It’s time to take our weekly look back at the Minnesota Vikings and their opponent for the upcoming week. On Sunday, the Vikings will have their third road game in four weeks against the New York Jets, who will be hosting their third straight home game.
These two non-conference opponents have both been around for quite a while, but they haven’t faced each other many times over the years. This will be only the 11th matchup between the two teams. Before the current scheduling formula ensured that no teams would go more than three seasons without playing each other in the regular season, the Vikings and Jets once went almost twelve full years between games. As you’ll see, the small sample size has been largely in favor of one team.
As always, all numbers are brought to you by the invaluable Pro Football Reference.
Games between the Vikings and the Jets: 10 (all in the regular season)
All-time record: Jets, 8-2
Total Vikings points scored, head-to-head: 172 (17.2 points/game)
Total Jets points scored, head-to-head: 250 (25.0 points/game)
Longest Vikings winning streak vs Jets: 1, twice
Longest Jets winning streak vs Vikings: 7, 15 October 1979 to 11 October 2010
Most recent Vikings road win in series: Never
Most recent Jets home win in series: 11 October 2010 (final score 29-20)
Biggest Vikings road win in series: Never
Biggest Jets home win in series: 28 points, 26 December 1982 (final score 42-14)
Current streak: Vikings, 1 win
The Vikings are attempting to do something they have never done in the history of their franchise on Sunday: beat the Jets on the road. They have failed in their five previous visits to New York and New Jersey. (The two meetings in the 1970’s were at Shea Stadium, before the Jets and Giants both shared Giants Stadium and then MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ.)
The last game the Vikings played in New York didn’t have the result they wanted, but it was still incredibly memorable. Brett Favre threw his 500th career touchdown pass to Randy Moss late in the third quarter for Minnesota’s first points of the night.
Favre would throw two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter to Percy Harvin to get the Vikings within two points late, but his last touchdown of the game was a pick-six to Dwight Lowery that sealed the game for the Jets.
The last game between these two teams took place at TCF Bank Stadium in 2014. That one was pretty memorable in its own right. Percy Harvin scored a touchdown in that one too, except this time he was playing for the opponents. The back-and-forth affair went to overtime knotted at 24-24. After the Vikings forced a punt on New York’s opening drive of the extra stanza, rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater found Jarius Wright on a quick out. And that was the ballgame.
You might recognize that #91 in white and green that was in pursuit of Wright before he pulled away down the sideline: none other than current Vikings defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson. He sacked Bridgewater for a safety in the first quarter of that game, giving the Jets their first points of the day. This will be Richardson’s first game against the team that drafted him with the 13th overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.
There’s your brief look back at the relatively brief history between the Vikings and Jets. We’ll see whether the Vikings can win their third game in a row and their first game ever over the Jets in enemy territory.