With the Thursday game coming up quickly, it is time for our next history lesson. Today, we recap Green Bay's history against the Minnesota Vikings, limited to games played in Green Bay and Milwaukee. As the home team, the Packers lead the series 29-22-2, and the playoff matchups are tied at 1-1.
The Vikings entered the NFL in 1961, and they have played two games against the Packers every year since then with the exception of 1982. Early in the series, the Packers won a series of blowouts in Green Bay and Milwaukee, but then lost a shocker in 1964 due in large part to a missed extra point. The Packers would win the 1965 game, but the Vikings then established a long run of dominance in the state of Wisconsin.
From 1966-1978, the Vikings posted a 12-1-1 mark as the visiting team in the series, winning every single game they played in the state of Wisconsin outside of a 13-10 upset by the Packers in Milwaukee in 1970 and a 10-10 tie in 1978. As the Vikings had previously won the other game between the teams in the Twin Cities that year, the Vikings won the division championship even though both Minnesota and Green Bay ended up with identical 8-7-1 records.
From 1979-1990, the Packers actually changed their fortunes against the Vikings, even as the Vikings were nearly always contending for the division championship and the Packers were perennial NFC Central cellar-dwellers. Perhaps no more striking an example exists of this than in 1988, when two of the Packers' four wins came against the Minnesota Vikings, who won 11 of 16 regular season games played that year and made the divisional round of the playoffs.
After three Vikings victories in 1991-1993, including both Mike Holmgren's and Brett Favre's first two home games against the Vikings (in 1992 and 1993, respectively), the Packers then established dominance over the Vikings starting in 1994, dominance which has largely continued to the present day. Despite this, many of the games were either famous or infamous for NFL fans in general.
In 1998, the Vikings went into Lambeau Field on Monday night and broke the Packers' 27-game home winning streak (extending back to the opening game of the 1995 season and including playoffs) by winning 37-24. A year later, the Packers scored on a last-second touchdown pass to Corey Bradford, defeating the Vikings 23-20.
The 1999 game, however, would be overshadowed in large part by the wild Monday Night Football game at Lambeau Field between the Packers and Vikings in the 2000 season. After trading scores for much of the contest, the Vikings lined up to attempt a field goal on the final play, but the snap was bad and the ensuing pass by the holder (punter Mitch Berger) was intercepted in the end zone. In overtime, Favre lofted a pass for Antonio Freeman, who fell down as the ball arrived. The ball, however, bounced off Freeman's hand, then arm, and then landed on his chest. Clutching the ball, Freeman got up and sprinted into the end zone for an unbelievable touchdown as the Packers won 26-20. Al Michaels, calling the game, famously blurted out "He did What?" as Freeman crossed the goal line.
In 2003, the Vikings came into the rededicated Lambeau Field and defeated the Packers 30-25 (though the Packers would eventually get revenge on the Vikings by not only winning the rematch in the Metrodome, but also winning the division championship in the last week of the season). The 2004 game was another back-and-forth affair, with the Packers winning 34-31 on a field goal by Ryan Longwell as time expired. In the playoffs that year, however, the Vikings would get the last laugh, winning at Lambeau Field 31-17 in a game which featured Randy Moss infamously taunting Packers fans.
After a pair of victories for both teams, won in 2005 by Minnesota and 2006 by the Packers on last-second field goals, the Packers blanked the Vikings 34-0 at Lambeau Field in 2007. In 2008, Aaron Rodgers, making his first start as a Packer, defeated the Vikings 24-19. After that season, however, former Packer Brett Favre went to the Vikings for the 2009-2010 season.
Favre's return to Green Bay in 2009 was a victorious one, as the Vikings defeated the Packers 38-26 at Lambeau Field, holding off a late Packers rally. In 2010, however, the Packers finally beat Favre and the Vikings 28-24 (picking him off three times and taking one back for a touchdown), despite some dubious refereeing decisions in the game which only inflamed the rivalry.
The Packers kept winning, and finally evened the playoff series in 2012 by beating the Vikings 24-10. In 2013, the Vikings, helped by an ineffective start by Scott Tolzien, took a 23-7 lead at Lambeau Field. The Packers fought back, under former and current Packer Matt Flynn, and the game ended in a 26-26 tie. The Packers, however, did blow a series of chances to win the game and put the Vikings away (this nearly came back to haunt the Packers later in the year, but the Packers would win the NFC North title in 2013).
What are your memories of the Packers hosting the Vikings?