Having spent numerous years as division rivals in the old NFC Central, the Minnesota Vikings and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have faced off quite a bit over the years. In fact, outside of Chicago, Detroit, and Green Bay, the Vikings have not lined up across any team more often than they have against the Buccaneers. These teams have faced off 54 times since the Buccaneers were born in 1976.
As you would expect, then, there is quite a bit of history between these two teams. . .and the recent history, for the most part, has not been terribly kind to the purple. As we do every week, we take a look back at some of the history between these two teams. These numbers are brought to you by the folks from Pro Football Reference.
Total Games Between the Buccaneers and the Vikings: 54
All-Time Record: Vikings, 32-22
Total Vikings Points Scored, Head-to-Head: 1149 (21.3 points/game)
Total Buccaneers Points Scored, Head-to-Head: 983 (18.2 points/game)
Longest Vikings Winning Streak vs Buccaneers: 5, twice (most recently from 3 November 1991 - 10 October 1993)
Longest Buccaneers Winning Streak vs Vikings: 6 (28 October 2001 - 25 October 2012)
Most Recent Vikings Home Win in series: 30 September 2001 (final score 20-16)
Most Recent Buccaneers Road Win in series: 25 October 2012 (final score 36-17)
Biggest Vikings Home Win in series: 32 points, 30 November 1986 (final score 45-13)
Biggest Buccaneers Road Win in series: 19 points, 25 October 2012 (final score 36-17)
Current Streak: Vikings, 1 win
The last game between these two teams took place in Tampa in October of 2014, and it’s one that most Vikings fans will surely remember quite fondly. The Vikings took a 10-0 lead into the fourth quarter, but fell behind 13-10 just after the two-minute warning. Teddy Bridgewater then moved the Vikings down the field, and put them in position for a game-tying field goal from Blair Walsh, who sent the game to overtime. Tampa got the ball first in the extra session, and ran exactly one offensive play, as Harrison Smith caused tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins to fumble, with Anthony Barr cleaning things up and rumbling into the end zone for a 27-yard touchdown to seal a 19-13 Minnesota victory.
Prior to that, the Vikings had lost six straight games to Tampa, including a rather embarrassing loss in prime time. Led by three touchdown passes from Josh Freeman. . .yes, that Josh Freeman (before he decided he really didn’t care about football any more), the Bucs scored early and often, padding their lead to 20 points by the middle of the third quarter. Adrian Peterson ripped off a 64-yard touchdown to close the gap, but Doug Martin answered with a 64-yard score of his own in the fourth quarter to give the Buccaneers a 36-17 victory.
To find the last time the Vikings beat the Buccaneers in the friendly confines of Minnesota, we have to go all the way back to the 2001 season. It was a defensive struggle as the teams combined for just one touchdown in the first three quarters of play. Early in the fourth, Warrick Dunn scored on a six-yard rush to give the Buccaneers a 16-13 lead. Daunte Culpepper threw an interception on the next drive, but got one more opportunity and made the most of it. Culpepper put the Vikings in position to score, and finished the drive with an 8-yard touchdown run with a minute to play to give Minnesota a 20-16 victory for their first win of the 2001 season.
Overall, the Vikings have fared relatively well at home against the Buccaneers, putting together an 18-9 record against them over the years. But, the last three meetings between the two teams in Minneapolis have gone to the road team. Hopefully the Vikings can snap that string and get themselves back into the win column on Sunday afternoon.