2014 Minnesota Vikings Season
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2014 Minnesota Vikings Season
2014 Minnesota Vikings season
Head coachMike Zimmer
General managerRick Spielman
OwnerZygi Wilf
Home fieldTCF Bank Stadium
Division place3rd NFC North
Playoff finishDid not qualify
Pro BowlersNone
Vikings uniforms16.png

The 2014 season was the Minnesota Vikings' 54th in the National Football League and their first under head coach Mike Zimmer. It was the first of two seasons in which the Vikings played at the outdoor TCF Bank Stadium on the campus of the University of Minnesota. Construction of U.S. Bank Stadium began on the site of the team's former home, the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, with a target of opening for the 2016 season.

Though the Vikings were eliminated from postseason contention after a loss to the Detroit Lions in Week 15, they improved on 2013's 5-10-1 record, which saw them go through a quarterback carousel and one of the worst defenses in the league that year, and arguably in Vikings' history.[1]



2014 Minnesota Vikings Draft
Draft order Player name Position College Contract Notes
Round Overall
1 8 Traded to the Cleveland Browns[A]
9 Anthony Barr Linebacker UCLA 4 years / $12.74 million[3] from Bills via Browns[A]
32 Teddy Bridgewater Quarterback Louisville 4 years / $7.59 million[3] from Seahawks[B]
2 40 Traded to the Seattle Seahawks[B]
3 72 Scott Crichton Defensive end Oregon State 4 years / $3 million[5]
96 Jerick McKinnon Running back Georgia Southern 4 years / $2.75 million[6] from Seahawks[C]
4 108 Traded to the Seattle Seahawks[B]
5 145 David Yankey Guard Stanford 4 years / $2.43 million[8] from Browns[A]
148 Traded to the Carolina Panthers[D]
168 Traded to the Atlanta Falcons[D] from Panthers[D]
6 182 Antone Exum Cornerback Virginia Tech 4 years / $2.34 million[10] from Falcons[D]
184 Kendall James Cornerback Maine 4 years / $2.33 million[8]
7 220 Shamar Stephen Defensive tackle Connecticut 4 years / $2.29 million[11] from Falcons[D]
223 Brandon Watts Linebacker Georgia Tech 4 years / $2.28 million[11]
225 Jabari Price Cornerback North Carolina 4 years / $2.28 million[8] from Giants via Panthers[D]

Draft trades

  1. ^ a b c The Vikings traded their original first-round selection (No. 8 overall) to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for the Browns' first- and fifth-round selections -- Nos. 9 and 145 overall. The No. 9 selection had previously been acquired by the Browns in a trade with the Buffalo Bills.[2]
  2. ^ a b c The Vikings traded their second- and fourth-round selections (Nos. 40 and 108 overall, respectively) to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for the Seahawks' first-round selection (No. 32 overall).[4]
  3. ^ The Vikings acquired this third-round selection as part of a 2013 trade that sent wide receiver Percy Harvin to the Seattle Seahawks.[7]
  4. ^ a b c d e f The Vikings traded their original fifth-round selection (No. 148 overall) to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for the Panthers' fifth- and seventh-round selections -- Nos. 168 and 225 overall. The No. 225 selection had previously been acquired by the Panthers in a trade that sent linebacker Jon Beason to the New York Giants. The Vikings then traded the No. 168 selection to the Atlanta Falcons in exchange for the Falcons' sixth- and seventh-round selections (Nos. 182 and 220 overall, respectively).[9]

