Packers-Vikings Series History: Series Overview (Part 3 of 3)

At last, here is the third and final installation of my three-part series history about the Packers and Vikings.

This will be a general overview, with the series itself analyzed, with all the games examined and put into their proper context.  For links to the other two sections, here you go: Part 1, and Part 2.

And after the jump, there will be the series overview.

In 1961, the Vikings joined the NFL, and they began playing against the Packers.  The early years of this series saw many Packers wins, especially in Minnesota, where Lombardi's teams were unbeaten from 1961-1967.  In games in Green Bay and Milwaukee, though, the Vikings began winning in 1964.  They won all but two contests in Green Bay or Milwaukee until 1977.

And, with Bud Grant becoming the pre-eminent coach in the NFC Central, the Vikings also established dominance in Minnesota, winning every game in Metropolitan Stadium from 1968-1978 with the exceptions being the 1972 and 1974 games.

1978 was an interesting year.  The Vikings won the first game, 21-7, but the teams tied in Green Bay 10-10.  When both teams ended the regular season with 8-7-1 records, the Vikings won the division, and the Packers stayed home.  The following season, the Packers finally earned some payback by defeating the Vikings 19-7 in Milwaukee.

The 1980s were very peculiar in this series.  The early 1980s saw the Packers as perennial .500 teams, with four 8-8 records in five seasons.  The Packers won most of their games against the Vikings in this stretch, but when the Packers fell apart and became a very bad team in the latter half of the decade, they still managed to win many of the games against the Vikings.

A case in point for this trend would be the 1987 and 1988 seasons.  In 1987, the Packers won both games with the Vikings, but while the Packers stayed home with a 5-win, 9-loss, one-tie record, the Vikings went 8-7 and went on a Cinderella run and played in the NFC Championship game that year.  The following season, the 4-12 Packers won both games against the 11-5 Vikings.

In the early 1990s, the Vikings reasserted themselves in the series, only to have the series become a somewhat home-team dominated one a few years later.  Wins by the visiting team were rare up until the late 1990s.  Then in 2003, the series became one where no matter who had the better record, both teams fought hard for the games.  This trend continues, for the most part, to the present day.  Also, season sweeps became the norm, with the Packers sweeping the season series in 1997, 2000, 2004, 2006, 2007, and 2010, while the Vikings swept the season series in 1998 and 2005.

With regard to the playoffs, the only time the teams met in the playoffs was after the 2004 season, but this game did not go well for the Packers.  Favre threw four interceptions, and the Vikings won 31-17.

At present, the Packers lead the regular season series with the Vikings 52-47-1, with the Vikings leading the postseason series between the teams 1-0.  It's worth noting that the Packers are the only team in the NFC North Division with a lifetime head-to-head regular season advantage against Minnesota.  The Vikings lead the regular season series against both the Bears and Lions.

In general, what are your memories of this series?

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