With the Week 2 victory over the Detroit Lions officially in the books, it's time to start looking ahead to Week 3 of the 2015 NFL season. This week, the San Diego Chargers will make their way to TCF Bank Stadium as the Vikings will play their first of three consecutive games against AFC West opponents. They'll travel to the Mile High City to take on the Denver Broncos in Week 4, and host the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 6, following their ridiculously early bye week.
(Yeah, still hate the early bye after all of these years. That's never going to change.)
So, let's take a look back at the history between these two teams. Keep in mind, when I do these, I'm only interested in regular season stuff. Of course, playing AFC teams over the next three games, that distinction should be that much easier to draw. And, as always, these numbers come from the fine folks at Pro Football Reference.
Total Games Between the Vikings and the Chargers: 11 (all regular season)
All-Time Record: Chargers, 6-5
Total Vikings Points Scored, Head-to-Head: 248 (22.5 points/game)
Total Chargers Points Scored, Head-to-Head: 286 (26 points/game)
Longest Vikings Winning Streak vs Chargers: 1 (5 different times)
Longest Chargers Winning Streak vs Vikings: 1 (6 different times)
Most Recent Vikings' Victory in Minnesota: 4 November 2007 (Final score 35-17)
Most Recent Chargers' Victory in Minnesota: 7 November 1993 (Final score 30-17)
Biggest Vikings' Victory in Minnesota: 18 points, 4 November 2007 (Final score 35-17)
Biggest Chargers' Victory in Minnesota: 29 points, 2 September 1984 (Final score 42-13)
Current Winning Streak: Chargers, 1 (11 September 2011)
A few things about this series:
-The "winning streak" numbers are not a misprint. Throughout their history against each other, neither the Chargers nor the Vikings have won consecutive games against the other team. Their 11 matchups have literally gone, from the Vikings' perspective, loss-win-loss-win-loss-win-loss-win-loss-win-loss. So, hey, if the pattern holds, that's pretty good news for the Vikings, eh?
-The last time these two teams got together was in the 2011 season opener out on the West Coast. Percy Harvin returned the opening kickoff 105 yards for a touchdown, and the Vikings staked themselves to a 17-7 halftime lead. Then, the Vikings magically forgot how to play offense, as the Chargers ran off 17 unanswered second half points for a 24-17 victory.
-On the Chargers' last visit to Minnesota. . .well, we all remember what happened the last time the Chargers visited Minnesota. A fresh-faced rookie running back named Adrian Peterson went out and set the NFL's single-game rushing mark, putting up 296 yards in Minnesota's 35-17 win. (And if it hadn't been for a blatant horse-collar tackle by San Diego safety Marlon McCree, Peterson would have put up the NFL's first-ever 300+ yard rushing performance and absolutely obliterated the previous mark.) To make it even more amazing, 253 of Peterson's 296 yards came after halftime. . .his second half performance alone would put him in a tie for the ninth-best rushing performance in NFL history.
-Lost in the hoopla of Peterson setting the record in that game was that it also featured what was, at the time, the longest play in NFL history. Ryan Longwell attempted a 57-yard field goal at the end of the first half that came up short and was taken by (then) Chargers' cornerback Antonio Cromartie at the very back of the end zone and returned 109 yards the other way for a touchdown. The play can't be topped, but has been equalled since then, most recently (I believe) by Minnesota's Cordarrelle Patterson in 2013.
-Last, but not least. . .the man that was coaching the Chargers that fateful day? Some guy named Norv Turner. Perhaps you've heard of him.
-Seven of the eleven games in this series have been played in Minnesota. The Vikings have a 4-3 record against the Chargers on their home turf, as opposed to just a 1-3 record in four trips to San Diego.
And that's a quick look back at the history between the San Diego Chargers and the Minnesota Vikings. We'll obviously have more of a look at this game over the next few days leading up to Sunday.