It's midweek again, and that means it is time for our weekly history lesson. Today, I will be covering Green Bay's road history against Minnesota. Of all the Packers' present divisional rivals, this is the only series where the rival does not lead on its home turf. Rather, the Packers and Vikings have each beaten the other team 26 times in Minnesota.
The Vikings entered the NFL in 1961, right as Lombardi's Packers began their reign of dominance. The Packers would win in Minnesota every year under Lombardi, posting a perfect 7-0 record in the state of Minnesota under the legendary head coach. In that last year, however, the Packers only won due to a late field goal, 30-27, over new Vikings coach Bud Grant.
It would be Grant who soon ruled the Central Division. The Vikings routinely won division titles throughout the remainder of the 1960s and much of the 1970s. The Packers would win only two of the next twelve games in Minnesota as a result, but did win the 1972 game there on their way to the NFC Central title. The 1978 game would be the tie-breaking game in the season series, as the Packers lost out on the Central Division title by half a game to the Vikings.
In 1980, however, the tides turned in Minnesota. The Packers embarked upon a five-game road winning streak over the Vikings, including winning their last game in Metropolitan Stadium in 1981 before the Vikings moved indoors. The 1982 game was wiped out due to the player's strike that year, but the Packers kept winning in Minnesota after the strike. The Packers went on to win seven of eight road games against the Vikings during the 1980s, completely changing the series there.
In 1989, however, the Vikings finally reestablished their winning ways over the Packers in the Metrodome. The Packers would win the 1991 game, but released Lindy Infante as coach shortly thereafter. The arrival of Brett Favre did not change matters in Minnesota, as the Metrodome became a house of horrors for the Packers for a decade, with the Packers only winning the 1997 and 2000 games.
The Packers finally broke through in 2003, winning in the Metrodome and avenging an earlier loss in Lambeau Field. This game put the Packers back in the NFC North Division race, which they eventually won on the last week of the season (a weekend you might remember thanks to this radio call). A year later, the teams met for a winner-take-all game to determine who would win the NFC North. The Packers edged the Vikings, 34-31, on a last-second Ryan Longwell field goal.
The Vikings would win the 2005 game, only for the Packers to win in 2006 and 2007. The 2007 game featured Brett Favre breaking Dan Marino's all-time passing touchdowns record (a record since eclipsed by Peyton Manning earlier this year). Following Favre's acrimonious departure from the Packers in 2008, the Vikings would win the 2008 matchup.
It was the 2009 game the Packers really looked forward to. Favre, making his first start against the Packers, defeated Green Bay 30-23 on Monday Night Football, and would later sting Packers fans even more by winning later in the year in Lambeau Field. The Packers would get their revenge on Favre the following year, defeating him twice, including the 31-3 game in Minnesota. After this game, embattled Vikings coach Brad Childress was fired.
The Packers won in Minnesota in 2011, only for the Vikings to win the 2012 matchup while Adrian Peterson nearly set the single-season rushing record. The Packers defeated the Vikings in Minnesota in 2013, winning their last game in the Metrodome and evening the all-time series in Minnesota.
What are your memories of the Packers visiting the Vikings?