For the Vikings, the ‘Ravens Curse’ Lives On

For the Vikings, the 'Ravens Curse' Lives On

The leadership tenures of Rick Spielman and Mike Zimmer might’ve died for the Minnesota Vikings, but The Ravens Curse is immortal.

That’s right, the termination of Zimmer ensured the curse remained in lockstep with the organization.

What is the Ravens Curse? Well, the Vikings and Ravens have played seven times in franchise history. In the three games that Minnesota was victorious, the Vikings later galloped to the NFC Championship. In the four games that Minnesota lost, the head coach was fired in the same season.

1998 – Vikings Win (NFCC appearance)
2002 – Vikings Lose (Dennis Green fired)
2005 – Vikings Lose (Mike Tice fired)
2009 – Vikings Win (NFCC appearance)
2013 – Vikings Lose (Leslie Frazier fired)
2017 – Vikings Win (NFCC appearance)
2021 – Vikings Lose (Mike Zimmer fired)

Here’s the factoid for visual learners:

Guess what? The Vikings lost to the Ravens in Week 9 this season, thanks to a 34-31 defensive collapse down the stretch. Several of those occurred in 2021. The curse lives on.

Jan 9, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer waves to the crowd after the game against the Chicago Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings holstered a roster capable of playoff contention in 2021 but crumbled in critical spots during games. Zimmer’s bunch finished the season 8-9, one win shy of reaching the postseason. Resultantly, Vikings ownership absolutely cleaned house. Most expected Spielman to stay with the franchise in some capacity, but even he was pecked by the raven.

In the Super Bowl Era (since 1966), the Minnesota Vikings own the NFL’s fifth-best win percentage (.557), outranked only by the Dallas Cowboys, Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots, and Baltimore Ravens.

Of the top 16 teams via win percentage since 1966, though, the Vikings are the only franchise without a Super Bowl championship. All other 15 teams in the top 16 for win percentage have won a Super Bowl – except for the Vikings.

Therefore, fans point to weird curses like this for an explanation. How can the Vikings be so steady – winning more than they lose a Top 5 clip – and be the only team not to win a Lombardi trophy? It’s gotta be the Gods, right?

Either that or curses like the Ravens one.

The silver lining? Minnesota will play Baltimore in 2025, presumably for an audition at the NFC Championship because the curse is dual-faceted.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).