It began when the Vikings entered the league as an expansion team in 1961. The first time these two teams met, the Vikings stunned the Bears 37-13. The rivalry has generally seen the home team win and has recently been the sight of thriller games with huge swings. For example, the Vikings saw a 14-point lead erased in less than 2 minutes but then rallied for a last second field goal in 2007. Similarly, the Bears, huge underdogs in the 2009 matchup versus the Vikings, saw a 17 point and later 7-point lead erased, as the Vikings scored with 16 seconds left to tie. But the Bears would survive, winning on a Devin Aromashodu touchdown in overtime. The rivalry has also been home to seemingly improbable plays, like two special team disasters for the Vikings, which costed them 14 points in a 2008 48-41 loss to the Bears. Another crazy sequence of plays was the 4th and goal defensive stand by the Vikings, followed by a 99-yard touchdown pass to former Bear Bernard Berrian on the next play, en route to a 34-14 Vikings win in 2008.
The first meeting between the two teams occurred on September 17, 1961. The upstart Vikings upset the dominant Bears 37-13 in the Vikings' first game as a franchise. The game was played in Bloomington, Minnesota.
On October 27, 1968, with :03 left in the game, the Vikings led the Bears 24-23 in Wrigley Field. Bears kicker Mac Percival booted a 47-yard game-winning field goal to give the Bears the 26-24 win.
In their 1985 Super Bowl run, the Bears met the Vikings at Minnesota for a Thursday Night game on September 19, 1985. The Bears, struggling on offense, trailed 17-9 at the start of the third quarter. Bears' QB Jim McMahon convinced coach Mike Ditka to let him play and stepped in the game, having had back spasms prior to the game. On his first throw, McMahon launched a 70-yard touchdown, and proceeded to throw two more touchdowns and take the lead. The Bears ended up winning the game 33-24, in a game sometimes called 'The Viking Miracle'. The Bears would go on to beat the Vikings again in the season at Chicago 27-9 and win the Super Bowl.
On October 4, 1992, the Mike Ditka-coached Bears visited Minneapolis and dominated the Vikings for three quarters. Leading 20-0 with the ball in the fourth quarter, Bears quarterback Jim Harbaugh audibled out of a run play and threw an ill-advised pass that was intercepted by Vikings defensive back Todd Scott and returned for a 35-yard touchdown. Afterward, Ditka was seen on the sidelines screaming at Harbaugh over the mistake, which the Vikings would use as an emotional springboard to two more fourth quarter touchdowns - a total of 21 unanswered fourth quarter points and a 21-20 victory for Minnesota. The Bears, who were 2-2 prior to this game, stumbled to a 5-11 record and Ditka was fired as Bears coach following the season.
On January 1, 1995, the Bears met the Vikings in the playoffs for the first and currently only time in their history together. Despite being swept in the regular season by the Vikings, the Bears beat the Vikings 35-18, winning their only post-season meeting. The game was played in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
On October 14, 2007, the Bears hosted the Vikings at Soldier Field. The game was scoreless until Devin Hester returned a punt for an 89-yard touchdown with two minutes left in the first quarter. On the final play of the first quarter, Vikings QB Tarvaris Jackson threw a 60-yard touchdown pass to Troy Williamson. The Bears QB Brian Griese threw for 373 yards and three touchdowns and two interceptions, while the Vikings, behind rookie RB Adrian Peterson's 224 rushing yards and three scores, gained 311 rushing yards. The Vikings had a 31-17 lead with five minutes to go in regulation, but two Griese touchdowns tied the game with 1:38 left in the game. The Vikings Ryan Longwell kicked a 55 yard field goal on the final play for a 34-31 Vikings win.
