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A brief look at Vikings/Ravens history

There isn’t a whole heck of a lot

Minnesota Vikings’ cornerback Jimmy Hitchcock (37) Photo credit should read HEATHER HALL/AFP via Getty Images

CORRECTION: The stadium that the 1998 game was held at was not the Camden Yards that the Orioles play their home games at. Rather, it is their current stadium that was known as “Ravens Stadium at Camden Yards” before becoming PSINet Stadium and then, eventually, M&T Bank Stadium. My apologies for the error.

Original story follows.

It’s time for our weekly look at the history between the Minnesota Vikings and their opponents for this week. On Sunday, the purple will head to the east coast to take on the other purple team in the NFL as they battle the Baltimore Ravens, and the history between these two teams is relatively short.

When the Cleveland Browns moved to Baltimore in 1996, they left all of the team’s previous records in Cleveland and started from scratch with a brand new history. Because of that, these two franchises have only met six times. Four of those games have taken place in Baltimore, where they will meet on Sunday.

As always, the numbers for this piece are brought to you by the good folks at Pro Football Reference.

  • Regular season games between the Vikings and the Ravens: 6
  • All-time record: Tied, 3-3
  • Vikings’ road record against the Ravens: 1-3
  • Total Vikings’ points scored head-to-head: 147 (24.5 points/game)
  • Total Ravens’ points scored head-to-head: 153 (25.5 points/game)
  • Longest Vikings’ winning streak vs Ravens: 1 game, three different times
  • Longest Ravens’ winning streak vs Vikings: 2 games, 7 January 2002 - 25 December 2005
  • Most recent Vikings’ road win in series: 13 December 1998 (final score 38-28)
  • Most recent Ravens’ road win in series: 8 December 2013 (final score 29-26)
  • Biggest Vikings’ road win in series: 10 points, 13 December 1998 (final score 38-28)
  • Biggest Ravens’ home win in series: 16 points, 7 January 2002 (final score 19-3)
  • Current streak: Vikings, 1 win

It’s been a while since the Vikings managed a victory in Baltimore, as you can see from the numbers above.

The last two times these teams got together was in October of 2017 at U.S. Bank Stadium. It was a battle of field goals in the first half, as Kai Forbath and Justin Tucker took turns putting the football through the uprights when their teams couldn’t get into the end zone. Forbath came out ahead in the first half, with the Vikings taking a 9-6 lead into the locker room. Forbath would wind up with six field goals on the afternoon, with Minnesota’s lone touchdown coming on a 29-yard run from Latavius Murray in the third quarter (after which Forbath, oddly enough, missed the extra point). The Ravens didn’t manage a touchdown until the final play of the game, and it wasn’t enough as the Vikings walked away with a 24-16 victory.

Everyone remembers the last time these two teams got together in Baltimore. It was a snowy Sunday afternoon, and for much of the game the biggest story for either team was Adrian Peterson leaving with an injury in the first quarter. The offense was pretty limited for both teams, as the Vikings took a 12-7 lead early in the fourth quarter on an 8-yard pass from Matt Cassel to Jerome Simpson. Then, with two minutes to go, everything went crazy.

  • Joe Flacco 1-yard touchdown pass to Dennis Pitta
  • Toby Gerhart 41-yard touchdown run
  • Jacoby Jones 77-yard kickoff return for a touchdown
  • Matt Cassel 79-yard touchdown pass to Cordarrelle Patterson
  • Joe Flacco 9-yard touchdown pass to Marlon Brown

With that, a game that had gone into the final two minutes as a 12-7 Minnesota lead turned into a 29-26 Baltimore victory. As the video says, it may have been the craziest final two minutes of any NFL game ever, and it’s certainly up there on the list of games that I’ve ever watched.

The Vikings’ only victory in Baltimore since the Ravens moved from Cleveland came back in the team’s incredible 1998 season. It was the second-to-last game of the regular season, as Dennis Green brought the 13-1 Vikings into Ravens Stadium at Camden Yards. . .yes, the Ravens originally played home games at the Orioles’ stadium (see correction at the top of the piece). . .to take on Ted Marchibroda’s 5-9 squad. Both teams lit up the scoreboard early, including a first quarter that featured back-to-back kickoff returns for touchdowns. Patrick Johnson went 97 yards for the Ravens, which was immediately followed by David Palmer going 88 yards for Minnesota. That made it 14-12 at the end of the first quarter, but the Vikings’ offense then ran off the next 23 points, including a touchdown reception each for Randy Moss and Cris Carter. By the time that Baltimore got on the scoreboard again, they were down 35-20, and the Vikings held on to take the victory by a final score of 38-28.

That’s a quick look at the history between the Vikings and the Ravens heading into this weekend’s contest, folks. We’ll see if the Vikings can’t get themselves to above .500 against the Ravens on Sunday afternoon.