Roster changes

Date Player name Position Contract terms
December 30, 2013 Adam Thielen WR 2 years / $930,000
March 7, 2014 Marcus Sherels CB 2 years / $2.2 million[13][14]
March 11, 2014 Matt Cassel QB 2 years / $10 million[15]
Everson Griffen DE 5 years / $42.5 million[16]
March 12, 2014 Joe Berger G 1 year / $985,000[17]
March 14, 2014 Jerome Simpson WR 1 year / $1 million[18][19]
March 15, 2014 Charlie Johnson G 2 years / $5 million[20]
April 7, 2014 Matt Asiata RB 1 year / $570,000[21]
August 31, 2014 Joe Banyard RB [22][PS]
Kain Colter WR
Isame Faciane DT
Chase Ford TE
Zac Kerin C
Justin Trattou DE
September 2, 2014 Austin Wentworth OT [23][PS]
September 16, 2014 Zach Line FB [24][PS]
October 7, 2014 Donte Foster WR [25][PS]
Chandler Harnish QB
November 12, 2014 Ryan Otten TE [26][PS]
November 18, 2014 Dominique Williams RB [27][PS]
^[RFC] Denotes this is a reserve/future contract.
^[PS] Denotes a signing to the Practice Squad.
Date Player name Position Note New team
February 7, 2014 Erin Henderson MLB Released[28]
March 5, 2014 John Carlson TE Released[29] Arizona Cardinals[30]
March 6, 2014 Greg Childs WR Released[31] Toronto Argonauts (CFL)[32]
Letroy Guion DE Green Bay Packers[33]
March 11, 2014 Desmond Bishop LB UFA Arizona Cardinals[34]
Marvin Mitchell LB
March 12, 2014 Toby Gerhart RB Jacksonville Jaguars[35]
March 14, 2014 Chris Cook CB San Francisco 49ers[36]
March 21, 2014 Joe Webb QB/WR Carolina Panthers[37]
March 26, 2014 Jared Allen DE Chicago Bears[38]
April 16, 2014 Josh Freeman QB New York Giants[39]
June 16, 2014 Kevin Williams DT Seattle Seahawks[40]
August 25, 2014 Robert Steeples CB Released[41] Kansas City Chiefs[42]
August 30, 2014 Jeff Baca G Released[43] Cincinnati Bengals[44]
Chase Baker DT
September 8, 2014 Jamarca Sanford FS Injury settlement[45] Washington Redskins[46]
September 18, 2014 Jerome Simpson WR Released[47] San Francisco 49ers (2015)
October 2, 2014 Rodney Smith WR Released[48] Cleveland Browns[49]
Date Player name Position Previous team Contract terms
January 3, 2014 Josh Samuda G Miami Dolphins (2012) 1 year / $495,000 [RFC][50][51]
March 12, 2014 Jasper Brinkley MLB Arizona Cardinals 1 year / $830,000[52][53]
Linval Joseph DT New York Giants 5 years / $31.5 million[54]
March 13, 2014 Captain Munnerlyn CB Carolina Panthers 3 years / $14.25 million[55]
March 20, 2014 Tom Johnson DT New Orleans Saints 1 year / $845,000[56]
March 21, 2014 Corey Wootton DE Chicago Bears 1 year / $1.5 million[57]
March 27, 2014 Vladimir Ducasse G New York Jets 1 year / $795,000[58][59]
April 8, 2014 Lestar Jean WR Houston Texans 1 year / $635,000[60][61]
May 13, 2014 Antonio Richardson OT Tennessee Undrafted FA[62]
May 19, 2014 Dom DeCicco LB Chicago Bears [63][64]
August 31, 2014 Mike Harris OT San Diego Chargers [22]
September 9, 2014 Josh Kaddu LB Philadelphia Eagles [65][PS]
September 20, 2014 Charles Johnson WR Cleveland Browns [47]
November 3, 2014 Pat Devlin QB Miami Dolphins [66][PS]
December 6, 2014 Ahmad Dixon S Miami Dolphins [67]
December 10, 2014 Carter Bykowski OT San Francisco 49ers [68]
December 17, 2014 Jordan McCray G Green Bay Packers [69][PS]
December 24, 2014 Justin Anderson LB New York Giants [70][PS]
Henry Josey RB Jacksonville Jaguars [70]



Week Date Opponent Result Record Venue Attendance NFL.com
1 August 8 Oakland Raiders W 10-6 1-0 TCF Bank Stadium 51,752 Recap
2 August 16 Arizona Cardinals W 30-28 2-0 TCF Bank Stadium 51,763 Recap
3 August 23 at Kansas City Chiefs W 30-12 3-0 Arrowhead Stadium 73,442 Recap
4 August 28 at Tennessee Titans W 19-3 4-0 LP Field 69,143 Recap

Game summaries

Week 1: vs. Oakland Raiders

Coming off a season in which the Vikings let almost every team score at least 20 points on them (including the preseason), the Vikings showcased a defense that held the Raiders to a single digit score and kept them scoreless until the last 90 seconds of the 4th quarter, when they eventually scored a touchdown. This was the first time the Vikings' defense held any team to a single digit score since week 16 of the 2012 season. Rookie Anthony Barr recorded half a sack, and Kurt Coleman intercepted Raiders quarterback Derek Carr once.

