As you’d imagine for teams in different conferences, the Minnesota Vikings and the New England Patriots don’t have a whole lot of history against each other. The two teams have only met 12 times since the Vikings came into existence back in 1961, and the first game between these two teams was actually between the Vikings and the Boston Patriots in 1970, the first year after the NFL-AFL merger.
Of those twelve games, the Vikings have won. . .well, not very many. It’s also been a while since the last time they beat the Patriots anywhere, whether it’s Minneapolis or Foxborough. So, let’s take a look back at the history. . .ugly as it is for our favorite team. . .between the Patriots and the Vikings leading up to this week’s contest.
As always, the numbers used in this post are brought to you by the good folks from Pro Football Reference.
Total games between the Vikings and the Patriots: 12
All-time record: Patriots, 8-4
Total Vikings’ points scored, head-to-head: 244 (20.3 points/game)
Total Patriots’ points scored, head-to-head: 260 (21.7 points/game)
Longest Vikings’ winning streak vs Patriots: 2 (2 November 1997 - 17 September 2000)
Longest Patriots’ winning streak vs Vikings: 4 (24 November 2002 - 14 September 2014)
Most recent Vikings’ road win in series: 17 September 2000 (Final score: 21-13)
Most recent Patriots’ home win in series: 31 October 2010 (Final score: 28-18)
Biggest Vikings’ road win in series: 21 points, 13 December 1970 (Final score: 35-14)
Biggest Patriots’ home win in series: 10 points, 30 October 2010 (Final score: 28-18)
Current streak: Patriots, 4 wins
Despite the Patriots’ decided head-to-head advantage, the difference in points scored hasn’t been that great, as you can see above.
The last time these two teams got together, it was at TCF Bank Stadium for Mike Zimmer’s first home game as the Vikings’ head coach. Minnesota took their first possession and marched right down the field, taking a 7-0 lead on a 25-yard touchdown pass from Matt Cassel to Matt Asiata. It was pretty much all downhill after that. . .the Patriots scored the game’s final 30 points, taking a 24-7 lead into halftime after a blocked field goal that Chandler Jones returned for a touchdown. The Patriots didn’t do much in the second half. . .Cassel threw four interceptions on the day to do most of their work for them. . .and they coasted to a 30-7 victory.
The last meeting in Foxborough between these two teams came on Halloween in 2010. Brett Favre led the Vikings into Foxborough, and the two teams were tied at 7-7 when they went into the locker room at halftime. The Vikings had a 10-7 lead midway through the third quarter, but the Patriots got two third-quarter touchdowns to take a 21-10 lead. Tarvaris Jackson actually wound up taking over at quarterback in the fourth quarter, and found Naufahu Tahi for a 1-yard score and then Percy Harvin for a 2-point conversion to close the gap to 21-18. However, that was as close as the Vikings would get, as the Patriots tacked on another score right after the two-minute warning to close out a 28-18 victory.
The last time the Vikings beat the Patriots anywhere was actually in Foxborough, and it was in 2000 when a young rookie named Tom Brady was serving as Drew Bledsoe’s backup. The 2-0 Vikings came to town to take on the 0-2 Patriots, and the two teams were tied at 7-7 after the first quarter of play. Daunte Culpepper then threw two second quarter touchdown passes, one to Johnny McWilliams (who?), and another to Matthew Hatchette (you know who he is) to give the Vikings a 21-7 lead going into the locker room. The Vikings didn’t put up any points in the second half, but they didn’t really have to as the defense limited New England to just a fourth-quarter touchdown pass from Bledsoe to Terry Glenn to get out of town with a 21-13 victory.
That’s a quick look at the history between the Minnesota Vikings and the New England Patriots. Hopefully the Vikings can reverse their recent fortunes and finally get a victory over a Patriots’ team led by Tom Brady.