It’s time to take our weekly look back at the history between the Minnesota Vikings and their opponent this week, the Denver Broncos. As inter-conference opponents, there isn’t a ton of history between the two teams. Sunday will be only their 15th meeting. A win this week would mean bragging rights in the series, as they have split their previous 14 matchups.
As always, the numbers from this post are brought to you by the good folks from Pro Football Reference.
Total regular season games between the Vikings and the Broncos: 14
All-time record: Tied, 7-7
Total Vikings points scored, head-to-head: 305 (21.8 points/game)
Total Broncos points scored, head-to-head: 316 (22.6 points/game)
Longest Vikings winning streak vs. Broncos: 2 games (three separate occasions)
Longest Broncos winning streak vs. Vikings: 3 games (30 December 2007 - 4 October 2015, the most recent three games of series)
Most recent Vikings home win in series: 19 October 2003 (Final score 28-20)
Most recent Broncos road win in series: 4 December 2011 (Final score 35-32)
Biggest Vikings home win in series: 8 points, 19 October 2003 (Final score 28-20)
Biggest Broncos road win in series: 7 points, 29 September 1991 (Final score 13-6)
Current streak: Broncos, 3 wins
In what seems to be a recurring theme this year, the Vikings are facing a team they haven’t beaten in quite a while. Since they play only every four years and Denver has won the last three, Minnesota hasn’t won in this series since the Daunte Culpepper and Randy Moss days. In that 2003 game, the Vikings intercepted Steve Beuerlein three times and sacked him five times before Danny Kennell came in to finish the game. Moss had ten catches for 151 yards in a game that wasn’t nearly as close as the 28-20 final score.
The last time the Broncos visited Minneapolis, the Vikings fell victim to Tebowmania. In a crazy back-and-forth game where Christian Ponder threw for a career-high 381 yards, Toby Gerhart ran for 91, but it was all for naught because of one Tim Tebow. After the Vikings took a 32-29 lead with just over three minutes remaining, Tebow found Demaryius Thomas on a deep pass to set up a game-tying field goal with about 90 seconds left in regulation. Ponder proceeded to throw a pick on the very next play, setting up Matt Prater for the game winner as time expired.
The most recent meeting between these teams also ended in heartbreak for the Vikings. After falling behind 13-0 in the first half, Teddy Bridgewater and the Minnesota defense came all the way back to tie the game at 20-20 with just over five minutes remaining. Peyton Manning engineered a drive for the go-ahead field goal just past the two-minute warning. Bridgewater got the Vikings near midfield in a last-ditch effort to send the game into overtime, but a Von Miller strip-sack—the seventh sack of the day for the Denver defense—ended the comeback effort. The eventual Super Bowl champions escaped the scare with a victory.
We’ll see if the Vikings can regain the all-time advantage in the series and beat the Broncos for the first time in 16 years on Sunday.