The Top 10 Performances By A Vikings WR Against The Packers

It’s officially game week in the NFL!! To start off this season, the Minnesota Vikings kick off at home against their arch-nemesis, the Green Bay Packers.

It has become an annual occasion over the past 30 years for Packers quarterbacks Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers to torch the men in purple. However, despite Favre and Rodgers’ domination, one position for the Vikings has equally returned the favor: wide receiver.

Today, we are going to take a look at the top 10 performances by a Vikings wide receiver against the Packers. To prevent one receiver from making the list too many times, we have limited selections to two, with the exception of an Honorable Mention.

10. Eric Guliford’s Only Catch as a Viking Sets Up The Game-Winning Field Goal – Sep. 26, 1993
Final Stats: 1 reception, 45 yards

Eric Guliford was an undrafted free agent out of Arizona State who spent two seasons with the Vikings. He had not made a catch yet in his NFL career when, in a 1993 game against the Packers, the Vikings trailed 14-12 and quarterback Jim McMahon had the offense at midfield, needing to drive into field goal range. In comes the unknown Guliford, who got open by 20 yards, and McMahon hit him for a 45-yard bomb to the Packers’ 5. This catch enabled Vikings kicker Fuad Reveiz, who had scored all of the Vikings’ points with four field goals, to kick the game-winner.

While this performance is based solely off of one catch, it was the only catch Guliford had in his two seasons as a Viking. It also enabled the Vikings to get a crucial win that turned out to be crucial in playoff seeding later in the year, as explained by the next performance on our list.

9. Cris Carter’s Big Game Helps the Vikings Sweep the Packers – Dec. 19, 1993
Final Stats: 6 receptions, 106 yards, 2 TD

Guliford wasn’t the only receiver to have a big moment against the Packers in 1993, as Hall of Famer Cris Carter had an epic Week 16 performance in Milwaukee that enabled the Vikings to sweep the Packers and secure one of the three Wild Card spots in the NFC playoff field.

Once again that season, McMahon made magic against the Packers. This time, Carter was his primary go-to receiver, as he caught six passes for 106 yards and two touchdowns, the latter of which came in the fourth quarter and enabled the Vikings to go up 21-10, essentially putting the game away in favor of the men in purple. With this win, the Vikings completed a second straight season sweep of the Packers. This was the first big game for Carter against the Packers, who frequently torched the team throughout the 1990s. In 24 games against the green and gold, Carter caught 108 passes for 1,314 yards and scored 11 touchdowns.

The Packers and Vikings both went on to clinch playoff spots that season as both teams finished 9-7, but the Vikings’ sweep enabled them to clinch the fifth seed while the Packers were seeded sixth. It’s safe to say that without the efforts of Carter, the Vikings would have missed the playoffs entirely in 1993.

8. Anthony Carter’s Circus Catch Denies the Pack the NFC Central – Dec. 2, 1990
Final Stats: 4 receptions, 96 yards, TD

In 1990, the Vikings and Packers were playing catch-up to the Bears. A Vikings win over the Packers in Week 13 of that season would ensure the Bears won the NFC Central.

Sure enough, Vikings receiver Anthony Carter (no relation to the previously mentioned Cris Carter) would ensure that their chief nemesis would not be taking home the division crown that season.

In the third quarter of that game, the Packers took a 7-6 lead off a blocked punt returned for a touchdown. After a Vikings field goal gave them a 9-7 lead, Rich Gannon took a flea flicker from Herschel Walker and threw to a tightly-covered Carter, who leaped up in the air and tipped away a sure interception from cornerback Mark Lee, before falling into the end zone for a 56-yard touchdown that gave the Vikings a 16-7 lead, a lead that they wouldn’t relinquish for the rest of the game.

Thanks to Carter’s performance on the day (four catches for 96 yards and the aforementioned touchdown), the Vikings went on to win 23-7, gave the Bears the division, and sent the Packers into a five-game losing streak to end the season. The aftermath and the effects that this catch had on both teams is why it is ranked eighth on this list.

7. Adam Thielen’s 202-Yard Game at Lambeau – Dec. 24, 2016
Final Stats: 12 receptions, 202 yards, 2 TD

Most likely because the Vikings lost this game by double-digits, this is one of the most forgotten performances by a Vikings WR in recent memory.

This game was over before it started, as the Vikings never led for any moment in the entire game, but that didn’t stop 2016 breakout star Adam Thielen from having a career day. Thielen caught 12 passes on this cold Christmas Eve in Lambeau, which went for 202 yards and two scores. One notable catch was a 71-yard touchdown to bring the Vikings within eight points, which was the closest this game would get after both teams scored in the double digits.

Thielen has always torched the Packers throughout his NFL career in one way or another, but this is easily his highlight performance against them. The Vikings may not have won the game, but Thielen used this opportunity to show that he had the makings of a future star. If this wasn’t an indication of what was to come for the Minnesota native’s NFL career, I don’t know what was. Had the Vikings won, this likely goes down as one of the most legendary performances by a wide receiver in team history.

