During the 1970s. . .which was well before my time, and probably well before a lot of your times, too. . .the rivalry between the Minnesota Vikings and the Los Angeles Rams was one of the best in football. The two teams were at the top of the NFL during that time, and met a bunch of times in the postseason. In fact, the Rams have more postseason games against the Rams than any other opponent with seven. (They also have seven playoff games against the Dallas Cowboys, but less than that against every other opponent.) Things weren’t quite as intense once the Rams moved to St. Louis, but with both teams near the top of the NFC again, maybe things will get rekindled a bit.
As we do every week, we’re going to take a look back at the Vikings’ history against their upcoming opponent. As the Rams kept all their history when they moved, it will encompass the history against the Rams at both locations, and for now will just focus on regular season competition.
As always, the numbers in this story are brought to you by the good folks from Pro Football Reference.
Total regular season games between the Vikings and the Rams: 38
All-time record: Vikings, 22-14-2
Total Vikings’ points scored, head-to-head: 868 (22.8 points/game)
Total Rams’ points scored, head-to-head: 820 (21.6 points/game)
Longest Vikings’ winning streak vs Rams: 5, twice, most recently from 11 October 2009 to 19 November 2017
Longest Rams’ winning streak vs Vikings: 3, twice, most recently from 15 October 1978 to 6 October 1985
Most recent Vikings’ road win in series: 7 September 2014 (final score 34-6, at St. Louis)
Most recent Rams’ home win in series: 30 November 2003 (final score 48-17, at St. Louis)
Biggest Vikings’ road win in series: 28 points, twice (34-6 on 7 September 2014, 38-10 on 11 October 2009, both at St. Louis)
Biggest Rams’ home win in series: 36 points, 22 September 1967 (final score 39-3)
Current streak: Vikings, 5 wins
Yes, the Vikings have run off quite the successive number of wins against the Rams, having matched their longest streak against the blue and yellow in team history. They got their fifth straight last season at U.S. Bank Stadium, when the Rams marched down the field for a touchdown on their first drive and didn’t dent the scoreboard after that. The game went into the fourth quarter tied at 7-7, but the Vikings exploded for 17 fourth quarter points, including a 65-yard touchdown pass from Case Keenum to Adam Thielen to ice it, winning by a final score of 24-7.
The last time that the Vikings had to travel to face the Los Angeles Rams came back on 29 November 1992. (The Rams didn’t move to St. Louis until 1995, but after this one the Vikings didn’t play them again until 1998.) In this one, first-year head coach Dennis Green took his team into Anaheim Stadium to face the Chuck Knox-led Rams. Terry Allen found the end zone three times that afternoon, twice on the ground and once through the air on a 36-yard touchdown pass from running back Keith Henderson on a trick play. The Vikings took a 21-point lead into the fourth quarter, and that was enough as they walked away with a 31-17 victory.
In fact, if we want to find the last time the Vikings lost a game to the Rams in Los Angeles, we have to go back over 30 years. The Wayback Machine would have to take us back to 6 October 1985, when John Robinson’s 4-0 Rams hosted Bud Grant’s 3-1 Vikings (after the one season where Les Steckel screwed things up so bad that Bud was the only one that could fix it). It was a defensive battle, as all of the first half scoring came on two Rams field goals to give them a 6-0 lead. Eric Dickerson then scored a touchdown in the third quarter to make it 13-0. The Vikings mounted a bit of a comeback, scoring on a Ted Brown touchdown run and a Jan Stenerud field goal, but it wasn’t quite enough as the Rams held on to win 13-10.
That’s a brief look at some of the regular season history between the Vikings and the Rams as we prepare for Thursday night’s game in LA. We’ll have more for you as we get closer to kickoff.