This week’s NFC North rivalry showdown takes place between the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Both teams are coming off wins in week five. The Packers currently sit alone atop the division at 4-1, but the Vikings are close behind at 3-2. After winning the division two years ago, the Vikings need to win at home if they want to make a push for another NFC North title and playoff berth.
Minnesota Vikings Host Green Bay Packers in NFC North Showdown
History of the Matchup
The Vikings and Packers have squared off a total of 113 times with the Packers holding a nine-game lead in head-to-head matchups. These decorated franchises have combined for 12 of the last 13 NFC North division titles. They also have 35 hall of famers between them, signifying the great success of each organization. They first met in the 1960s. The Packers have ruled the rivalry lately but these teams have alternated the series each decade since their first games. There are several notable games in the history of these matchups worth delving into to understand the true nature to the NFC North’s biggest rivalry today.
Most Pivotal Matchup
This one is tough with so many great games between these teams throughout the years. The games between Brett Favre and the Vikings always had extra juice though. There was the extraordinary Antonio Freeman catch on Monday Night Football in 2000 that served as a walk-off touchdown in overtime. Every Packer fan has to have seen the video of a young Randy Moss standing up on the sidelines to watch Favre with his own eyes. But the most important aspect of Favre’s relationship with the Vikings is that he would end up finishing his career with them.
After signing with the Vikings following his second retirement in as many seasons, Favre looked like the dominant player he was for many years with the Packers. The first time Favre played his former team was in Minnesota in week five of the 2009 season. In one of the most entertaining games of the year, both teams traded touchdowns through the first three quarters. Favre and new Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers each led impressive aerial attacks with Rodgers finishing with over 350 yards and Favre securing a 135.3 quarterback rating with three touchdowns. Favre did throw an interception on the Vikings final scoring drive, but the pick was nullified by an interference penalty. The Vikings defense would do just enough to stave off a comeback by Rodgers to secure Favre’s first ever win against the Packers.
These teams last met at Lambeau Field in week 16 of the 2016 season. After the Vikings won the meeting in Minnesota early in the season, the Packers were able to even the series, dominating the game en route to a 38-25 victory. The victory marked the Packers fifth straight win after a 4-6 start and set up a division showdown between the Packers and Lions in week 17. It also ended the Vikings slim hopes for a playoff berth. There were also several historical milestones set by both teams during this team.
Rodgers and the Packers offense got off to a quick start, scoring four touchdowns in the first half. Two of the touchdowns went to Jordy Nelson. It marked the 58th touchdown connection from Rodgers to Nelson which passed the combination of Favre and Freeman. These two incredible players became the most prolific duo in Packers history.
Nelson wasn’t the only receiver to showcase his incredible talent that day. Receiver Adam Thielen became just the third Viking to post two touchdowns and over 200 yards receiving in a game. He was a consistent threat throughout the game, recording 12 catches and willing the Vikings back into the game. His ferocious output was not enough to make up for two Viking turnovers and a red hot Packers squad.