With the start of a brand new football season and an opponent we haven’t seen for a while, it’s time to add to our coverage of this week’s contest by looking back at the history between these two teams. There have only been 12 games between these two franchises throughout NFL history, and the Minnesota Vikings have generally had the better end of things, whether they were facing the Tennessee Titans, the Houston Oilers, or even the Tennessee Oilers. (Yes, they did keep the name for a bit after leaving the Lone Star State.)
Let’s take a look back at some of the history between these two teams, courtesy of the folks from Pro Football Reference. This history will include the games that the Vikings played against the Houston Oilers prior to the franchise’s relocation.
Total Games Between the Vikings and the Titans/Oilers: 12
All-Time Record: Vikings, 8-4 (Vikings 0-2 at Houston, 1-1 at Tennessee, 7-1 in Minnesota)
Total Vikings’ Points Scored, Head-to-Head: 320 (26.7 points/game)
Total Titans/Oilers Points Scored, Head-to-Head: 188 (15.7 points/game)
Longest Vikings’ Winning Streak Against Titans/Oilers: 4 (8 October 1995 - 24 October 2004)
Longest Titans/Oilers Winning Streak Against Vikings: 1 (4 different occasions)
Most Recent Vikings Road Win In Series: 26 December 1998 (Final score 26-16)
Most Recent Titans/Oilers Home Win In Series: 28 September 2008 (Final score 30-17)
Biggest Vikings Road Win In Series: 10 points, 26 December 1998 (Final score 26-16)
Biggest Titans/Oilers Home Win In Series: 13 points, 14 December 1996 (Final score 23-10) and 28 September 2008 (Final score 30-17)
Current Streak: Vikings, 1 victory
Throughout the history of this series, the Titans/Oilers have never been able to string together more than one victory in a row against the purple and gold. You can see by the wide disparity in points that things haven’t gone terribly well for the Titans against the Vikings over the years. In their history, they have two 13-point victories and two 4-point victories over the Vikings. Minnesota, on the other hand, has put some real hurt on the Titans/Oilers, including a 51-10 drubbing in the first meeting between these teams back in 1974.
The last time these two teams got together, it was at the Metrodome, and it wasn’t a terribly close affair. Christian Ponder threw for 258 yards and two scores, and the Minnesota defense pretty well shut down the Tennessee offense, as the Vikings blew out the Titans to the tune of 30-7 on 7 October 2012.
The last time these two teams got together in Tennessee wasn’t particularly competitive, either. Unfortunately, it was the wrong direction for us Vikings fans. What had been billed as a battle between two of the best young running backs in football, Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson and Tennessee’s Chris Johnson, didn’t really materialize. Peterson carried the ball 18 times for 80 yards, while Johnson collected 61 yards on 17 carries, with each finding the end zone twice. The Tennessee defense was the difference, though, as they largely shut down the Minnesota offense and walked away with a 30-17 win.
Peterson has had some measure of success against the Titans, averaging nearly five yards a carry against them in his two efforts. He has a total of 168 yards and two scores on 35 career carries.
Looking at Minnesota’s quarterbacks, if Sam Bradford does start or otherwise get into this one, it will be his first career game against the Titans franchise. Shaun Hill. . .who, surprisingly, has not been around long enough to have faced this franchise while they were still in Houston. . .has only faced the Titans once, and engineered a near incredible comeback. On 23 September 2012, as the backup quarterback for the Detroit Lions, Hill entered the game in relief of an injured Matthew Stafford with 1:16 left on the clock, the Lions trailing 41-27, and Detroit sitting 80 yards from the end zone. Hill engineered an 80-yard touchdown drive in just 58 seconds to get the Lions to within 41-34, and the Lions then recovered an onside kick. After an incompletion, this happened on the final play of regulation.
That got the Lions to overtime at 41-41. Unfortunately for them, they lost in overtime on a Rob Bironas field goal. That was also the only game Hill saw any action in for the 2012 season.
That’s a brief look back at the history between the Minnesota Vikings and the Tennessee Titans/Houston Oilers. Do you have any memories from the games between these two teams over the years?