1969 Minnesota Vikings season
Head Coach Bud Grant
Home Field Metropolitan Stadium
Record 12-2
Place 1st NFL Central
Playoff Finish Won Divisional Playoffs (Rams) 23-20
Won NFL Championship (1) (Browns) 27-7
Lost Super Bowl IV (Chiefs) 23-7
Previous Season Next Season
1968 1970

1969 was the ninth year of season play for the Minnesota Vikings and the 50th regular season of the National Football League. The Vikings again won the NFL Central Division title, as finished with a record of 12 wins and two losses, plus playoff wins over the Los Angeles Rams in the Western Conference Championship Game, as well as the Cleveland Browns in the last NFL Championship Game ever played in the pre-merger era, before losing the Super Bowl to the AFL champion Kansas City Chiefs in the final professional football game played between any two teams before the two leagues merged.

The Vikings are the last team to win the NFL Championship prior to the league's merger with the American Football League. The season was chronicled for America's Game: The Missing Rings, as one of the five greatest NFL teams to never win the Super Bowl.


NFL DraftEdit

Round Overall Player Position School/Club Team
239Ed WhiteGuard California
243Volly MurphyFlanker Texas-El Paso
495Mike McCaffreyLinebacker California
5106Jim BarnesGuard Arkansas
5112Mike O'SheaWide Receiver Utah St.
5121Cornelius DavisRunning Back Kansas State
6148Marion BatesDefensive Back Texas Southern
8199Harris WoodFlanker Washington
9225Tom FinkGuard Minnesota
10253Tom McCauleyDefensive Back Wisconsin
11277Brian DowlingQuarterback Yale
12303Noel JenkeLinebacker Minnesota
13329Jim MoylanDefensive Tackle Texas Tech
14355Tommy HeadCenter Southwest Texas State
15381Eugene MosleyTight End Jackson State
17433Wendell HousleyRunning Back Texas A&M


Regular seasonEdit

The Vikings, led by head coach Bud Grant, ended the season with an NFL best 12-2 regular season record, leading the older league in total points scored (379) and fewest points allowed (133). They had scored 50 or more points in three different games. They had 12 straight victories, the longest single-season winning streak in 35 years,[2] and became the first modern NFL expansion team to win an NFL championship. Their defense, considered the most intimidating in the NFL, was anchored by a defensive line nicknamed the "Purple People Eaters", consisting of defensive tackles Gary Larsen and Alan Page, and defensive ends Carl Eller and Jim Marshall. The secondary was led by defensive backs Bobby Bryant (8 interceptions, 97 return yards), Earsell Mackbee (6 interceptions, 100 return yards), and future Pro Football Hall of Famer Paul Krause (5 interceptions, 82 return yards, 1 touchdown).

On offense, quarterback Joe Kapp was known for his superb leadership and his running ability, both throwing on the run and running for extra yards. And when Kapp did take off and run, instead of sliding when he was about to be tackled like most quarterbacks, he lowered his shoulder and went right at the tackler. This style of play earned him the nickname "Indestructible". In the NFL Championship Game against Cleveland Browns, he collided with linebacker Jim Houston while running for a first down, and Houston had to be helped off the field after the play ended. Also, Kapp was known for being an extremely unselfish leader: when he was voted the Vikings' Most Valuable Player, he turned the award down and said that every player on the team was equally valuable.

Running back Dave Osborn was the team's top rusher with 643 yards and 7 touchdowns. He also caught 22 passes for 236 yards and another touchdown. In the passing game, Pro Bowl wide receiver Gene Washington averaged 21.1 yards per catch by recording 821 yards and 9 touchdowns of off just 39 receptions. Wide receiver John Henderson caught 34 passes for 553 yards and 5 touchdowns. The Vikings offensive line was anchored by Pro Bowlers Grady Alderman and Mick Tingelhoff.


