There’s no love lost when the Vikings and Packers meet twice a season.
The Border Battles give players and fans a chance at bragging rights, while victories usually help a team elevate itself in the playoff picture.
The Vikings-Packers rivalry is well-known across the league, and Tadd Haislop of The Sporting News recently ranked it as the seventh-best in the NFL.
Chicago has butted its way into things atop the NFC North after Green Bay and Minnesota spent a few years trading punches as division champs, but the Packers and Vikings still hate each other. After their pesky tie in Week 2 last season, Minnesota’s win in Week 12 was the second-to-last straw that broke the back that was Mike McCarthy’s tenure as Packers coach.
The Packers are back with a new coaching staff and a fresh approach, and the Vikings are just a couple years removed from a run to the NFC title game. Both of these teams expect to contend in 2019, but each knows the other will be a significant barrier to success. Don’t expect this rivalry to cool down anytime soon.
The Vikings haven’t lost to Green Bay since Week 16 of the 2016 season, and Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer’s squad has enjoyed a recent run of success against the green and gold.
Although the Packers swept the season series in 2014, Zimmer’s first year in charge, and also won the first meeting in 2015, Minnesota has responded by going 5-1-1 since.
The Vikings have held serve at home in each of the three seasons since U.S. Bank Stadium opened, and Minnesota has earned a shutout win and a tie in its past two trips to Lambeau Field.
Green Bay has a slight advantage in 117 total meetings, including the postseason, with a 60-54-3 record. The teams have split a pair of playoff matchups after 2004 and 2012 seasons.
Vikings wide receiver (and Minnesota native) Adam Thielen has produced some memorable games in recent memory against the Packers, as he has 43 receptions for 578 yards and four scores in his past five games against Green Bay.
The Border Battle will continue in 2019 in Week 2 at Green Bay, and Week 16 at U.S. Bank Stadium on Monday Night Football.
NFL.com lists NFC North as league’s best division
And speaking of rivalries, the Vikings have two other fierce ones within the division.
Minnesota sees Chicago twice a year and also has home-and-home matchups with the Lions.
Add it all up and Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com believes the NFC North is the toughest division across the league.
The North has a nice combination of quality quarterbacks and defense-leaning rosters. Mitchell Trubisky is the division’s most unproven signal-caller, but he has incredible support in head coach Matt Nagy and the league’s most talented defense. The Vikings defense has an almost unprecedented amount of continuity under coach Mike Zimmer, while the Packers defense could be more talented than Aaron Rodgers side of the ball for the first time in a long time.
The Lions being fourth in line says a lot about the quality of this division. It’s not hard to imagine Detroit winning eight or more games, although playing six games against the teams in this division will make it tougher. The expectations for all four of these teams will be high enough to make disappointment for at least one of them inevitable.
The competitive division rarely has a repeat winner, as the Bears, Vikings and Packers have each claimed an NFC North title over the past three seasons.
Green Bay was the last team to repeat, as they won four straight divisions crowns from 2011 to 2014.
Minnesota and Chicago have each won four NFC North championships since the NFL realigned in 2002 and kept four teams in what was the old NFC Central, while Green Bay has nine of the past 17 titles.
Detroit’s most recent division title came in the 1991 season in the NFC Central.
The rest of Rosenthal’s list went, in order, from: AFC North, NFC South, NFC West, AFC South, AFC West, NFC East and AFC East.