Once again, we start our coverage of this week’s Minnesota Vikings game with a look back at the history between the Vikings and their opponent. This week, the purple will welcome the Cleveland Browns to U.S. Bank Stadium, and though there isn’t a lot of history between these teams, what history there is does lean pretty heavily towards the Vikings.
Though we do focus on regular-season games in these posts, it’s worth noting that the Browns and Vikings have met in the post-season before. It was back in 1969 at Metropolitan Stadium in the last NFL Championship Game before the AFL/NFL merger. The Vikings put on a dominant performance, getting out to a 27-0 lead after three quarters. The Browns finally got the ball into the end zone, but it didn’t make any difference as the Vikings won their lone NFL Championship. . .yes, it still counts. . .by a score of 27-7.
With that, let’s get into the regular-season history. As always, these numbers are brought to you by the good folks at Pro Football Reference.
- Regular season games between the Browns and the Vikings: 15
- All-time record: Vikings, 11-4
- Vikings’ home record against the Browns: 6-2
- Total Vikings’ points scored, head-to-head: 410 (27.3 points/game)
- Total Browns’ points scored, head-to-head: 240 (16 points/game)
- Longest Vikings’ winning streak vs Browns: 5 (9 November 1969 - 4 September 1983)
- Longest Browns’ winning streak vs Vikings: 2 (26 October 1986 - 17 December 1989)
- Most recent Vikings’ home win in series: 27 November 2005 (Final score 24-12)
- Most recent Browns’ road win in series: 22 September 2013 (Final score 31-27)
- Biggest Vikings’ home win in series: 48 points, 9 November 1969 (Final score 51-3)
- Biggest Browns’ road win in series: 4 points, 22 September 2013 (Final score 31-27)
- Current streak: Vikings, 1 win
Yes, over the years the Vikings have had their way with the Browns, as you can see from the record and the point differential. Having said that, however, on Sunday the purple will be looking for their first win over the Browns in Minneapolis in 16 years.
The last time these two teams got together, the Browns “hosted” the Vikings at Twickenham Stadium in London, England as part of the NFL’s International Series back in 2017. The Browns. . .well, the Browns were bad that year, as that was the team that finished 0-16 on the season. Despite that, they gave the Vikings all that they could handle in the first half, as they took a 13-12 lead into the locker room at halftime and led 16-15 late in the third quarter. The Vikings turned on the jets after that, however, as fourth-quarter touchdowns from Jerick McKinnon and Kyle Rudolph helped the Vikings to 18 unanswered points to finish the contest and a 33-16 victory.
The last meeting between these two teams in the Twin Cities was one of the two victories that Cleveland has ever notched on the road in this series as they rolled into the Metrodome in September of 2013. For some reason, the Vikings just couldn’t stop. . .Jordan Cameron. Honestly, I don’t even remember who the hell Jordan Cameron was, but he had three touchdown receptions in the game, including one that came on a fake field goal. The Vikings tied the game at 24-24 after Christian Ponder’s second rushing touchdown of the day late in the third quarter, and a field goal from Blair Walsh gave them a 27-24 lead in the fourth quarter. However, with less than a minute to go in the game, Brian Hoyer found Cameron for his third touchdown, and the Vikings’ last-minute drive fell apart in Cleveland territory as the Browns emerged with a 31-27 win.
To find the Vikings’ last home win in this series, you have to go back to the 2005 season. The two teams met at the Metrodome with the Vikings having finally gotten themselves back to .500 after a rough start to the season, and the Minnesota defense was positively dominant. They forced five Cleveland turnovers, including three interceptions, and held the Browns to just a pair of field goals in the first three quarters. Meanwhile, the combination of Brad Johnson and Marcus Robinson was lighting things up for the Vikings, as the duo accounted for all three of the touchdowns the purple scored on the day on a pair of 15-yard scoring connections and a 2-yard strike. Cleveland did finally get into the end zone late in the proceedings, but it didn’t matter as the Vikings celebrated a 24-12 victory.
If the Vikings want to get themselves back to .500 on the year, they need to do it by knocking off what looks to be a pretty solid Browns team on Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium. Hopefully they’ll be able to add to their long history of success against Cleveland and spoil Kevin Stefanski’s return to Minneapolis.