On the offense, Matt Cassel started and shined on his sole drive, leading the team down the field, where Matt Asiata scored the Vikings' only touchdown of the game from a yard out. After Cassel's drive, rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater entered the game and played a few drives, completing 6 of 13 pass attempts for 49 yards, getting sacked twice, and fumbling once (fellow Viking Matt Kalil recovered the fumble). The Vikings got a field goal on the second drive. Shortly after the half, the signal calling was turned to Christian Ponder, who managed a pair of first-down passes of 17 and 15 yards early on, but produced little thereafter.

Week 2: vs. Arizona Cardinals

The Vikings faced a Cardinals team that shut the Texans out 32-0 in week 1. The Cardinals strained the Vikings' defense, but the offense, headed by Matt Cassel in the first half, was able to keep pace with their scoring to see the Vikings trailing 14-13 at halftime. The Vikings switched to Teddy Bridgewater after the half, and the rookie quarterback orchestrated a pair of drives that put the Vikings back in the lead 24-21. A few drives later, the Vikings' defense would end up being penalized three straight times, allowing the Cardinals to score a touchdown through a botched snap that was recovered by the Cardinals and run into the end zone. The Vikings were given the ball with around a minute to score. Bridgewater led the Vikings down field in comeback fashion to score the game-winner with a pass to Rodney Smith, sealing another preseason victory for the Vikings.

Week 3: at Kansas City Chiefs

The Vikings traveled to Kansas City to play against Matt Cassel's former team. The defense played remarkably well, with Captain Munnerlyn, Chad Greenway and Shaun Prater each recording an interception. The Vikings' defense managed to hold the Chiefs to five points for a majority of the game until they got a touchdown in the final minute for a total of 12. For the third game running, Cassel was the starting quarterback and he played the majority of this game; he gained 152 passing yards with a touchdown pass to Cordarrelle Patterson, and threw a pick, the Vikings' only turnover of their preseason. Bridgewater also saw a little action; though he made few pass attempts, he gained 40 passing yards and made two touchdown passes to Allen Reisner.

Week 4: at Tennessee Titans

The Vikings traveled to Tennessee to face the Titans in the preseason finale. The Vikings' defense excelled in keeping the Titans to a minimal score, and recorded a strip sack by Corey Wootton and an interception by Julian Posey. Teddy Bridgewater was the starter for this game, and led the Vikings to score 10 points in their first two drives. Christian Ponder then took over for the rest of the game, leading three more scoring drives, though he and the offense were unable to score any touchdowns.

Regular season


Week Date Opponent Result Record Venue Attendance NFL.com
1 September 7 at St. Louis Rams W 34-6 1-0 Edward Jones Dome 55,919 Recap
2 September 14 New England Patriots L 7-30 1-1 TCF Bank Stadium 52,350 Recap
3 September 21 at New Orleans Saints L 9-20 1-2 Mercedes-Benz Superdome 73,005 Recap
4 September 28 Atlanta Falcons W 41-28 2-2 TCF Bank Stadium 52,173 Recap
5 October 2 at Green Bay Packers L 10-42 2-3 Lambeau Field 78,054 Recap
6 October 12 Detroit Lions L 3-17 2-4 TCF Bank Stadium 52,213 Recap
7 October 19 at Buffalo Bills L 16-17 2-5 Ralph Wilson Stadium 68,477 Recap
8 October 26 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 19-13 (OT) 3-5 Raymond James Stadium 56,577 Recap
9 November 2 Washington Redskins W 29-26 4-5 TCF Bank Stadium 52,252 Recap
10 Bye
11 November 16 at Chicago Bears L 13-21 4-6 Soldier Field 61,792 Recap
12 November 23 Green Bay Packers L 21-24 4-7 TCF Bank Stadium 52,386 Recap
13 November 30 Carolina Panthers W 31-13 5-7 TCF Bank Stadium 52,016 Recap
14 December 7 New York Jets W 30-24 (OT) 6-7 TCF Bank Stadium 52,152 Recap
15 December 14 at Detroit Lions L 14-16 6-8 Ford Field 62,490 Recap
16 December 21 at Miami Dolphins L 35-37 6-9 Sun Life Stadium 66,203 Recap
17 December 28 Chicago Bears W 13-9 7-9 TCF Bank Stadium 52,364 Recap
Note: Division rivals are marked with bold text.

