoff Return YardsGeorge "Buster" Rhymes1,345
Punt Return YardsDarrin Nelson133
TacklesChris Doleman113
SacksKeith Millard11.0
InterceptionsJohn Turner5

League rankings

Category Total yards Yards per game NFL rank
(out of 28)
Passing Offense3,635 Yards227.2 YPG7th
Rushing Offense1,516 Yards94.8 YPG27th
Total Offense5,151 Yards321.9 YPG16th
Passing Defense3,241 Yards202.6 YPG15th
Rushing Defense2,223 Yards138.9 YPG22nd
Total Defense5,464 Yards341.5 YPG16th

25 year team

The team recognized an all-time team in 1985 as part of the celebration of the 25th season VIKINGS 25TH SEASON ALL-TIME TEAM 1961–85

  • WRs: Ahmad Rashad, Sammy White
  • Ts: Ron Yary, Grady Alderman
  • Gs: Ed White, Milt Sunde
  • C: Mick Tingelhoff
  • TE: Stu Voigt
  • QB: Fran Tarkenton
  • RBs: Bill Brown, Chuck Foreman
  • K: Fred Cox
  • DEs: Jim Marshall, Carl Eller
  • DTs: Alan Page, Gary Larsen
  • OLBs: Matt Blair, Roy Winston
  • ILBs: Jeff Siemon, Scott Studwell
  • Ss: Paul Krause, Karl Kassulke
  • CBs: Bobby Bryant, Ed Sharockman
  • P: Greg Coleman
  • Head Coach: Bud Grant


  1. "1985 NFL Pro Bowlers". Pro-Football-Reference.com.
  2. "1985 NFL All-Pros". Pro-Football-Reference.com.
  3. 2010 Minnesota Vikings Media Guide. p. 265. Retrieved February 18, 2011.
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