1989 Minnesota Vikings season
Head Coach Jerry Burns
General Manager Mike Lynn
Home Field Metrodome
Record 10–6
Place 1st NFC Central
Playoff Finish Lost NFC Divisional Playoff
Previous Season Next Season
1988 1990

1989 was the 29th year of season play for the Minnesota Vikings and the 70th regular season of the National Football League. The Vikings finished with a record of ten wins and six losses, and winning the NFC Central Division. This title was secured during one of what is considered by many to be among the most exciting Monday Night Football contests ever: a Christmas Day victory over the Cincinnati Bengals at home, at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, which was the de facto first playoff game of the year. This season was also notable by how many sacks the defense produced, with 39 coming from only two players (Chris Doleman and Keith Millard) and 71 overall. Millard would later receive Defensive Player of the Year honors after putting up record numbers by a defensive tackle.


NFL DraftEdit



1989 Minnesota Vikings final staff
Front Office

Head Coaches

Offensive Coaches

  • Offensive Coordinator – Bob Schnelker
  • Assistant Offensive Coordinator/Passing Game – Dick Rehbein
  • Running Backs – John Brunner
  • Receivers – Jerry Brown
  • Tight Ends – Tom Batta
  • Offensive Line – John Michels
  Defensive Coaches

Special Teams Coaches

  • Special Teams – Tom Batta



1989 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

Regular seasonEdit

The defensive line of Chris Doleman, Keith Millard, Al Noga and Henry Thomas were key contributors in helping the Vikings rank number one in the NFL in total defense. In addition, the Vikings set a franchise record with 71 sacks in one season. Chris Doleman had 21 sacks and was one shy of tying the NFL record.


Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 10 Houston Oilers W 38-7
2 September 17 at Chicago Bears L 38-7
3 September 24 at Pittsburgh Steelers L 27-14
4 October 1 Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 17-3
5 October 8 Detroit Lions W 24-17
6 October 15 Green Bay Packers W 26-14
7 October 22 at Detroit Lions W 20-7
8 October 30 at New York Giants L 24-14
9 November 5 Los Angeles Rams W 23-21 (OT)
10 November 12 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 24-10
11 November 19 at Philadelphia Eagles L 10-9
12 November 26 at Green Bay Packers (Milw) L 20-19
13 December 3, 1989 Chicago Bears W 27-16
14 December 10 Atlanta Falcons W 43-17
15 December 17 at Cleveland Browns L 23-17 (OT)
16 December 25 Cincinnati Bengals W 29-21


Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
Divisional January 6 at San Francisco 49ers L 41-13


NFC Central
Minnesota Vikings 1060.625351275
Green Bay Packers 1060.625362356
Detroit Lions 790.438312364
Chicago Bears 6100.375358377
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 5110.313320419

Herschel WalkerEdit

In 1989, at the height of his NFL career, the Cowboys traded him to the Minnesota Vikings for a total of five players (LB Jesse Solomon, DB Issiac Holt, RB Darrin Nelson, LB David Howard, DE Alex Stewart) and six draft picks (which led to Emmitt Smith, Russell Maryland, Kevin Smith, and Darren Woodson). This was judged to be one of the turning points in the rise of the Cowboys to the top echelon of the NFL. Walker's trade was widely perceived as an exceptionally poor move considering what the Vikings had to give up in order to get him, and remains one of the most frequently vilified roster moves of the team's history. The Vikings coaches reluctantly accepted Walker after the trade and never totally used the tool they had been given. says, "but Walker was never used properly by the coaching brain trust (a total oxymoron in this case)".[2]

Awards and recordsEdit


  • Chris Doleman, Third Player in NFL History to get at least 20 sacks in a season
  • Chris Doleman, franchise record, 21 sacks


  1. 2010 Minnesota Vikings Media Guide. p. 265. Retrieved February 18, 2011. 
  2. By Viking Update Staff (2001-06-20). History: Walker Trade. Retrieved on 2008-01-29.

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