Detroit and Minnesota square off for the 96th time this weekend in Detroit in a meeting of long-time rivals. All-time between the teams the Vikings lead the series 63-30-2. The Vikings have won 13 of the last 14 games in the series, including the last 4. The Vikings have swept the Lions 6 times in the last 7 years.
The Lions dominated the early years of the series though, going 9-3-2 in the opening 14 games between the squads, playing to a 23-23 deadlock in 1964 in Detroit and a 10-10 knot at Met Stadium during the 1967 season. The 1967 Vikings, the 1st under Bud Grant, finished the season 3-8-3, tieing games against the Baltimore Colts, Detroit and Chi- cago.
Former Vikings LB Wally Hilgenberg started his NFL career with the Lions as a 4th-round draft pick in 1964 before being traded to Pittsburgh in 1968 and eventually landing in Minnesota. Vikings Vice President of Player Personnel Rick Spielman worked in personnel for the Lions from 1990-96 and in 1991 helped set a team record for the most wins in franchise history, going 12-4 and lost the NFC Championship game to Washington, just missing the chance to play in Super Bowl XXVI at the Metrodome. Spielman’s younger brother, Chris, was a Pro Bowl LB for the Lions and entered the NFL as a 2nd-round pick in 1988.
Some of the most impressive single-game performances in Vikings history have come against the Lions, including 2 of the 6 longest pass plays in team history. In 2007, Aundrae Allison recorded the longest play in Vikings history with a 104-yard kickoff return TD against the Lions. In franchise history the Vikings have scored 3 TDs on 80+ yard pass plays against the Lions, as well as a 90-yard interception return and Allison’s kickoff return. David Palmer contributed a 74-yard punt return TD during the 1995 Thanksgiving Day game to add to the long-distance scoring. Sammy White set a team record that still stands with 210 yards receiving against the Lions at Met Stadium in 1976. Former Viking and former Lion Artose Pinner posted his only career 100-yard rushing game against the Lions with 125 yards at Ford Field in 2006.