Who Are The Minnesota Vikings' Biggest Rivals?
One of the aspects of the National Football League (NFL) that makes it so intriguing is the intense rivalries between the teams. These rivalries are often naturally born through geography. There are eight divisions of four within the league, and teams play the other teams within their division at least twice every year. This familiarity often breeds rivalries. For the Minnesota Vikings, they play within the NFC North division, and all of their rivalries originate from there. The biggest rivals of the Vikings are the Packers, Bears, and Lions. Read on to learn more about the greatest rivals of the Minnesota Vikings.
Green Bay Packers
The biggest rivals for the Vikings are the Green Bay Packers. Since the Vikings’ first season in 1961, they have played the Packers a total of 125 times. Since the Vikings were a new team and the Packers were one of the league’s historically great franchises, it is no surprise that the Packers won their first six meetings with Minnesota and nine of the first ten. Since then, however, it has been virtually even, with the Vikings and Packers each winning 56 games and three ending in a tie. These include two memorable matchups in the postseason, both in the 21st century. The first one was in 2005 when the Vikings went to Green Bay in the Wild Card round of the playoffs and eliminated their rivals 31-17.
The Packers would get their revenge eight years later, in the 2013 Wild Card round, when the Packers defeated the Vikings 24-10. Minnesota and Green Bay have really been the class of the NFC North division of late, battling for the division title every year. Since 2007, the two teams have won 14 of the past 16 division titles, nine for the Packers and five for the Vikings.
After the Packers, the most intense divisional rival of the Vikings is the Chicago Bears. The two have met 124 times throughout their history, including the playoffs. These two have been rivals since the very beginning of the Vikings franchise, as the Vikings’ first game in franchise history in 1961 was against the Bears. It was a great day for Minnesota as they trounced the Bears 37-13. Their next few matchups did not go as great, though, and the Vikings only won two of the next 15 matchups.
The Vikings have truly dominated the series since then, and they lead the overall series matchup with 65 wins against 57 losses and two ties. Minnesota and Chicago have one postseason matchup in their history, coming in the 1995 Wild Card Round. The Bears would eventually win that one with a final score of 35-18. The most recent matchups have been dominated by Minnesota, winning four of the last five.
The third and final major rival for the Vikings is the Detroit Lions, the fourth member of the NFC North division. Of the three teams listed here, the Lions are definitely the ones who the Vikings have dominated the most. After only winning three of their first 14 matchups, Minnesota has won 27 times against only 28 losses. Overall, the Vikings lead the series with 80 wins compared to 41 wins for the Lions and two ties. At one point, Minnesota even won thirteen matchups in a row from 1968-1974.
Perhaps the most dominant stretch for the Vikings against the Lions came in the early 2000s. From 2000 to 2010, the Vikings defeated the Lions 20 times in 22 matchups, with the only two losses coming by three points each. Due to the struggle of the Lions franchise and their lack of postseason appearances, these two have yet to meet in the playoffs. The Lions have been perhaps turning a corner, and they have beaten the Vikings in two of the last three matchups after losing eight in a row.
Who is the biggest rival of the Minnesota Vikings?
The Green Bay Packers are definitely the biggest rival of the Minnesota Vikings. Overall, Green Bay has a slight edge in the series history, with 65 wins against 57 losses and three ties. Additionally, they have combined to win 14 of the last 16 NFC North titles since 2007, with the Packers taking home the title nine times and the Vikings on five other occasions.