The rivalry began in 1961, when the Minnesota Vikings entered the league as an expansion team. The rivalry is known for being very close, both in the all-time series and in each game. It is also considered to be one of the most intense rivalries in the National Football League, due these close games, the fact that both teams have often fought for the NFC North title, and the fact that the two states in which these teams reside (Minnesota and Wisconsin) have a rivalry in many sports and leagues such as the MLB, NBA, and the Big Ten Conference. Events such as Randy Moss pretending to moon the Green Bay crowd in the only playoff game between these two teams, and former Packer great Brett Favre's move to the Vikings have created more resentment between these teams. Over the course of the rivalry, each team has had periods of success. The Vikings have played in the Super Bowl four times, winning none. The Packers have played in the Super Bowl five times, winning four times.
Vince Lombardi 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 (1966-7), 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; the Vikings defeated the Packers on October 5, 2009 on Monday Night Football.
Signature Moment: On October 5, 1998 Vikings rookie Randy Moss made his Monday Night Football debut at Lambeau Field and had five catches for 190 yards and two touchdowns. Randall Cunningham had two additional touchdown throws (to Jake Reed and Robert Smith) and Gary Anderson connected on three field goals in a 37-24 Vikings win. Brett Favre threw three interceptions and was benched for Doug Pederson, who threw fourth-quarter scores to Tyrone Davis and Bill Schroeder.
Signature moment: In a Monday Night Football game in 2000, the Packers and Vikings were tied at 20-20 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. After his second touchdown, Viking's wide receiver Randy Moss faux mooned Packer fans. 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 field goal attempt.
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 wearning 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-Vikings rivalry is noted for being very balanced. In the first 97 meetings, the total offensive yardage, points scored, wins, turnovers, and time of possession are all within 5% of each other; these are the closest margins for a rivalry longer than 15 years.