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1981 Minnesota Vikings season: Wikis


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1981 Minnesota Vikings season
Head coach Bud Grant
Home field Metropolitan Stadium
Record 7-9
Place 4th NFC Central
Playoff finish did not qualify
Previous season Next season
1980 1982

1981 was the 21st year of season play for the Minnesota Vikings 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 TD's. However, Kramer also threw 24 interceptions in 1981.

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 TD's. Veteran WR Sammy White also eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark for the first time in his career (1,001) and TE Joe Senser, who would later become a color analyst on radio for the Vikings, logged 1,004 yards receiving with eight TD's. He went to the Pro Bowl that season as well.


Week Date Opponent Result
1 September 5, 1981 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers L 21-13
2 September 14, 1981 Oakland Raiders L 36-10
3 September 20, 1981 Detroit Lions W 26-24
4 September 27, 1981 at Green Bay Packers W 30-13
5 October 4, 1981 Chicago Bears W 24-21
6 October 11, 1981 at San Diego Chargers W 33-31
7 October 18, 1981 Philadelphia Eagles W 35-23
8 October 25, 1981 at St. Louis Cardinals L 30-17
9 November 2, 1981 at Denver Broncos L 19-17
10 November 8, 1981 Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 25-10
11 November 15, 1981 New Orleans Saints W 20-10
12 November 23, 1981 at Atlanta Falcons L 31-30
13 November 29, 1981 Green Bay Packers L 35-23
14 December 6, 1981 at Chicago Bears L 10-9
15 December 12, 1981 at Detroit Lions L 45-7
16 December 20, 1981 Kansas City Chiefs L 10-6


NFC Central
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 9 7 0 .563 315 268 W-1
Detroit Lions 8 8 0 .500 397 322 L-1
Green Bay Packers 8 8 0 .500 324 361 L-1
Minnesota Vikings 7 9 0 .438 325 369 L-5
Chicago Bears 6 10 0 .375 253 324 W-3
AFC East Central West East Central West NFC
Baltimore Cincinnati Denver Dallas Chicago Atlanta
Buffalo Cleveland Kansas City NY Giants Detroit Los Angeles
Miami Houston Oakland Philadelphia Green Bay New Orleans
New England Pittsburgh San Diego St. Louis Minnesota San Francisco
NY Jets Seattle Washington Tampa Bay
1981 NFL DraftNFL PlayoffsPro BowlSuper Bowl XVI


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