After several years of Minnesota domination in the Vikings and Lions divisional rivalry that has spanned 57 seasons, Detroit has started to claw back in recent years. The Lions have actually had a winning record in the rivalry over the past five years. They’re 5-3 against Mike Zimmer; they’re the only NFC North team that can boast a winning record over the Vikings Head Coach.
Let’s take our weekly look at some of the history between the Vikings and their upcoming opponents. As always, all of the numbers used in this post come from the good folks at Pro Football Reference.
Total regular season games between the Lions and the Vikings: 113
All-time record: Vikings, 72-39-2
Total Vikings points scored, head-to-head: 2432 (21.5 points/game)
Total Lions points scored, head-to-head: 2099 (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: 1 October 2017 (final score 14-7)
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: Vikings, 1 win
The Lions are actually undefeated at U.S. Bank Stadium, winning both of their games there so far. After winning in 2016 thanks to an overtime touchdown from the recently departed Golden Tate, they came back last year and won a 14-7 battle that seemingly put the Vikings’ season on the brink after just four games. Dalvin Cook tore his ACL in that game, the Vikings dropped to 2-2, and seemed to be going nowhere with Case Keenum at quarterback. Of course, the Vikings lost just one other time the rest of the regular season.
Fortunately, the Vikings were able to exact revenge at Ford Field last Thanksgiving. They jumped out to a 20-3 lead in the second quarter and held on down the stretch to win by a score of 30-23. Keenum had 282 yards and three total touchdowns while Latavius Murray had 84 yards and a score on the ground. Danielle Hunter recovered a fumble and Xavier Rhodes had the game-clinching interception on fourth down late in the game.
That’s a quick look back at the history between the Detroit Lions and the Minnesota Vikings. Hopefully the purple can get their first home win against the Lions in three seasons this weekend at U.S. Bank Stadium.