|1981 Minnesota Vikings season|
|Head Coach||Bud Grant|
|Home Field||Metropolitan Stadium|
|Place||4th NFC Central|
|Playoff Finish||did not qualify|
|Previous Season||Next Season|
The 1981 Minnesota Vikings season was the team's 21st season, and the 62nd regular season of the National Football League, and the final season for the team at Metropolitan Stadium. The Vikings finished with a record of seven wins and nine losses.
After opening the season with back-to-back losses, the Vikings ran off five straight wins and sat near the top of the NFC at midseason. After splitting their next four games, the Vikings were 7-4 and poised for a playoff run—however, the Vikings would lose their last five games to close out the year.
The Vikings were led by quarterback Tommy Kramer, who enjoyed the most productive season of his career by throwing for 3,912 yards and 26 touchdowns. However, Kramer also threw 24 interceptions in 1981. The '81 Vikings set an NFL record for pass attempts with 709.
A trio of offensive standouts paced the Vikings in 1981 at the skill positions. Running back Ted Brown was the team's main ballcarrier, rushing for 1,063 yards and also came in third in the NFL with 83 pass receptions. He scored eight touchdowns. Veteran wide receiver Sammy White also eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark for the first time in his career (1,001) and tight end Joe Senser, who would later become a color analyst on radio for the Vikings, logged 1,004 yards receiving with eight touchdowns; Senser went to the Pro Bowl for the '81 season.
|1||September 5||at Tampa Bay||L 21-13||0-1|| |
|2||September 14||Oakland||L 36-10||0-2|| |
|3||September 20||Detroit||W 26-24||1-2|| |
|4||September 27||at Green Bay (Milw)||W 30-13||2-2|| |
|5||October 4||Chicago||W 24-21||3-2|| |
|6||October 11||at San Diego||W 33-31||4-2|| |
|7||October 18||Philadelphia||W 35-23||5-2|| |
|8||October 25||at St. Louis Cardinals||L 30-17||5-3|| |
|9||November 2||at Denver||L 19-17||5-4|| |
|10||November 8||Tampa Bay||W 25-10||6-4|| |
|11||November 15||New Orleans||W 20-10||7-4|| |
|12||November 23||at Atlanta||L 31-30||7-5|| |
|13||November 29||Green Bay||L 35-23||7-6|| |
|14||December 6||at Chicago||L 10-9||7-7|| |
|15||December 12||at Detroit||L 45-7||7-8|| |
|16||December 20||Kansas City||L 10-6||7-9|| |
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||9||7||0||.563||315||268||W-1|
|Green Bay Packers||8||8||0||.500||324||361||L-1|