The 1990 Season
1990 (6-10): Fifth in NFC Central
Head Coach: Jerry Burns
9/9 L 21-24 @ Kansas City 48,363
9/16 W 32-3 New Orleans 56,272
9/23 L 16-19 @ Chicago 65,420
9/30 L 20-23 OT Tampa Bay 54,462
10/7 L 27-34 Detroit 57,586
10/15 L 24-32 @ Philadelphia 66,296
10/28 L 10-24 @ Green Bay (Milw.) 55,125
11/4 W 27-22 Denver 57,331
11/11 W 17-7 @ Detroit 68,264
11/18 W 24-21 @ Seattle 59,735
11/25 W 41-13 Chicago 58,866
12/2 W 23-7 Green Bay 62,058
12/9 L 15-23 @ N.Y. Giants 76,121
12/16 L 13-26 @ Tampa Bay 47,272
12/22 L 24-28 L.A. Raiders 53,899
12/30 L 17-20 San Francisco 51,590
Key Draft Picks
The Vikes had no picks in Rounds 1, 2, and 6 as they were traded to Dallas in the Herschel Walker trade. But with the 241st pick overall the Vikings did select a running back out of Clemson in Round 9. He later set a Vikings record for most yards rushing in a season, which was later broken by Robert Smith. Terry Allen was a late round pick that blossomed into a great selection.
In 1990 the team was coming off a 10-6 season and were the reigning NFC Central Champions. The memory of the horrific 41-13 playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers was a distant memory. This coming season would be remembered far more for the arrival of two new players rather than the play on the field.
The Vikings were looking to shore up the depth at wide receiver. Meanwhile, a yet-to-be-named legend was being dumped by the Philadelphia Eagles. This receiver was driving to New York to report to the Giants who had put in a claim for him. At the last minute the Vikings, who had priority in the waiver wire hierarchy put down the requisite $100 necessary to bring him to The Purple. The receiver with the bad work ethic and a drug problem received a call in his car from his agent telling him to turn around and head to the airport instead. Cris Carter was heading for Minneapolis.
On October 15, 1990 the Vikings were playing at Philadelphia. The Vikings lost 32-24. But a rookie defensive tackle recorded his very first NFL sack when he brought down a young, fast Randall Cunningham. Later in the game he also forced a fumble. This undrafted rookie free agent out of Texas A&I had been considered too small to play in the NFL. The Vikings brought him into training camp anyway and were impressed by his work ethic and because he, well, never stood still. He even read the other teams media guides to get under the skins of opposing offensive lineman. John Randle was perpetual motion.
Also memorable during the 1990 season was the fight going on at Winter Park for control of the franchise. Irwin Jacobs and Carl Pohlad were attacking the management in place to try and obtain the team any way possible. Jacobs and Pohlad sued. The wounds opened would not heal until 1998. But on January 1, 1991 after the smoke had cleared, Roger Headrick became president and CEO of the Vikings replacing Mike Lynn. The board then paid off Jacobs and Pohlad with a $50 million check.