Credit: Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE

San Francisco 49ers Vs. Minnesota Vikings: Numbers and History Behind the Rivalry

San Francisco 49ers (2-0) at Minnesota Vikings (1-1) — Week 3

Where: Mall of America Field — Metrodome

When: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT (FOX)

Weather: Indoor stadium

Spread: 49ers by 7

The Rivalry

All-time series record: 49ers lead 22-21-1

The 49ers and Vikings first played against each other in 1961 and Sunday will mark the 45th game in the series.  Even though there is a long history between the 49ers and Vikings, the rivalry is not as intense as you would expect.  The two most recent times San Francisco and Minnesota met in the regular-season and playoffs were memorable games.

In the 1997 playoffs the 49ers defeated the Vikings in the Divisional Round, 38-22.  Niners running back Terry Kirby had a career-high 120 yards and two touchdowns.  Steve Young threw for 220 yards and one touchdown while his counterpart, Randall Cunningham, threw for three touchdowns.  Cunningham had one interception returned for a touchdown in the second quarter, giving the 49ers a 21-7 lead.

In week three of the 2009 season the 49ers traveled to Minnesota to take on Brett Favre and the Vikings.  The game went back and forth in all four quarters and led to one of most unforgettable moments of the 2009 season for the 49ers.  With the 49ers up 24-20 they punted to the Vikings with 1 minute and 36 seconds left in the game.  The first five series of the second half for Vikings offense was three punts, an interception, and a turnover on downs.  Favre started his offense at the 20-yardline and marched the Vikings down to the 49ers 32-yardline with 33 seconds left in the game.  On the next play as Favre was getting hitting by Justin Smith, he heaved a lucky pass up to receiver Greg Lewis in the back of the end zone which he caught for a 27-24 lead with 12 seconds left.  Still to this day I cannot watch the game highlights. My hatred for Brett Favre doubled after the game.

The Numbers

  • 22:  Amount of wins the 49ers have against the Vikings.  San Francisco leads the all-time series 22-21-1.
  • 18:  Last week the 49ers improved to 2-0 for the just the 18th time in franchise.
  • 115.9:  QB rating of Alex Smith, ranking 2nd in the NFL.
  • 9:  Number of games in a row Smith has not thrown interceptions.
  • .778:  49ers winning percentage on the road since Jim Harbaugh joined the 49ers in 2011 (7-2 record).
  • 1,686:  Frank Gore is one attempt away from becoming the 49ers all-time leader in carries.  He is tied with Roger Craig at 1,686 carries.
  • 3:  Number of wins the 49ers have at the Metrodome (3-6 record all-time).
  • 2:  Vikings have won the last two games over the 49ers.
  • 5:  Number of times the 49ers and Vikings have met in the playoffs. 49ers have a 4-1 record against the Vikings in the playoffs.

49ers-Vikings Connections

  • Vikings linebackers coach and special assistant to the head coach Mike Singletary was the 49ers head coach from 2009-10. From 2005-08 he was the 49ers assistant head coach and linebackers coach.
  • Vikings offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave played quarterback for the 49ers from 1991-94.  He was teammates with 49ers running backs coach Tom Rathman from 1991-1993.
  • 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh and Mike Singletary were teammates from 1987-1992 with the Chicago Bears.
  • 49ers assistant head coach/special teams coordinator Brad Seely was on the New England Patriots staff from 1999-2004 with Vikings offensive line coach Jeff Davidson.
  • 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman and Bill Musgrave were both on the Panthers offensive staff in 1999.
  • Vikings running back Toby Gerhart played for Jim Harbaugh at Stanford.
  • 49ers wide receiver Randy Moss played for the Vikings from 1998-2004, 2010.  Moss ranks 2nd in Vikings history in receptions (587), receiving yards, (9,316) and receiving touchdowns (92).
  • 49ers tight end Vernon Davis and Vikings linebacker Erin Henderson were teammates at the University of Maryland from 2004-05.
  • 49ers defensive Ray McDonald and Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin were teammates at the University of Florida in 2006.


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