Game summaries

Week 1: at St. Louis Rams

The Vikings opened their season on the road against the St. Louis Rams and took the lead in the first half with a field goal in each quarter from 52 yards and 46 yards, respectively, from third-year kicker Blair Walsh and an eight-yard touchdown pass from Matt Cassel to Greg Jennings with 21 seconds left in the half, set up by an interception from Josh Robinson at the Rams' 35-yard line. The Rams struck back early in the third quarter with a field goal from Greg Zuerlein before Vikings wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson made the play of the game with a 67-yard touchdown run. The Vikings secured the game late in the fourth quarter as TE Kyle Rudolph connected with Cassel on a seven-yard touchdown pass, while Rudolph's former Notre Dame teammate Harrison Smith took an interception 81 yards for the Vikings' fourth touchdown of the game. Zuerlein added another field goal late in the game to make the final score 34-6 to the Vikings, their first road victory since week 16 of the 2012 season against the Houston Texans.

Week 2: vs. New England Patriots

The Vikings began their opening home game of the season without Adrian Peterson, who was deactivated after being charged with negligent injury of a child for allegedly beating his four-year-old son with a tree branch.[105] He was replaced in the starting lineup by Matt Asiata, who got the Vikings off to a good start with a 25-yard touchdown reception from Matt Cassel on the game's opening possession. The defense then forced the Patriots into a three-and-out, only for Cassel to throw an interception attempting to find Jarius Wright deep downfield. Devin McCourty returned the ball 60 yards to the Minnesota 1-yard line, and two plays later, Stevan Ridley ran in to tie the scores. A second interception early in the second quarter resulted in another scoring drive for New England, as Tom Brady connected with Julian Edelman on a nine-yard TD catch. As the first half drew to a close, the Vikings drove downfield to give Blair Walsh a 48-yard field goal attempt with 19 seconds on the clock; however, Patriots DE Chandler Jones was able to burst through the Minnesota offensive line and block the kick before scooping up the ball and returning it 58 yards for the Patriots' third TD of the half.

After the break, Cassel threw another two interceptions, one in each quarter, with the first resulting in a 47-yard Stephen Gostkowski field goal. The second occurred with six minutes left in the game, and the Patriots were able to hang onto possession until the two-minute warning before turning the ball over on downs at the Minnesota 19-yard line. Aided by two pass interference penalties, Cassel led the Vikings down the field and thought he had managed to cut into the New England lead with a 16-yard pass to Greg Jennings with 41 seconds to play, only for Jennings to be ruled out of bounds before gaining possession of the ball. Cassel was then sacked for a 14-yard loss on the next play and the game finished as a 30-7 Patriots win.

Week 3: at New Orleans Saints

After initially stating that Adrian Peterson would return to the active roster for their Week 3 game at New Orleans, the Vikings later placed the running back on the inactive list indefinitely, pending the outcome of the court case against him. Despite coming into the game at 0-3, the Saints started well, scoring two touchdowns on their first two drives, although DE Everson Griffen was able to block the extra point attempt on the second. The Vikings responded to going 13-0 down with two field goals from 25 and 30 yards respectively, but an injury to Matt Cassel meant a debut for rookie QB Teddy Bridgewater.

K Blair Walsh hit a 40-yard field goal to open the second half for the Vikings, but New Orleans closed the game out with an 18-yard touchdown pass from Drew Brees to Marques Colston early in the fourth quarter. They were aided on the drive by a penalty for unnecessary roughness against CB Captain Munnerlyn for a tackle on Brees, but many thought that Brees should also have been penalized for his reaction and the penalties offset. Regardless, the Vikings were forced to punt on their next possession and the Saints were able to run out the clock for a 20-9 win.

