As we’ve done for most of the games the Minnesota Vikings have played over the past couple of seasons, we will prepare for this week’s game by taking a look back at the history between the purple and their upcoming opponent.
This week, the opponent to start the 2018 season is the San Francisco 49ers, a team that the Vikings have been pretty evenly matched with in the regular season over the years. As always, we will just be looking at regular season contests in these posts, as well as take a look at a couple of games from the more recent past. With that, let’s have at it!
As always, the numbers used in this story, and all the ones like it throughout the season, come to you courtesy of Pro Football Reference.
Total regular season games between the 49ers and the Vikings: 41
All-time record: 21-19-1
Total Vikings points scored, head-to-head: 905 (22.1 points/game)
Total 49ers points scored, head-to-head: 925 (22.6 points/game)
Longest Vikings’ winning streak vs 49ers: 5 games, 15 September 1963 - 24 October 1965
Longest 49ers’ winning streak vs Vikings: 4 games, 15 October 1961 - 2 December 1962
Most recent Vikings’ home win in series: 23 September 2012 (final score 24-13)
Most recent 49ers’ road win in series: 13 December 1992 (final score 20-17)
Biggest Vikings’ home win in series: 31 points, 29 September 1963 (final score 45-14)
Biggest 49ers’ road win in series: 31 points, 8 September 1983 (final score 48-17)
Current streak: 49ers, 1 win
The Vikings have actually had pretty good luck at home against the 49ers in recent history, as they’ve won the last five contests against San Francisco in Minneapolis. In fact, it’s been over a quarter of a century since the last time the 49ers won in Minnesota. The last Niners victory over the Vikings in Minnesota happened at the Metrodome back in 1992, as future Vikings running back Amp Lee scored two touchdowns, one through the air and one on the ground. The Vikings got an return of a Steve Young interception for a touchdown by Audray McMillan and a touchdown from Terry Allen, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Niners from heading back home with a 20-17 win.
The most recent game in Minnesota between these two teams was. . .interesting. However, it was largely made that way by the officiating crew. If you’ll recall, that was the game where Jim Harbaugh, for whatever reason, was awarded about a dozen timeouts in the second half. (Actually, it was only two extra, but still. . .it wasn’t a good look for the officiating that afternoon.) The 49ers were considered one of the favorites in the NFC that season, and in fact did end up representing the NFC in the Super Bowl that year. However, in this game, the Vikings got the job done, courtesy of two Christian Ponder to Kyle Rudolph touchdown passes and a 23-yard touchdown run by Ponder to push the Vikings to a 24-13 victory.
The most recent game between these two teams overall was also a season-opening contest, as the Vikings headed out west to San Francisco to start the 2015 NFL regular season as the late game on Monday Night Football. The Vikings were pretty terrible on both sides of the ball that night, quite frankly. Defensively, they had no answer for Carlos Hyde, who rushed for 168 yards and two scores. On offense, the team managed just one scoring drive on the evening, and that didn’t come until early in the fourth quarter. All in all, it wound up being a fairly miserable opening night for Vikings fans, as they stayed up all night to watch their team lose 20-3.
Oh. . .and since I know you’re thinking about it. . .if you want an indicator of just how much time flies, this happened in Minneapolis nine years ago.
That’s a brief look back at the history between the Minnesota Vikings and the San Francisco 49ers, folks. Hopefully the Vikings can ensure that the 49ers losing streak in the Twin Cities for a little longer.