The rivalry began in 1961, when the Minnesota Vikings entered the league as an expansion team. The rivalry is known for its many close games and the parity of the all-time series as well, although the Packers have opened up an advantage in recent years. It is also considered to be one of the most intense rivalries in the National Football League, due to both teams being located in the same division since the Vikings inception, and the fact that the two states (Minnesota and Wisconsin) are geographically located side by side, thereby allowing them to compete in multiple sports in other leagues such as the Big Ten Conference. The series between the Universities of Wisconsin and Minnesota is the most-played rivalry in NCAA Division I football, having been played continuously since 1907.
Vince Lombardi's Packers dominated the Vikings in Minnesota's first five seasons in the NFL, going 9-1 against the Vikings in that span. In Green Bay's two Super Bowl seasons under Lombardi (1966–67), though, the two teams split their semi-annual meetings. In Minnesota's four Super Bowl seasons (1969, 1973, 1974, 1976) they won seven of eight meetings with the Packers. Bud Grant went 22-14-1 against the Packers as Vikings coach.
The bitterness of the rivalry was illustrated in the 2008 preseason when Packers quarterback Brett Favre, in his public feud with Green Bay management over his attempted comeback from retirement, expressed desire to play for the Vikings, a move soundly opposed by the Packers, who filed tampering charges against the Vikings (which were proven to be unfounded) and later traded Favre to the New York Jets with a stipulation that the Packers receive multiple draft picks from the Jets should Favre be traded to an NFC North team, presumably the Vikings. Favre played one season with the Jets before announcing his retirement, then came back out of retirement in August 2009 to sign with the Vikings. Brett Favre would later retire for the last time after the 2010 season.
Signature moment: On September 26, 1993, in a week three division showdown, the Vikings trailed the visiting Packers 13-12 with no timeouts and less than two minutes remaining on the clock. Needing a big play on 4th and 8 from their own 19, Minnesota quarterback, Jim McMahon found Cris Carter for a 19-yard gain to keep the Vikings' drive alive. A couple more completions, mixed with three incomplete passes, set up a third-and-10 from mid-field with 14 seconds left. McMahon rolled right to avoid the rush, when suddenly he spotted rookie wide receiver Eric Guliford who was wide open by 20 yards. McMahon then connected on a 45-yard bomb with 6 seconds left to play before Mike Prior could force Guliford out of bounds. That would set up Fuad Reveiz's fifth field goal of the game, lifting the Minnesota Vikings to a 15-13 victory and a 2-1 record to start the season. It was Guliford's only catch in his two seasons with the Vikings.
Signature moment: In a Monday Night Football game on November 6, 2000, the Packers and Vikings were tied at 20 in overtime when Brett Favre threw a long pass that Vikings cornerback Cris Dishman deflected towards Antonio Freeman, who was on the ground. The ball went straight from Dishman to Freeman's shoulder, who then rolled over to make the catch at the 15-yard line, and took it into the endzone for the touchdown and the 26-20 win. This prompted Al Michaels, who was broadcasting the game on ABC, to famously utter, "He did what?"
Signature moment: January 9, 2005 represented the first time that the two clubs have faced each other in the playoffs. The Vikings jumped to an early lead and carried by the arm of Daunte Culpepper ultimately won 31-17. Culpepper threw four touchdowns, two of them to Moss for 20 and 34 yards, while Nate Burleson caught a 19-yard score and Moe Williams turned a short gain into a 68-yard touchdown. Brett Favre threw four interceptions for Green Bay's second home playoff loss in three years after winning 13 straight postseason contests at Lambeau Field; he was also flagged for an illegal forward pass when, late in the second quarter, he ran past the line of scrimmage on 3rd and goal at the Vikings 8; he ran to the five-yard line and with Vikings defenders ready to pounce at the goalline he flipped the ball sideways to Javon Walker, who caught it just as the penalty flag was thrown; adding insult to injury the Packers missed the ensuing 28 yard chip shot field goal attempt. In the 4th quarter after his second touchdown, Vikings wide receiver Randy Moss faux mooned Packer fans. In the moment, FOX announcer Joe Buck denounced the end zone celebration as "disgusting" and "classless", unaware that Moss was imparting to the Green Bay crowd similar treatment that visiting teams receive from the Packer fans. (After games at Lambeau Field, some Green Bay fans notoriously moon the opponent's bus as it pulls away).
