1997 Minnesota Vikings season

1997 Minnesota Vikings season
Head coach Dennis Green
Home field Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome
Results
Record 9–7
Division place 4th NFC Central
Playoff finish Won NFC Wild Card Playoff (at Giants) 23–22
Lost NFC Divisional Playoff (at 49ers) 22–38

The 1997 season was the Minnesota Vikings' 37th in the National Football League and their sixth under head coach Dennis Green. The team finished with a 9–7 record and qualified for a wild card berth in the playoffs. In the wild card round against the New York Giants, the Vikings came back from a 22–13 deficit with 90 seconds to play to win 23–22, their first playoff victory since 1988. In the divisional round, the Vikings were defeated 38–22 by the San Francisco 49ers.

Vikings defensive tackle John Randle led the league in sacks with 15.5. Wide receiver Cris Carter's 13 touchdown receptions also were most in the league.

Before the season, the Vikings acquired Randall Cunningham after a year out of the game, a move that reunited Cunningham with his former Philadelphia Eagles teammate Cris Carter.

Offseason

1997 Draft

1997 Minnesota Vikings Draft
Draft order Player name Position College Notes
Round Choice Overall
12020 Dwayne RuddLinebackerAlabama
21949 Torrian GraySafetyVirginia Tech
31878 Stalin ColinetDefensive endBoston College
417113 Antonio BanksDefensive backVirginia Tech
521151 Tony WilliamsDefensive tackleMemphis
620183 Robert TateWide receiverCincinnati
719220 Artie UlmerLinebackerValdosta State
34235 Matthew HatchetteWide receiverLangstonCompensatory pick

Undrafted free agents

1997 Undrafted Free Agents of note
Player Position College
Todd Bouman Quarterback St. Cloud State
Duane Butler Defensive Back Illinois State

Preseason

WeekDateOpponentResultRecordVenueAttendance Notes
1July 26Seattle SeahawksW 28-261-0Fawcett Stadium Canton, OH23,846Hall of Fame Game
2August 2St. Louis RamsW 26-62-0Metrodome36,971
3August 8at Buffalo BillsL 3-192-1Rich Stadium32,559
4August 16at Cincinnati BengalsL 13-372-2Cinergy Field44,316
5August 22San Diego ChargersW 28-223-2Metrodome44,300

Regular season

Schedule

WeekDateOpponentResultRecordVenueAttendance
1 August 31 at Buffalo Bills W 34–13 1–0 Rich Stadium 79,139
2 September 7 at Chicago Bears W 27–24 2–0 Soldier Field 59,263
3 September 14 Tampa Bay Buccaneers L 28–14 2–1 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome 63,697
4 September 21 at Green Bay Packers L 38–32 2–2 Lambeau Field 60,115
5 September 28 Philadelphia Eagles W 28–19 3–2 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome 55,149
6 October 5 at Arizona Cardinals W 20–19 4–2 Sun Devil Stadium 45,550
7 October 12 Carolina Panthers W 21–14 5–2 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome 62,625
8 Bye
9 October 26 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 10–6 6–2 Houlihan's Stadium 66,815
10 November 2 New England Patriots W 23–18 7–2 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome 62,917
11 November 9 Chicago Bears W 29–22 8–2 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome 63,443
12 November 16 at Detroit Lions L 38–15 8–3 Silverdome 68,910
13 November 23 at New York Jets L 23–21 8–4 Giants Stadium 70,131
14 December 1 Green Bay Packers L 27–11 8–5 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome 64,001
15 December 7 at San Francisco 49ers L 28–17 8–6 3Com Park 55,761
16 December 14 Detroit Lions L 14–13 8–7 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome 60,982
17 December 21 Indianapolis Colts W 39–28 9–7 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome 54,107

Note: Intra-division opponents are in bold text.

Standings

NFC Central
W L T PCT PF PA STK
(2) Green Bay Packers 13 3 0 .813 422 282 W5
(4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10 6 0 .625 299 263 W1
(5) Detroit Lions 9 7 0 .563 379 306 W2
(6) Minnesota Vikings 9 7 0 .563 354 359 W1
Chicago Bears 4 12 0 .250 263 421 L1

Postseason

WeekDateOpponentResultRecordVenueAttendance
Wildcard December 27 at New York Giants W 23–22 1–0 Giants Stadium 77,497
Division January 3 at San Francisco 49ers L 38–22 1–1 3Com Park 65,018

Statistics

Team leaders

Category Player(s) Value
Passing yardsBrad Johnson3,036
Passing touchdownsBrad Johnson20
Rushing yardsRobert Smith1,266
Rushing touchdownsRobert Smith6
Receiving yardsJake Reed1,138
Receiving touchdownsCris Carter13
PointsCris Carter84
Kickoff return yardsDavid Palmer711
Punt return yardsDavid Palmer444
TacklesRobert Griffith114
SacksJohn Randle15.5
InterceptionsDewayne Washington4
Forced fumblesDerrick Alexander3

League rankings

Category Total yards Yards per game NFL rank
(out of 30)
Passing offense3,313207.114th
Rushing offense2,041127.66th
Total offense5,354334.68th
Passing defense3,704231.529th
Rushing defense1,983123.923rd
Total defense5,687355.429th

Personnel

Staff

  1. FFFFFF;text-align:center1997 Minnesota Vikings staff
Front Office
  • Chairman of the Board – John Skoglund
  • President/Chief Executive Officer – Roger Headrick

Head Coaches

Offensive Coaches

 

Defensive Coaches

  • Defensive Coordinator – Foge Fazio
  • Defensive Line – John Levra
  • Inside Linebackers – Tom Olivadotti
  • Outside Linebackers – Trent Walters
  • Defensive Backs – Richard Solomon

Special Teams Coaches

Strength and Conditioning

  • Strength and Conditioning – Steve Wetzel
  • Assistant Strength and Conditioning – Jeff Friday

[1]

Final roster

1997 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
52 Active, 9 Inactive, 0 Practice squad

References

  1. 2009 Minnesota Vikings Media Guide. p. 251. Retrieved 2010-02-26.
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