Week 4: vs. Atlanta Falcons

Having lost Matt Cassel for the season, the Vikings gave Teddy Bridgewater his first career start at home to the Falcons in week 4, but it was running back Matt Asiata who opened the scoring with a 3-yard touchdown run. Roddy White leveled the scores with a 24-yard catch from Matt Ryan, but a 49-yard kickoff return from Cordarrelle Patterson set the Vikings up with a short field on the next drive, which Asiata finished with a 6-yard run to restore Minnesota's seven-point lead. Steven Jackson thought he had tied the scores again on a 3-yard run with six minutes to go in the half, only for the touchdown call to be overturned on review; however, Ryan was able to find FB Patrick DiMarco in the flat on the next play. However, Bridgewater himself restored Minnesota's advantage on the ensuing possession, capping an 80-yard drive with a 13-yard touchdown run as the game entered its first two-minute warning. After forcing Atlanta into a quick three-and-out, Bridgewater led the Vikings downfield to the brink of another touchdown, but a lack of time meant they had to settle for an 18-yard Blair Walsh field goal to give them a 24-14 lead at the half.

Walsh scored another field goal on the opening drive of the second half, but long touchdowns for Devin Hester and Antone Smith gave the Falcons a one-point lead going into the fourth quarter. Those would prove to be Atlanta's last points of the game as Asiata picked up his third TD run early in the fourth quarter, with Bridgewater adding two points with a pass to Rhett Ellison. Bridgewater was injured on that drive, meaning that third-string QB Christian Ponder came in for his first appearance of the season. However, his job was simply to hand the ball off to rookie running back Jerick McKinnon, who set up a 55-yard field goal attempt for Walsh. An interception by Harrison Smith led to another field goal from 33 yards, before Josh Robinson closed the game out with another interception.

Week 5: at Green Bay Packers

With only four days between games, Teddy Bridgewater had insufficient time to recover from the injury he picked up in week 4 and Christian Ponder made his first start since week 12 of the 2013 season. The Vikings defense forced Green Bay to punt on the first possession of the game, but soon kicked the ball back to the Packers, allowing Eddie Lacy's running to set up an 8-yard touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers to Randall Cobb. The Vikings' ensuing possession again ended with a punt, and Rodgers punished them with a 66-yard TD pass to Jordy Nelson. The teams traded possession as the game moved into the second quarter, until Ponder threw the ball directly to Packers DE Julius Peppers, who returned the interception 49 yards for his team's third TD of the game. Two plays later, Ponder was picked off again, this time by LB Jamari Lattimore, leaving a short field for Rodgers to work into before throwing an 11-yard TD pass to WR Davante Adams.

The second half began in much the same vein, as the Packers forced a Vikings punt on the first possession before marching downfield to set Lacy up for an 11-yard scoring run. The running back went into the end zone again at the end of the Packers' next possession with a 10-yard run, giving the home team a 42-0 lead. CB Marcus Sherels returned the ensuing kickoff 46 yards, and Ponder was able to pass downfield to the Green Bay 6-yard line, from where he ran into the end zone for the Vikings' first points of the game. Three plays later, Harrison Smith picked off a pass from Matt Flynn at the Green Bay 30-yard line, but the Vikings were unable to get into the end zone despite the short field and had to settle for a 26-yard Blair Walsh field goal. As the game drew to a close, the Vikings regained possession and drove down to the Packers' 8-yard line, only to be denied on 4th-and-goal, allowing Green Bay to end the game with a kneeldown.

Week 6: vs. Detroit Lions

Week 7: at Buffalo Bills

Week 8: at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Week 9: vs. Washington Redskins

With the close win over the Redskins, the Vikings improved to 4-5. Teddy Bridgewater's third win as a starting rookie quarterback breaks the franchise record (two wins) shared by both Fran Tarkenton and Christian Ponder.[106]

Week 10: Bye

The Vikings took their bye week in week 10, along with the Texans, Colts, Patriots, Chargers and Redskins.

