There’s some history between the Minnesota Vikings and the Carolina Panthers, but not a whole heck of a lot, as the two teams have only met up twelve times. There’s almost no history between the two teams in Charlotte, where this weekend’s game will. . .probably. . .take place, as the Vikings have only had to travel to Carolina three times. The Vikings have a slight overall advantage, but when the Vikings have lost to the Panthers, they’ve had a tendency to lose big.
Let’s take a look back at the history between the Vikings and the Panthers, thanks to the numbers provided by the good folks at Pro Football Reference.
Total Games Between the Vikings and the Panthers: 12
All-Time Record: Vikings, 7-5 (Vikings 1-2 at Carolina, 6-3 in Minnesota)
Total Vikings’ Points Scored, Head-to-Head: 214 (17.8 points/game)
Total Panthers’ Points Scored, Head-to-Head: 244 (20.3 points/game)
Longest Vikings’ Winning Streak against Panthers: 3 (6 October 1996 - 19 November 2000)
Longest Panthers’ Winning Streak against Vikings: 3 (9 September 2001 - 30 October 2005)
Most Recent Vikings’ Road Win In Series: 30 October 2011 (Final score 24-21)
Most Recent Panthers’ Home Win In Series: 20 December 2009 (Final score 26-7)
Biggest Vikings’ Road Win in Series: 3 points, 30 October 2011 (Final score 24-21)
Biggest Panthers’ Home Win in Series: 25 points, 30 October 2005 (Final score 38-13)
Current Streak: Vikings, 1 victory
Yes, the Vikings’ one and only victory in Charlotte was their most recent trip there in 2011. The game featured rookie quarterbacks Cam Newton and Christian Ponder, and Minnesota took the lead on a 31-yard field goal by Ryan Longwell with 2:43 remaining. Newton moved his team down the field and set them up for a 31-yard field goal of their own that would have tied the game, but Olindo Mare pushed it wide to the left and the Vikings managed to sneak out with a victory, 24-21.
Minnesota’s 2009 trip to Charlotte happened on a rainy Sunday night. . .you know, back when the Vikings were still awful in prime time. Julius Peppers spent his evening destroying Bryant McKinnie, but the Vikings actually managed to go into the locker room at halftime with a 7-6 lead. It wouldn’t hold, however, as the Panthers put up 20 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to pull away with a 26-7 win.
The 2005 game in Charlotte is usually remembered for one of two things. . .it was the game where Daunte Culpepper got his knee turned to spaghetti on a hit by cornerback Chris Gamble, and it was the first game after the “Love Boat” incident and saw Steve Smith kick Captain Fred Smoot’s rear end up one side of the field and down the other for four quarters. Smith finished the afternoon with 11 catches for 201 yards and a score, almost exclusively against Smoot, and the Panthers went home with a 38-13 victory.
The last meeting between these two teams happened in 2014 at TCF Bank Stadium. The temperatures were barely into double digits, but the Vikings’ special teams were plenty hot. They blocked two punts in the first half and returned both for touchdowns. One was by Adam Thielen, who got both the block and the score, and the second one was a combination of Jasper Brinkley blocking the punt and Everson Griffen taking it to the house. That was really all the Vikings needed, but Teddy Bridgewater tossed in two touchdown passes for good measure and the Vikings were victorious by a score of 31-13.
New Vikings’ quarterback Sam Bradford has faced the Panthers three times in his career, with mixed results. He has a lifetime record of 1-2, but he has completed 66.7% of his passes against Carolina with three touchdown passes and two interceptions. His lone career victory against them came in his rookie season of 2010, as he led the St. Louis Rams to a 20-10 victory over the Panthers. Bradford had an outstanding game, completing 25-of-32 passes for 191 yards and two touchdowns.
His second start didn’t end nearly as well, though Bradford put up some decent numbers. He faced the Panthers in 2013 in what would end up being his final game as the Rams’ starting quarterback. Bradford completed 21-of-32 passes for 255 yards, one touchdown, and one interception before leaving the game with a knee injury, and the Panthers ran away with a 30-15 victory. The first points in that one were scored by some guy named Captain Munnerlyn, who intercepted a Bradford pass attempt and took it 45 yards for a touchdown.
Bradford’s most recent appearance against the Panthers was also his ugliest, as he faced them last season as the quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles. In that one, Bradford completed just 26-of-46 attempts for 205 yards, no touchdowns, and an interception. Philadelphia took the loss that afternoon, falling to the eventual NFC Champions by a score of 27-16.
That’s a brief look at the history between the Carolina Panthers and the Minnesota Vikings over the years, ladies and gentlemen. Hopefully the Vikings can overcome some pretty formidable odds to even their all-time mark in Carolina on Sunday afternoon.