Were The 1984 Vikings Even This Bad?

The 1984 Vikings were a disaster. Three quarterbacks, an indecisive running game, a horrible defense and a one-and-done coach Les Steckel made the Metrodome so miserable that the Vikings went back to the well in 1985, tugging Bud Grant out of retirement.

Three quarterbacks, you say? Exactly like this season.

Tommy Kramer started nine games, Wade Wilson five and Peyton and Eli’s dad Archie Manning had two starts for the Vikings in 1984. The interceptions were rampant – 21 combined for Kramer and Wilson.

The season was so crazy bad that running back Alfred Anderson had seven passing attempts running option plays. That from the offensive mastermind that is Steckel.

Thing weren’t quite so dire from the get-go in 1984. The team started out 2-2 before plunging into loss after loss after loss. Kramer should have been in his prime here at 29 years old but nine TDs and 10 picks won’t get you very far. Wilson was worse with 5 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Manning had his own problems, as seen here in this first play against the Bears in Week 9:

Joe Senser, the athletic tight end, suffered a knee injury during the season. He later told Scott Noble of the Minnesota Christian Examiner in a 2011 interview that he later played in a Week 14 game against the Redskins after the Vikings lacked usable bodies at tight end.

“I believe at the time the score was 31-17,” Senser said in the Noble interview. “We get down to about the 10-yard line. Archie Manning threw me a pass in the corner of the end zone. I caught that ball [and] in one motion I flipped the ball to the referee. The referee goes ‘No catch.’ I ripped into him like you wouldn’t believe. I was so full pride, and I was so mad that this guy would deny me a touchdown on national television—my last one ever.”

Josh Freeman played Monday night with a menu with the same amount of choices at a kids’ lemonade stand. It basically turned into a scrimmage for the Vikings, even though they still had a chance in the middle of the game to keep their fans a few degrees below the boiling point. Didn’t happen.

For the record:

The ’84 team scored 276 points (24th out of 28 teams) and allowed 484 (28th). This year’s team is 19th (out of 32) in scoring and 29th in defense.

And leave you with this gem: