It’s a little later in the week than we usually do this, but it’s time to take a look back at the history between the Minnesota Vikings and their opponent for the upcoming week. On Sunday, the Vikings will return home for the first time since Week 3 to take on the Arizona Cardinals, who this past Sunday became the last team in the NFL to get into the victory column.
These two teams have been fairly evenly matched over the years, but it’s depended heavily on where the games have been located. The Cardinals’ success in Minnesota has been pretty limited over the years, regardless of where they’ve called home.
As always, the numbers in this piece are brought to you by the folks from Pro Football Reference. Also, we will focus on regular season numbers only.
Games between the Vikings and the Cardinals: 25
All-time record: Vikings, 14-11
Total Vikings’ points scored, head-to-head: 595 (23.8 points/game)
Total Cardinals’ points scored, head-to-head: 559 (22.4 points/game)
Longest Vikings’ winning streak vs Cardinals: 4, 12 December 1995 to 12 November 2000
Longest Cardinals’ winning streak vs Vikings: 4, 6 November 1977 to 30 October 1983
Most recent Vikings’ home win in series: 20 November 2016 (final score 30-24)
Most recent Cardinals’ road win in series: 6 November 1977 (final score 27-7)
Biggest Vikings’ home win in series: 27 points, 13 October 1991 (final score 34-7)
Biggest Cardinals’ road win in series: 42 points, 6 October 1963 (final score 56-14, first game between the two teams)
Current streak: Vikings, 1 win
Yes, the last time an NFL team named the Cardinals won a game in Minnesota, they were not the Arizona Cardinals. They weren’t even the Phoenix Cardinals. They were the St. Louis Cardinals. Actually, if you look back at the history between these two teams, the Cardinals won the first four regular season games in Minnesota between these two teams (though the Vikings did get a post-season victory over the Cardinals en route to Super Bowl IX against Pittsburgh).
In that 1977 contest, neither team generated a whole lot in the passing game. Both teams threw for 143 yards, and both starting quarterbacks (Fran Tarkenton and Jim Hart) were intercepted three times. The difference was the fact that the Cardinals gained 316 yards on the ground, whereas the Vikings. . .well, didn’t. Two Cardinals running backs, Wayne Morris and Terry Metcalf, each had a pair of touchdowns in that one, and they each had one on the ground and one through the air. Morris did the majority of the damage, rushing for 182 yards, and the Cardinals raced out to a 27-0 lead before a garbage time touchdown from Sammy White in the fourth quarter closed the final margin to 27-7.
The last game between these two teams took place at U.S. Bank Stadium in 2016, and saw the Vikings riding a four-game losing streak after their 5-0 start. They had to do something to try to get themselves right again, and a couple of their stars did their best to do just that. Near the end of the first half, this happened:
That 100-yard pick-six by Xavier Rhodes now stands as the longest interception return for a touchdown in team history, and gave the Vikings a lead at halftime. To start the second half, Cordarrelle Patterson took a kickoff 104 yards for another score, and the Vikings were able to hold off a late Arizona rally to walk out with a 30-24 victory.
That’s a brief look back at the history between the Minnesota Vikings and the St. Louis/Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals, ladies and gentlemen. The Vikings have won their last eight regular season games on friendly soil between these two teams, and hopefully they can extend that streak of dominance to nine in a row.