It's time to officially put the past two debacles behind us and delve into the upcoming week. Today we'll look into the history between the Minnesota Vikings and their upcoming opponents, the Detroit Lions. Sunday will be the 110th all-time meeting between the two longtime division rivals. Let's take a high-level view of their storied history thanks to Pro Football Reference:
Total games between the Vikings and Lions (including playoffs): 109
All-Time Record: Vikings, 71-36-2 (no playoff meetings)
Total Vikings Points Scored, Head-to-Head: 2366 (21.7 points/game)
Total Lions Points Scored, Head-to-Head: 2024 (18.6 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 five games of the series)
Most Recent Vikings Home Win In Series: 20 September 2015 (Final score 26-16)
Most Recent Lions Road Win In Series: 12 October 2014 (Final score 17-3)
Biggest Vikings Home Win In Series: 34 points, 9 November 1980 (Final score 34-0)
Biggest Lions Road Win In Series: 27 points, 19 November 1961 (Final score 10-37) (First ever meeting)
Current Streak: Vikings, 2 victories
The Vikings have won 14 more times against the Lions than any other opponent in franchise history (71). The Vikings' .661 all-time winning percentage against Detroit is their best against any NFC team. (Minnesota has better winning percentages against four AFC teams--the Texans, Jaguars, Browns, and Titans.) Although the rivalry has been historically lopsided, it has been much closer in recent years--the Vikings and Lions have split their last ten contests.
Matthew Stafford is only 5-7 in his career against the Vikings but actually has pretty solid passing numbers against them. Stafford has a career passer rating of 90.6 against the Vikings, averaging 256.9 yards while amassing 18 touchdowns against only 5 interceptions. However, Stafford has been sacked a whopping 39 times by the Vikings. If Minnesota can keep that average up on Sunday, it could be another long day for Stafford.
After Monday night, Sam Bradford is now 0-2 against the Bears with some pretty poor numbers. It's the same story with a small sample size against Detroit. Bradford has lost both previous career contests against the Lions, averaging just over 200 yards per game with 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions. Both games came early in his career while he was with St. Louis. Hopefully reuniting with Pat Shurmur as his Offensive Coordinator will have the same effect that the introduction Jim Bob Cooter has had on Stafford's career thus far.
Can the Vikings turn the train wreck around and get their first win in four weeks? Las Vegas seems to still be in their corner. The Vikings are currently about a 6.5-point favorite with a -270 money line depending on which site you check.