With it being a short week, it's time once again to take a look at the history between the Minnesota Vikings and their opponent for this week. This week, they travel for a Thursday night date against the Arizona Cardinals, who are on the short list of the best teams in the NFL as we come down the stretch. They currently sit at 10-2 on the season, and nearly have a first-round bye in the NFC locked up.
The Vikings have had quite a bit of success against the Cardinals over the years, but not quite so much recently. . .particularly when they've had to travel to the desert. Let's take a look back at that history, courtesy of the good folks at Pro Football Reference.
Total Games Between the Vikings and the Cardinals: 25 (23 regular season, 2 post-season)
All-Time Record: Vikings, 13-10 (Vikings 2-0 in post-season play)
Total Vikings Points Scored, Head-to-Head: 545 (23.7 points/game)
Total Cardinals Points Scored, Head-to-Head: 512 (22.3 points/game)
Longest Vikings' Winning Streak vs. Cardinals, Regular Season: 4 (12 November 1995 - 12 November 2000)
Longest Cardinals' Winning Streak vs. Vikings, Regular Season: 4 (6 November 1977 - 30 October 1983)
Most Recent Vikings' Victory at Arizona: 14 December 2008 (Final score 35-14)
Most Recent Cardinals' Victory at Arizona: 6 December 2009 (Final score 30-17)
Biggest Vikings' Victory at Arizona: 28 points, 27 October 1991 (Final score 28-0)
Biggest Cardinals' Victory vs. Minnesota: 42 points, 6 October 1963 (Final score 56-14, Cardinals played in St. Louis)
Current Streak: Vikings, 3 victories
And a few random tidbits from the history between these two teams. . .
-The first nine regular season games in this series came when the Cardinals were still calling St. Louis home. The Vikings were just 2-7 against the Cardinals when they played in St. Louis (though they did win a playoff game between the two teams in 1974). The Cardinals relocated to the desert before the 1988 season, where they were known as the Phoenix Cardinals until 1993 and then became the Arizona Cardinals. Since the move, the Vikings have been pretty good against the Cardinals, putting up a record of 11-3 (and another post-season victory in January of 1999).
-Unfortunately, Minnesota is just one for their last three in trips to Arizona. In 2003, the Vikings led the NFC North for 15 games, 59 minutes, and 59 seconds. . .and then lost on the final play of the season to the Josh McCown-led Cardinals by a score of 18-17. In prime time in 2009, the Vikings lost by a score of 30-17, but the thing that most people remember from that game was linebacker E.J. Henderson getting his leg turned into spaghetti in a collision with JaMarca Sanford.
-In between those two games, we got one of the more inexplicable performances in Vikings history. On 14 December 2008, Tarvaris Jackson. . .yeah, Tarvaris Jackson. . .threw four touchdown passes, including three in the first half (despite only throwing for 163 yards and completing 11 total passes), as the Vikings got out to a 28-0 halftime lead before winning 35-14.
-The last three games in this series have all taken place in Minnesota, and they've all been won by the Vikings.
-Adrian Peterson has had a pretty good time of things against the Cardinals in his career. He's faced them five times, and has carried the ball 108 times for 540 yards and five touchdowns in those games. He's had three 100-yard games against them, and also had one of the worst performances of his career. . .in that 2009 game, he carried the ball 13 times for just 19 yards.
-Cardinals' quarterback Carson Palmer has faced the Vikings three times in his career, but this will be his first time doing so as the Cardinals' quarterback. His first two games against the Vikings came when he was with the Cincinnati Bengals. . .a 37-8 Cincinnati win in 2005 and a 30-10 Minnesota victory in 2009. As the quarterback of the Oakland Raiders, he also defeated the Vikings by a score of 27-21 at the Metrodome in 2011. Overall, he has completed 67% of his passes against the Vikings for just under 200 yards/game, with a 5-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
And that's a quick look back at the history between the Cardinals and the Vikings. I don't feel terribly confident about the Vikings extending their reign of (relative) dominance since the Cardinals moved to the desert, but stranger things have happened.