6. Ahmad Rashad’s Walk-Off TD At The Met – Sep. 23, 1979
Final Stats: 9 receptions, 136 yards, 2 TD

1979 marked the beginning of the end for the legendary Viking teams of the 70s, but that didn’t stop star receiver Ahmad Rashad from having one of his more notable games as a member of the purple and gold.

Playing the archrival Packers at the old Metropolitan Stadium, the Vikings had scored a rushing touchdown to send this Week 3 contest to overtime. Enter Rashad and quarterback Tommy Kramer, who connected on a 50-yard touchdown in the extra period to win the game by a final score of 27-21. Kramer threw two touchdowns in this game, both of which went to Rashad, who also caught nine passes for 136 yards. Although Rashad played the Packers many times throughout his time in purple, this is the first result that comes up when you look up “Ahmad Rashad vs. the Packers.”

This season may have been an indication of the Vikings’ dark future ahead, but it didn’t stop Rashad from proving he still had some juice in the tank. If it wasn’t for the Miracle at the Met in the 1980s, this probably would’ve been Rashad’s career highlight as a Viking.

HONORABLE MENTION: Thielen’s 125-Yard Night Puts Away The Packers on Sunday Night Football – Nov. 25, 2018
Final Stats: 8 receptions, 125 yards, TD

As mentioned before, Thielen is a known “Packer-killer,” and that held true on this 2018 Thanksgiving weekend Sunday Night Football game at US Bank Stadium.

After being tied 14-14 at halftime, the Vikings broke the tie late in the third quarter with a Dan Bailey field goal. And then, with under a minute to go in the quarter, Thielen killed any chance the Packers had at a comeback, taking a short pass from quarterback Kirk Cousins 14 yards for a touchdown that put the Vikings up 24-14 as they went on to secure a second straight season sweep of their rivals.

Thielen caught 8 passes for 125 yards with the aforementioned touchdown, posting his ninth 100-yard game of the season, and his third career 100-yard game against the Packers. The Vikings do not win this game without the efforts of Thielen, who essentially ensured that his team would be walking away with the Thanksgiving weekend dub. This was a tough game to leave off the top 10, but unfortunately there were some more notable ones that deserved the recognition.

5. Justin Jefferson Introduces Himself To The Packers-Vikings Rivalry – Nov. 21, 2021
Final Stats: 8 receptions, 169 yards, 2 TD

I sound like a broken record here, but we know the history of Vikings receivers having success against the Packers. From Cris Carter to Randy Moss to Adam Thielen, many receivers wearing purple have put up great numbers against their rivals to the east.

And on November 21, 2021, second-year Vikings star Justin Jefferson introduced himself to this storied tradition and said “I’m next in line.”

Although he struggled against the Packers as a rookie, Jefferson absolutely went off this game, as he posted eight catches for 169 yards and two scores, and narrowly missed a third score by one yard. There is absolutely no way the Vikings win this game without the second half heroics of Jefferson. To open up the half, Jefferson scored his first touchdown of the day to push the Vikings out to a 23-10 lead. However, in typical fashion, Aaron Rodgers led a Packers rally and they were leading 24-23 in the fourth quarter. Enter Jefferson, who caught a 23-yard touchdown from Cousins, who was decked as he released the ball. The ensuing two-point conversion gave Minnesota a 31-24 lead, which the Packers tied on the very next play. On the final drive of the game, Jefferson only had one catch for six yards, but it was a catch that would prove to be vital as it got the game-winning drive started. Two pass completions and two kneel-downs later, Greg Joseph kicked the Vikings to a 34-31 win.

For his efforts against the Packers, Jefferson earned NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors, an award he absolutely deserves as the Vikings don’t win this game without him. His heroics essentially won the Vikings the game, just like those who came before him. In fact, Jefferson’s introduction into this rivalry was eerily similar to the next performance on this list.

4. Stefon Diggs Makes A Statement To The NFL World In U.S. Bank Stadium’s Debut- Sep. 18, 2016
Final Stats: 9 receptions, 182 yards, TD

Just like Jefferson, former Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs introduced himself to the Packers-Vikings rivalry in his sophomore season. And given that it was during none other than the debut of U.S. Bank Stadium, he couldn’t have picked a better time to do so.

Coming into this game, Diggs was a little-known receiver who had a rookie campaign that few people watched due to the Vikings’ boring offense under former quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. But after this game, a lot of that changed.

With the Vikings having question marks at the QB position due to Bridgewater’s season-ending knee injury and newcomer Sam Bradford still learning the playbook, the Packers decided to focus on stopping star running back Adrian Peterson, who in his prime had been a big pain in the butt to deal with in his own right. As it turned out, they game-planned for the wrong guy.

