It’s time for our weekly look at the matchup between the Minnesota Vikings and their upcoming opponents. This week it’s the Miami Dolphins. Since Miami is an AFC opponent, these two teams haven’t faced off much over the years. The Dolphins have had the better of the Vikings in this matchup for the most part, including one very important game almost 45 years ago.
As always, the numbers in this piece are provided by the fine folks at Pro Football Reference.
Total Games Between the Dolphins and Vikings: 12
All-Time Record: Dolphins, 7-4 regular season, 1-0 postseason
Total Vikings Points Scored, Head-to-Head: 219 (18.3 points/game)
Total Dolphins Points Scored, Head-to-Head: 254 (21.2 points/game)
Longest Vikings Winning Streak vs. Dolphins: 3 (25 September 1994 - 21 December 2002)
Longest Dolphins Winning Streak vs. Vikings: 3 (twice)
Most Recent Vikings Victory in Minnesota: 21 December 2002 (Final score 20-17)
Most Recent Dolphins Victory in Minnesota: 19 September 2010 (Final score 14-10)
Biggest Vikings Victory in Minnesota: 6 points, 10 September 2000 (Final score 13-7)
Biggest Dolphins Victory in Minnesota: 15 points, 16 September 1979 (Final score 27-12)
Current Win Streak: Dolphins, 3 games
Both of the first two times these teams ever faced off were quite notable. The Vikings held a 14-6 fourth quarter lead over the Dolphins in 1972 only to have Miami storm back for a 16-14 win at Met Stadium. The Dolphins would go on to win their next 14 games to become the only undefeated team in NFL history. Their second meeting was Super Bowl VIII at Rice Stadium. Miami scored touchdowns on their first two drives and cruised to an easy 24-7 victory.
The Vikings’ latest win over the Dolphins in Minnesota also happens to be the last time they beat Miami at all, which was 16 years ago. In that game, Randy Moss threw a touchdown pass to the legendary D’Wayne Bates and Gary Anderson nailed the game-winning, 53-yard field goal with 17 seconds left. You may remember the TV cameras picking up a certain Dolphins receiver shaking his head and yelling to his teammates that Anderson wouldn’t make the kick—none other than Cris Carter. Carter had one catch for 15 yards that day in the Metrodome, and it ended up being the final reception of his NFL career.
The last time these two teams met in Minnesota was Week 2 of 2010, the aforementioned 14-10 Dolphins win. That game was notable because of who the Miami Head Coach was at the time: the late Tony Sparano. Brett Favre threw three interceptions and lost a fumble that was recovered by the Dolphins in the end zone, giving us the first major sign that the wheels were about to fall all the way off that season.
The most recent meeting between the Dolphins and Vikings was also in Week 15—their 2014 game in Miami. It was a wild, back-and-forth affair in Mike Zimmer and Teddy Bridgewater’s first season with the Vikings. Minnesota held a 17-7 halftime lead and was up 17-14 entering the final quarter before everything got crazy. Touchdowns by Lamar Miller and Mike Wallace sandwiched a Blair Walsh field goal to give the Dolphins a 28-20 lead just past the midway point of the fourth. The Vikings stormed back with touchdowns from Jarius Wright and Matt Asiata, with a kickoff return fumble by Jarvis Landry in between. The Dolphins marched down the field to tie the game at 35-35 with just over a minute remaining, and it looked like we were heading for overtime when the Vikings went three-and-out on the following drive. Until this happened:
After a low snap, Terrence Fede blocked Jeff Locke’s punt out of the end zone for a safety, giving the Dolphins an extremely improbable 37-35 victory.
No matter how this one plays out, we’re fairly certain that the ending won’t be as crazy as the last time these two teams met...or even Miami’s last game. Hopefully the Vikings can prevent the Dolphins from winning their fourth straight in this series and edge closer to a Wild Card berth.