Throughout the course of franchise history, there are few teams that the Minnesota Vikings have had more success against than the Detroit Lions. In fact, there are only five teams that the Vikings have a higher winning percentage against than they have against Detroit, and they’ve played a total of 66 games against those five teams (as opposed to the 111 they’ve played against Detroit).
For the most part, the Vikings have had a pretty solid history against the guys in Honolulu Blue. However, the Lions have righted the ship a bit against our favorite team, including sweeping the Vikings in two of the last three seasons. Hopefully the Vikings can get back on track in this weekend’s contest.
As always, all of the statistics in this post are brought to you by the good folks from Pro Football Reference.
Total Games Between the Vikings and the Lions: 111
All-Time Record: Vikings, 71-38-2
Total Vikings Points Scored, Head-to-Head: 2,395 (21.6 points/game)
Total Lions Points Scored, Head-to-Head: 2,062 (18.6 points/game)
Longest Vikings Winning Streak vs Lions: 13 (6 October 1968 - 22 September 1974)
Longest Lions Winning Streak vs Vikings: 5 (19 November 1961 - 27 October 1963, first five games between these two teams)
Most Recent Vikings Home Win in series: 20 September 2015 (final score 26-16)
Most Recent Lions Road Win in series: 6 November 2016 (final score 22-16, overtime)
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 37-10, first game between the two teams)
Current Streak: Lions, 2 wins
The Vikings have had a couple of long winning streaks against the Lions in team history. In addition to the 13-game streak listed above, they also reeled off 10 straight wins against the Lions from 13 October 2002 to 10 December 2006. The Lions haven’t fared terribly well traveling to Minnesota recently, either. Since 1990, the Lions have only won in Minnesota seven times.
Of course we all know what happened last year between these two teams at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Vikings got a 1-yard touchdown run from Rhett Ellison to put themselves up 16-13 with just 23 seconds left in the game, but that was still enough time for Matthew Stafford to get Matt Prater set up for a game-tying 58-yard field goal. Detroit got the ball first in overtime, and the Vikings never got their hands on the football as Stafford found Golden Tate for the winning score in a 22-16 Detroit win.
The Vikings’ last victory over the Lions in Minneapolis came the year before at TCF Bank Stadium. The stat sheet may have only shown one sack of Stafford on that afternoon, but the Vikings knocked him around all day. Three Detroit turnovers also put a damper on Detroit’s chances, as the Vikings got a passing and a rushing touchdown from Teddy Bridgewater to stake themselves to an early lead. Detroit got a touchdown after it didn’t matter, giving the Vikings a 26-16 victory.
Minnesota’s last win over Detroit of any sort came at Ford Field in 2015. The Lions came out firing in that one, as Stafford connected on two touchdown passes to give the Lions an early 14-3 lead. However, they would only score five points the rest of the way, two of which came when punter Jeff Locke took a safety at the end of the game. Thanks to five Blair Walsh field goals and a pair of touchdown passes from Bridgewater, the Vikings concluded a season sweep of the Lions with a 28-19 victory.
That’s a quick look back at the history between the Detroit Lions and the Minnesota Vikings. Hopefully the purple can get themselves back on the winning track against the Lions this weekend at U.S. Bank Stadium.