Signature moment: A missed 52-yard field goal try by the Packers' Mason Crosby with 26 seconds remaining sealed a hard-fought 28-27 Vikings win at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on November 9, 2008. Gus Frerotte overcame three interceptions (one returned 55 yards by the Packers' Nick Collins for a third-quarter Green Bay touchdown) to throw two touchdowns while Adrian Peterson rushed for 192 yards and the decisive touchdown with 2:22 to go in the fourth. Aaron Rodgers threw for 142 yards but in the second quarter fumbled in the endzone and was flagged for intentional grounding, giving a safety to the Vikings; Jared Allen then sacked Rodgers in the Packers endzone with 52 seconds left in the first half for another Vikings safety.
Signature Moment: Monday Night Football earned the highest ratings in cable television history on October 5, 2009 when the Vikings hosted the Packers. The game was the first meeting between the Packers and their former quarterback Brett Favre. With the Vikings wearing throwback uniforms evoking memories of seasons from the 1960s they took over the game when Aaron Rodgers was sacked at the Vikings 33-yard line and fumbled. The Vikings drove downfield as Adrian Peterson rushed six times for 26 yards and Favre threw five times, ending in a one-yard touchdown to Visanthe Shiancoe. Rodgers managed a 62-yard touchdown to Jermichael Finley, and after an exchange of touchdowns (a 14-yard Favre pass to Sidney Rice and a Clay Matthews strip-tackle of Peterson returned 42-yards) Favre raced the Vikings to the Packers redzone; a pass to the endzone was picked off but the play was nullified on pass interference, and one play later Peterson rushed in another score. The Vikings never let the Packers closer as they won 30-23, taking a 4-0 record in the 2009 season's first quarter. In the ensuing rematch at Lambeau Field on November 1 Favre erupted with four touchdowns while the Vikings defense snuffed out a late Packers rally for a 38-26 Vikings win.
Signature moment: The Packers ended Brett Favre's winning streak against them in a 28-24 win at Lambeau Field on Sunday Night Football on October 24, 2010. Three Favre interceptions helped the Packers surge to the 28-24 lead but Favre led a late comeback; an endzone catch by Percy Harvin with 57 seconds remaining was nullified when review showed one foot out of bounds, and the Vikings failed to convert a touchdown in their final attempt. Favre suffered injury to his left ankle that left his season in doubt and coach Brad Childress was livid with the officiating crew led by Scott Green. In the November 21 rematch, the Packers routed the Vikings 31-3 behind four Aaron Rodgers touchdown passes, making Rodgers 2-2 against Favre in his career. The loss dropped the Vikings to 3-7, all but eliminating them from playoff contention. Childress was then fired by the Vikings the next day, and defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier was promoted to replace him. The Packers, on the other hand, went on to win their fourth Super Bowl.
Signature Moment:Adrian Peterson came up nine yards short of breaking Eric Dickerson's 1984 rushing record but his late scamper set up the winning field goal in a 37-34 Vikings win on December 30, 2012. The Packers erased a 20-10 halftime gap but could not close out the win while the Vikings advanced to the playoffs as the NFC's sixth seed.
Signature Moment: On January 5, 2013 the Packers defeated the Vikings 24-10 in the Wild Card round just six days after falling to the Vikings in week 17. The two teams split their regular season games with the home team winning each game. The Playoff game had the same result, being at Lambeau, however the Packers were able to hold Adrian Peterson under 100 yards after he had run for 210 and 199 yards respectively in the first two meetings.
The Packers–Vikings rivalry is notable for its historical balance. Indeed, during the first 97 meetings, the total offensive yardage, points scored, wins, turnovers, and time of possession were all within 5% of each other; the closest margins for an NFL rivalry longer than 15 years, although the Packer's have since established an advantage beyond the 5% range in both wins and points. Outside of a head-to-head game, championship game success between the two franchises has been far less balanced. The Packers have won the Super Bowl 4 times in their 5 appearances, and have won five pre-merger NFL Championship games since the Vikings first played. The Vikings won the NFL Championship title the year before the merger, but lost the Super Bowl. In fact they have lost the Super Bowl all 4 times they have played in it, thereby never having won the "World Championship", something the Packers have managed to do 7 times since the Vikings began play, and a record 13 times overall.