Minnesota Vikings: Ranking every Thanksgiving game in team history

Last season, the Minnesota Vikings came up with a rousing victory on Thanksgiving Day. The holiday has been good to the Purple Gang.

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8. Vikings 23, Lions 0 (1988)

A year after the Vikings reached the NFC Championship Game, a loss to the then-Washington Redskins, Jerry Burns’ club put together a solid year that resulted in an 11-5 record and a second-place finish in the NFC Central. Two of their victories came against the division-champion Chicago Bears, who earned the top spot with a 12-4 mark.

On Thanksgiving Day at the Silverdome, Minnesota flexed its defensive muscles and shut out the Lions. The Vikings took control with a 20-point second quarter. They outgained Detroit, 353-60, and held the ball for an astounding 44:57. Running back Alfred Anderson ran for two touchdowns, while Chuck Nelson added three field goals in the lopsided victory.

7. Lions 44, Vikings 38 (1995)

It wound up being a wild afternoon at Pontiac, and Dennis Green’s Vikings wound up on the short end of a 44-38 score. Minnesota was riding a three-game winning streak entering the holiday clash with the Lions.

It was a battle of pass-happy quarterbacks in Minnesota’s Warren Moon (384) and Detroit’s Scott Mitchell (410), who combined for 994 yards through the air and seven scores (4 by Mitchell).

While Green’s team was limited to 34 yards on the ground, the Lions got 138 yards rushing and one touchdown from Barry Sanders. All told, Wayne Fontes’ team amassed 534 total yards and this came despite three turnovers. The Vikings owned a 31-24 third-quarter lead but were outscored 20-7 the rest of the afternoon.