The folks from Football Perspective put up some interesting stats over the past few days. They put up the leaders in all sorts of statistics for each franchise in the NFL, and then turned it around and figured out who has had the most success against each team. They did this for passing, rushing, and receiving statistics, and some of the numbers are pretty interesting.
As far as who has had the most success passing against the Vikings, it should come as no surprise that the answer is Brett Favre. In 31 games against the Vikings over his career, Favre managed to rack up 7,379 passing yards and 54 passing touchdowns against our favorite football team. Those are still better numbers than Favre put up over his career against the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears, which is something, I guess. In fact, no quarterback has more yards and touchdown passes against an opponent in NFL history than Favre has against Detroit.
Only one Viking appears on the list as being the greatest passing nemesis of another team. . .and, as you might guess, that person is Fran Tarkenton. In 28 career games against the Green Bay Packers, Tarkenton threw for 4,978 yards and 33 touchdowns, more than any other Green Bay opponent.
Moving on to the rushing stats, the person that had the most success against the Vikings should, again, come as no surprise. As you could probably guess from the picture, it's the late, great Walter Payton. In 24 games against Minnesota, Payton totaled 2,279 yards on the ground to go along with 15 rushing touchdowns. He did even better against the Packers, though. . .205 more yards and four more touchdowns (in the same number of games), to be exact.
Surprisingly. . .or maybe not. . .Adrian Peterson is already one of the biggest thorns in Chicago's side. In ten career games against the Bears, he has put up more rushing touchdowns against the Chicago defense than any running back in history with 14. He doesn't have the most yardage against the Bears, though. . .that distinction goes to Barry Sanders.
In the receiving category, the guys that had the most success against the Vikings are some guys that you might not expect. Donald Driver has more receptions against the Vikings than any other opposing receiver, getting 92 grabs in 22 career contests between the two teams. As far as yardage goes, the top spot goes to James Lofton, who went for 1,312 yards in 18 games against the Vikings. The guy with the most receiving touchdowns against the Vikings is none other than the greatest of all time, Jerry Rice. In 12 career games against Minnesota, he found the end zone 10 times. . .surprising for a guy that didn't play the Vikings very much.
As far as Vikings receivers against other teams, it won't shock anyone to see that Cris Carter owns most of the records against the Vikings' division rivals, both past and present. Carter has the most receptions of any opponent of Minnesota's current divisional rivals from Chicago (137), Detroit (110), and Green Bay (108), as well as Minnesota's former division rivals from Tampa Bay (114). Carter is also tops in yardage against Chicago and Tampa, but Randy Moss actually holds the distinction of the most receiving yardage against the Packers with 1,320 yards in 15 games. Moss also has the most receiving touchdowns of any Packer opponent with 14 and the most of any Bears' opponent with 10.
Who are some of the players that you remember being huge thorns in Minnesota's side during your time as a fan?