The highest scoring matchup in the two clubs' history came on October 19, 2008, at Soldier Field. The Bears won 48-41 as Kyle Orton threw for 283 yards and two touchdowns while the Vikings' Gus Frerotte had 298 passing yards and two touchdowns but threw four interceptions, the last coming in the final two minutes. The Bears scored twice off botched Vikings punts; Garrett Wolfe ran in a 17-yard score off a blocked punt in the first quarter, while in the second the Vikings dropped a punt snap and Zackary Bowman fell on it in the endzone for a Bears touchdown.
En route to the 2008 division title, the Vikings on November 30, 2008, hosted the Bears, and broke out of a close contest with a 99-yard touchdown catch by Vikings ex-Bear Bernard Berrian in the second quarter. The Vikings won 34-14 as Gus Frerotte threw for 201 yards and Adrian Peterson rushed for 131.
The 11-3 Vikings traveled to Soldier Field on December 28, 2009, for a Monday Night Football matchup with the 5-9 Bears. The Bears manhandled the Vikings in the game's first half, forcing a Brett Favre fumble and scoring on three Robbie Gould field goals and a seven-yard Jay Cutler touchdown to Greg Olsen. Adrian Peterson rushed in a six-yard touchdown in the third but the extra point was no good, and another Cutler touchdown (to Desmond Clark) put the score at 23-6 Bears entering the fourth. Favre had never won a game (in 42 previous tries) in which his team trailed by at least 17 points, but Favre connected with Visanthe Shiancoe in the third, then after a Ryan Longwell field goal Peterson ran in a second touchdown for a 23-all tie. The Bears clawed downfield and Cutler found Earl Bennett in the endzone, then Favre, on fourth and goal, hit Sidney Rice in the final thirty seconds to tie the game at 30. Gould missed a field goal in overtime, but Peterson caught a Favre pass and then fumbled to the Bears at Minnesota's 39-yard line; Cutler then finished the game with a deep bomb to Devin Aromashodu, ending a wild 36-30 Bears win.
The scheduled December 20, 2010 meeting at the Metrodome was moved to TCF Bank Stadium after a snowstorm punctured the inflatable roof and caused collapse. The Bears clinched the NFC North title by beating the Vikings 40-14. Devin Hester broke a tie with Brian Mitchell for most return touchdowns by scoring on a 66-yard punt, the league-record 14th of his career, while Jay Cutler threw for 194 yards and three touchdowns. Brett Favre, initially ruled out of the game, suited up and started, but after a touchdown in the first quarter he was sacked and thrown head-first to the ground; he left the game and did not return.
In the last week of the 2012 regular season, the Bears and Vikings fought for a wildcard playoff spot, as the Bears played the Lions and the Vikings played the Packers. The Bears won their game against the Lions, but the Vikings won their game against the Packers. Both teams finished with a 10-6 record. Due to a better division record than the Bears, the Vikings eliminated the Bears from playoff contention with their win. The Bears and Vikings had split their series during the regular season, but because the Bears were swept by the Packers and the Vikings had managed to split with the Packers, they edged out the Bears to get into the playoffs. Because of the Bears failing to make the playoffs, head coach Lovie Smith was fired soon after.
On September 15, 2013, the Bears and Vikings met each other in Week 2 of the 2013 season for a division matchup, the first under new Bears head coach Marc Trestman. Viking Cordarrelle Patterson returned the opening kickoff 105 yards for a touchdown. Bears' quarterback Jay Cutler followed it up with two touchdown passes (to Martellus Bennett and Brandon Marshall) to take a 14-7 lead. A Cutler fumble was returned by Brian Robinson 61 yards for a Vikings touchdown. Tim Jennings of the Bears intercepted Vikings' quarterback Christian Ponder for 44 yards to take the lead. Ponder was able to throw a touchdown to tie the game. Robbie Gould kicked a 20-yard field goal for a 24-21 Bears lead at halftime. In the second half, Blair Walsh kicked three field goals for the Vikings, putting them ahead 30-24. With just 10 seconds left in the game, Jay Cutler threw the game-winning touchdown to Martellus Bennett to win 31-30. The win improved the Bears' record to 2-0 while it dropped the Vikings to 0-2.