With the Packers focused on limiting Peterson, Diggs was often left covered one-on-one with Packers defensive backs, mainly against cornerback Damarious Randall. Fortunately for Diggs, defensive back was (at the time) the Packers’ weakest unit. Using the weak coverage to his advantage, Diggs became the engine of the offense, as he and Bradford hooked up for nine catches, which went for 182 yards and one touchdown. Diggs’ touchdown enabled the Vikings to go up 17-7, a lead that they kept for the rest of the night as they went on to win 17-14, largely thanks to the efforts of Diggs, who took home NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors for his performance.

Diggs would go on to have great success against the Packers during the remainder of his time in Minnesota. Prior to his trade to the Buffalo Bills in 2020, Diggs tied a Vikings record with seven straight games with a touchdown scored against the Packers. In fact, in every game he played against the Packers for the remainder of his Vikings tenure, Diggs scored a touchdown. That is remarkable.

T-3. Diggs and Thielen Go Crazy Against the Packers at Lambeau – Sep. 16, 2018
Diggs’ Final Stats: 9 receptions, 128 yards, 2 TD

Thielen’s Final Stats: 12 receptions, 131 yards, TD

The Packers and Vikings have had three ties in their history, with the most recent coming in the game we are going to discuss. Speaking of third tie, it’s fitting that we make this spot a tie between two well-known Packer killers in Diggs and Thielen.

Making his first start in the rivalry on a sunny September day at Lambeau Field, Kirk Cousins passed for 425 yards, throwing for four touchdowns and one interception, as the Vikings rallied all the way back from a 20-7 fourth-quarter deficit to tie the game at 29 all, which stood in overtime. None of that would have been possible without the efforts of Diggs and Thielen, especially at the end of the game.

The Vikings began their rally with Cousins throwing a 3-yard touchdown to Diggs. After a Packers field goal, Cousins found Diggs for a 75-yard touchdown to pull within two points. After two more Packers field goals, Cousins and Thielen hooked up for a touchdown from 22 yards out, which was notable as Thielen made the catch in between two Packer defenders. Continuing his amazing day, Diggs caught the game-tying two-point conversion that led to the final score.

The final stat lines for each? Diggs caught nine passes for 128 yards and two scores. Thielen caught 12 passes for 131 yards and one score. Diggs and Thielen became the first duo since Cris Carter and Randy Moss in 1998 to post 100-yard games against the Packers. These two made their names off being Packer killers and nuisances, and their domination couldn’t have shown more than in this game.

2. Randy Moss’ MNF Coming-Out Party Against Packers – Oct. 5, 1998
Final Stats: 5 receptions, 190 yards, 2 TD

It’s only fitting that the world was introduced to Randy Moss on the national Monday Night stage against Favre and the Packers.

Moss, the original high-profile Packer killer that set the stage for future receivers such as Diggs, Thielen, and (possibly) Jefferson torching the Packers, made himself known against the team he would have the greatest career success against. In this game, Moss posted five catches for 190 yards and two scores, but it could’ve been a lot more had he not had a third score from 75 yards out nullified due to a penalty. Moss accounted for almost half of quarterback Randall Cunningham’s 442 yards passing, showing how dominant he was that night.

This was the game that prompted announcer Mike Tirico to utter the line “Randy Moss on Monday Night, what else is new!,” back in 2012, when the now 35-year-old super freak was still scoring touchdowns on MNF, this time for the San Francisco 49ers.

Don’t worry Vikings fans, we didn’t forget about the most memorable Moss vs. Packers moment.

1. Moss’ Playoff Moonshot – Jan. 9, 2005
Final Stats: 4 receptions, 70 yards, 2 TD

“That is a disgusting act by Randy Moss!,” said announcer Joe Buck after Moss faux-mooned Packers fans at Lambeau Field after his second touchdown in the team’s first-ever playoff meeting.

It wasn’t just the moonshot that made this game memorable, however. In what proved to be his next to last game against the Packers as a member of the Vikings, and his last before getting traded to Oakland in the spring of 2005, Moss permanently put his stamp on this storied rivalry. Although he only posted four catches for 70 yards, two of them went for touchdowns. That proved to be the difference as the Vikings dominated the first playoff game against their chief rival, as the men in purple won by a final score of 31-17. Moss’ second touchdown was the final Vikings score of the game and essentially clinched victory.

It was mentioned earlier about Stefon Diggs tying a record set by a Vikings receiver by scoring in seven straight games against the Packers. That receiver was Moss, who posted high numbers against the Packers in his career. In 15 games against the Packers, Moss posted 107 catches for 1,320 yards and 14 touchdowns, which included six 100-yard games and scoring a touchdown in 12 out of the 15 games. Moss averaged 7 catches for 88 yards and one touchdown in every game he played against the Packers.

When it comes to great Viking receiver moments against the Packers, this performance by Randy Moss will always reign supreme. Not because of the moonshot, but because of the circumstances of the game and the impact his performance had.

That is all we have for today, friends. It’s game week in the NFL and we are kicking things off with a classic Midwestern Border Battle. Thank you for reading this blog, more content will be coming soon!
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