Every Vikings season carries with it a certain sense of anticipation, but not all years are created equal.

Several factors can ramp up the process, and a key element always has been the state of the rivalry with the Packers going into the year. This season has the potential to be memorable for that reason (and others). Here are five more seasons that fit that description:


• The anticipation: It was the first year as head coach for both Dennis Green and Mike Holmgren, signaling the start of successful new eras for both teams.

• The outcome: The Green Era opened with an overtime win at Green Bay and the regular season ended with a 27-7 Vikings win at the Dome, capping an 11-5 season and division title. The Packers went 9-7 and missed the playoffs.

• Advantage: Vikings.


• The anticipation: The Packers were coming off back-to-back Super Bowl appearances (one win, one loss), while the Vikings built on a playoff roster from the previous season by drafting Randy Moss in the first round of the 1998 draft.

• The outcome: The Vikings steamrolled the Packers twice during the regular season, including a memorable 37-24 victory at Lambeau Field on Monday Night Football. The Vikings went 15-1, and it’s really hard to say what happened in the playoffs because all evidence has been destroyed. The Packers went 11-5 and lost in the playoffs to San Francisco.

• Advantage: Vikings.


• The anticipation: Perhaps the pinnacle of the rivalry, with longtime Packers quarterback Brett Favre joining the Vikings while former understudy Aaron Rodgers continued to grow into an elite quarterback with the Packers.

• The outcome: The Vikings again swept the season series on the way to a 12-4 regular season and NFC North title. Again, all evidence of what happened after that has been destroyed. The Packers finished 11-5 and made the playoffs, losing to Arizona in the wild-card round.

• Advantage: Vikings.


• The anticipation: It was Year 2 of Favre vs. Rodgers, which didn’t figure to be quite as fun but still carried a ton of weight.

• The outcome: Completely different from 2009 (an understatement). The Packers swept the series, including a 31-3 win in Minnesota that dropped the Vikings to 3-7 and led to the midyear firing of head coach Brad Childress. Favre sputtered and the Vikings finished 6-10. The Packers finished 10-6 and ran the table through the postseason to win the Super Bowl.

• Advantage: Packers.


• The anticipation: The Vikings won the NFC North with a Week 17 victory at Lambeau Field in 2015, setting the stage for a showdown between the teams in 2016.

• The outcome: The Vikings started the year 5-0, including a Week 2 win on Sunday night in Sam Bradford’s debut, but finished the year 8-8. The Packers were 4-6 at one point, then won six in a row — including a 38-25 win over the Vikings at Lambeau Field — to make the playoffs, where they reached the NFC title game.

• Advantage: Packers.


• The anticipation: The Vikings went 13-3 in 2017, defeating the Packers twice — including a win at U.S. Bank Stadium in which a hit by Anthony Barr knocked Rodgers out for most of the rest of the season. The Packers finished the year 7-9, setting up an interesting 2018.

•Outcome and advantage: To be determined.