Week Date Opponent Result Venue Attendance
1 September 21 at New York Giants L 23-24 Yankee Stadium
2 September 28 Baltimore Colts W 52-14 Metropolitan Stadium
3 October 5 Green Bay Packers W 19-7 Memorial Stadium
4 October 12 at Chicago Bears W 31-0 Wrigley Field
5 October 19 at St. Louis Cardinals W 27-10 Busch Memorial Stadium
6 October 26 Detroit Lions W 24-10 Metropolitan Stadium
7 November 2 Chicago Bears W 31-14 Metropolitan Stadium
8 November 9 Cleveland Browns W 51-3 Metropolitan Stadium
9 November 16 at Green Bay Packers W 9-7 Milwaukee County Stadium
10 November 23 Pittsburgh Steelers W 52-14 Metropolitan Stadium
11 November 27 at Detroit Lions W 27-0 Tiger Stadium
12 December 7 at Los Angeles Rams W 20-13 LA Coliseum
13 December 14 San Francisco 49ers W 10-7 Metropolitan Stadium
14 December 21 at Atlanta Falcons L 3-10 Atlanta Stadium


Western Conference
Central Division
Minnesota Vikings 1220.857379133
Detroit Lions 941.692259188
Green Bay Packers 860.571269221
Chicago Bears 1130.071210339



Running Backs

  • RB Bill Brown
  • RB Billy Harris
  • RB Clint Jones
  • RB Jim Lindsey
  • RB Dave Osborn
  • RB Oscar Reed

Wide Receivers

  • WR Bob Grim
  • WR/DB Tom Hall
  • WR John Henderson
  • WR Gene Washington

Tight Ends

  • TE John Beasley
  • TE Kent Kramer

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen


  • LB Jim Hargrove
  • LB Wally Hilgenberg
  • LB John Kirby
  • LB Mike McGill
  • LB Mike Reilly
  • LB Lonnie Warwick
  • LB Roy Winston

Defensive Backs

  • DB Bobby Bryant
  • DB Dale Hackbart
  • DB Karl Kassulke
  • DB Paul Krause
  • DB Earsell Mackbee
  • DB Ed Sharockman
  • DB Charlie West

Special Teams



Week Date Opponent Result Venue Attendance
Western Conference December 27 Los Angeles Rams W 23-20 Metropolitan Stadium
NFL Championship January 4 Cleveland Browns W 27-7 Metropolitan Stadium
Super Bowl January 11 N Kansas City Chiefs L 7-23 Tulane Stadium

NFL Championship GameEdit

1 2 3 4 Total
Browns 0 0 0 7 7
Vikings 14 10 3 0 27

Minnesota Vikings 27, Cleveland Browns 7


  • MIN - Kapp 7 run (Cox kick)
  • MIN - Washington 75 pass from Kapp (Cox kick)
  • MIN - FG Cox 30
  • MIN - Osborn 20 run (Cox kick)
  • MIN - FG Cox 32
  • CLE - Collins 3 pass from Nelsen (Cockroft kick)

Super Bowl IVEdit

Quarter Time Team Drive Scoring Information Score
Length Plays Time MIN KC
1 6:52 KC 42 8 4:06 FG: Jan Stenerud 48 yards 0 3
2 13:20 KC 55 8 4:48 FG: Jan Stenerud 32 yards 0 6
2 7:52 KC 27 4 2:13 FG: Jan Stenerud 25 yards 0 9
2 5:34 KC 19 6 1:47 TD: Mike Garrett 5 yard run (Jan Stenerud kick) 0 16
3 4:32 MIN 69 10 4:34 TD: Dave Osborn 4 yard run (Fred Cox kick) 7 16
3 1:22 KC 82 6 3:10 TD: Otis Taylor 46 yard pass from Len Dawson (Jan Stenerud kick) 7 23

Awards and recordsEdit

  • Led NFL, Points Scored (379)



  1. 1969 NFL Draft Listing - Archived from the original on 2009-07-22. Retrieved on 2009-07-20.
  2. "Super Bowl IV," Super Bowl I-X Collector's Set. NFL Productions, LLC, 2003

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