As I mentioned a couple of days ago, the SB Nation NFL blogs are doing “Rivalry Week” this week, and today’s question is a pretty simple one.
What was your favorite Minnesota Vikings victory over one of their division rivals?
I think a lot of people are going to have the same answer as I do, but it’s still my answer. That’s the Vikings’ victory over the Packers in the playoffs at Lambeau Field on 9 January 2005. Not just for the play on the field, but for all the events that led up to it as well.
If you’ll recall, the Vikings were allegedly coming apart at the seams going into that game. The Vikings final five games of the 2004 regular season looked like this:
- A 27-23 loss to the Seattle Seahawks at the Metrodome that saw the Vikings driving for a potential winning touchdown only to see Randy Moss throw an interception on an end-around receiver pass.
- A 24-14 loss to the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.
- A 28-27 victory over the Detroit Lions in which the Lions drove for a touchdown with seconds left and blew the snap on the extra point, allowing the Vikings to hold on.
- A 34-31 loss to the Packers at the Metrodome in a game that would have given the Vikings the NFC North title had they won it.
- A 21-18 loss to the Washington Redskins where Moss famously walked off the sideline to the locker room before the end of regulation.
The Packers were a sizeable favorite going into the contest, and with good reason. They swept the Vikings during the regular season and appeared to be getting hot at just the right time. But, the Vikings cooled them down in a hurry, putting up 17 first-quarter points on a pair of Daunte Culpepper touchdown passes, one to Moe Williams and one to Moss.
The Vikings kept a good-sized lead over the Packers until the start of the fourth quarter, when the Packers got back to within a touchdown on a Najeh Davenport touchdown run. We all remember what happened next.
The Vikings would go on to win, and even though they lost in the playoffs the next week, that game was still a hell of a lot of fun to watch.
Some other favorite wins over divisional rivals:
- The 2012 season finale against Green Bay - Adrian Peterson chasing the record, a “win or go home” scenario for the Vikings, and the best game of Christian Ponder’s career
- The 2007 win over the Bears at Soldier Field - The first huge game of Peterson’s career (224 yards, 3 touchdowns) and the Vikings holding on at the end after Devin Hester did Devin Hester stuff to get the Bears back into the game
- The 2008 win at the Metrodome over Chicago on Sunday night - The game that had the huge goal-line stand followed immediately by the longest play from scrimmage in Vikings history, the 99-yard touchdown pass from Gus Frerotte to Bernard Berrian
- The Vikings’ win over the Bears at the Metrodome in 1992. . .or, as I’ve referred to it here in this space several times, the “Mike Ditka nearly murders Jim Harbaugh on the Metrodome sideline” game
I’d like to put the Lions here somewhere, but. . .well, how many memorable wins have the Vikings had over the Lions?
So, what was your favorite Vikings win over a division rival?