Few NFL rivalries have as much history as the one between the Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings. Tensions always tend to be higher when division foes square off, but their contentious relationship is one forged over the course of years and through the crucible of many, many head-to-heads.
Green Bay leads the all-time series vs. Minnesota 62-54-3. That’s not a huge gap considering how many seasons’ worth of games are involved, but the Vikings have needed to recoup serious ground to even get this close to the Packers.
It took Minnesota five years after joining the NFL to pick up its first victory against Green Bay. A full half-decade is quite the drought.
The height of their rivalry may have come in 2005, the first year that both squads met in the playoffs. The Vikings jumped out to an early lead and ended up winning, 31-17. This matchup also happened to be one of Brett Favre’s worst postseason contests. He threw four interceptions and was flagged for an illegal forward pass on a critical third-and-goal. The Packers would go on to miss the 28-year-old field goal on that drive.
On top of all that, when Randy Moss caught his second touchdown of the game for the Vikings, he celebrated by fake-mooning the Green Bay crowd. The modern-day NFL remains ultra-conservative, so you can imagine how that form of taunting was received.
Speaking of Favre: He further contributed to the rivalry in 2008. He decided that he wanted to come out of retirement, and when it was clear the Packers didn’t want him, he expressed a desire to play for—you guessed it—the Vikings.
This didn’t sit too well with the Green Bay organization. They filed tampering charges against Minnesota and, in the ultimate display of pettiness, traded Favre to the New York Jets. He played out a season there before then signing with the Vikings that next year.
To be honest, though, the rivalry between Minnesota and Green Bay has sort of fizzled. The Packers have become postseason mainstays and Super Bowl champs with Aaron Rodgers under center, while the Vikings have remained solid to really good. That should be a recipe for butting heads.
At the same time, both squads have dealt with more internal strife. From the Packers not maximizing Rodgers in recent years, to the Vikings churning through a handful of quarterbacks over a years-long span, this rivalry has lacked the requisite continuity.
Maybe, just maybe, it’ll be rekindled sometime soon.