In a bit of a strange twist, the Minnesota Vikings will play their second game of the season against the Detroit Lions before they play another game against another NFC North opponent. The Vikings defeated the Lions in their home opener back in Week 2 by a score of 26-16. Now, the Vikings will look to sweep the Lions for the first time since 2012 when they travel to Ford Field this coming Sunday.
So, let's take a second look back at the history between these two teams, this time focusing more on games that have taken place in Detroit. As they always do, the numbers in this story all come courtesy of the folks at Pro Football Reference.
Total Games Between the Vikings and the Lions: 118 (all regular season)
All-Time Regular Season Record: Vikings, 70-36-2
Total Vikings Points Scored, Head-to-Head: 2,338 (19.8 points/game)
Total Lions Points Scored, Head-to-Head: 2,005 (17 points/game)
Longest Vikings' Winning Streak against Lions: 13 (6 October 1968 - 22 September 1974)
Longest Lions' Winning Streak against Vikings: 5 (19 November 1961 - 27 October 1963, first 5 games in series)
Most Recent Vikings' Victory in Detroit: 30 September 2012 (Final score 20-13)
Most Recent Lions' Victory in Detroit: 14 December 2014 (Final score 16-14)
Biggest Vikings' Victory in Detroit: 27 points, 27 November 1969 (Thanksgiving game, final score 27-0)
Note: I initially had incorrect information in the note above. Thanks to purplegrey for the correction.
Biggest Lions' Victory in Detroit: 38 points, 12 December 1981 (Final score 45-7)
Current Streak: Vikings, W1
A few various notes about this series:
-The 70 victories that the Vikings have over the Lions are the most they have over any team in franchise history. Their second-highest victory total is against next week's opponents, the Chicago Bears. The Vikings have beaten the Bears 55 times in their history.
-Though no NFC North team has really "stopped" Adrian Peterson over the course of his Vikings' career, the Lions have probably done the best job against him. He's averaged 107.1 yards/game in his 13 career games against Detroit, about 10 yards/game less than against the Vikings' other two NFC North foes (116.3 against Chicago and 117.7 against Green Bay). He's also found the end zone 12 times against the Lions in his career, just as he has against the Packers. He has 14 career touchdowns against Chicago.
-Teddy Bridgewater will be seeing the Lions for the fourth time in his career, and he's had a rough go of it against them so far. In his first three starts, he has completed 70.8% of his passes, which is good. However, he currently has a ratio of two touchdowns to five interceptions against them, including two interceptions in last year's game at Ford Field.
-On the other hand, Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford has had some decent success against the Vikings in his career. In 11 career games against the Vikings, he has completed 62.6% of his passes and averaged 257 yards/game. He also has a significantly better touchdown-to-interception ratio than you'd probably expect, as he's thrown 16 touchdown passes against Minnesota against just five interceptions.
Eric touched on quite a few other things in the history post he did the first time these two teams got together, so we'll leave it at that for now. Hopefully our favorite football team will be able to complete the sweep on Sunday and double their divisional win total from last season.