Week 11: at Chicago Bears

Week 12: vs. Green Bay Packers

Week 13: vs. Carolina Panthers

Week 14: vs. New York Jets

With the overtime win, the Vikings improve to 6-7 and have therefore improved on last year's record.

Week 15: at Detroit Lions

The loss resulted in the Vikings being officially eliminated from playoff contention.

Week 16: at Miami Dolphins

Week 17: vs. Chicago Bears



NFC North
(2)Green Bay Packers 12 4 0 .750 5-1 9-3 486 348 W2
(6)Detroit Lions 11 5 0 .688 5-1 9-3 321 282 L1
Minnesota Vikings 7 9 0 .438 1-5 6-6 325 343 W1
Chicago Bears 5 11 0 .313 1-5 4-8 319 442 L5


Division leaders
1[a] Seattle Seahawks West 12 4 0 .750 5-1 10-2 394 254 140 W6
2[a] Green Bay Packers North 12 4 0 .750 5-1 9-3 486 348 138 W2
3[a] Dallas Cowboys East 12 4 0 .750 4-2 8-4 467 352 115 W4
4 Carolina Panthers South 7 8 1 .469 4-2 6-6 339 374 -35 W4
Wild Cards
5[b] Arizona Cardinals West 11 5 0 .688 3-3 8-4 310 299 11 L2
6[b] Detroit Lions North 11 5 0 .688 5-1 9-3 321 282 39 L1
Did not qualify for the playoffs
7 Philadelphia Eagles East 10 6 0 .625 4-2 6-6 474 400 74 W1
8 San Francisco 49ers West 8 8 0 .500 2-4 7-5 306 340 -34 W1
9[c] New Orleans Saints South 7 9 0 .438 3-3 6-6 401 424 -23 W1
10[c] Minnesota Vikings North 7 9 0 .438 1-5 6-6 325 343 -18 W1
11[d] New York Giants East 6 10 0 .375 2-4 4-8 380 400 -20 L1
12[d] Atlanta Falcons South 6 10 0 .375 5-1 6-6 381 417 -36 L1
13[d] St. Louis Rams West 6 10 0 .375 2-4 4-8 324 354 -30 L3
14 Chicago Bears North 5 11 0 .313 1-5 4-8 319 442 -123 L5
15 Washington Redskins East 4 12 0 .250 2-4 2-10 301 438 -137 L1
16 Tampa Bay Buccaneers South 2 14 0 .125 0-6 1-11 277 410 -133 L6
  1. ^ a b c Seattle, Green Bay and Dallas were ranked in seeds 1-3 based on conference record.
  2. ^ a b Arizona defeated Detroit head-to-head (Week 11, 14-6).
  3. ^ a b New Orleans defeated Minnesota head-to-head (Week 3, 20-9).
  4. ^ a b c The New York Giants defeated both Atlanta and St. Louis head-to-head (Atlanta: Week 5, 30-20; St. Louis: Week 16, 37-27), while Atlanta finished ahead of St. Louis
    based on conference record.
  5. ^ When breaking ties for three or more teams under the NFL's rules, they are first broken within divisions, then comparing only the highest ranked remaining team from each division.

Final roster



Team leaders

Category Player(s) Value
Passing yards Teddy Bridgewater 2,919
Passing touchdowns Teddy Bridgewater 14
Rushing yards Matt Asiata 570
Rushing touchdowns Matt Asiata 9
Receptions Greg Jennings 59
Receiving yards Greg Jennings 742
Receiving touchdowns Greg Jennings 6
Points Blair Walsh 107
Kickoff return yards Cordarrelle Patterson 871
Punt return yards Marcus Sherels 297
Tackles Robert Blanton 106
Sacks Everson Griffen 12
Interceptions Harrison Smith 5
Forced fumbles Anthony Barr 2

Source for this section: Minnesota Vikings' official website.[109]

League rankings

Category Total yards Yards per game NFL rank
(out of 32)
Passing offense 3,244 202.8 28th
Rushing offense 1,804 112.8 14th
Total offense 5,048 315.5 27th
Passing defense 3,572 223.3 7th
Rushing defense 1,943 121.4 25th
Total defense 5,515 344.7 14th

Source for this section: NFL.com.[110]


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