Silver Linings from the Vikings’ Week 1 loss to the Bengals

CINCINNATI, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 12: Greg Joseph #1 of the Minnesota Vikings kicks a field goal to tie the game at 24-24 as time expires in the fourth quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on September 12, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 12: Greg Joseph #1 of the Minnesota Vikings kicks a field goal to tie the game at 24-24 as time expires in the fourth quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on September 12, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Kirk Cousins – Minnesota Vikings (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Kirk Cousins – Minnesota Vikings (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

Vikings Are Technically in First Place in the North Despite the Loss

One last silver lining from the loss against the Bengals is that every other team in the NFC North also lost. The Lions fell to the 49ers, the Bears lost to the Rams, and the Packers were absolutely destroyed by the New Orleans Saints. While the Vikings’ opponent could be considered the weakest of the four in the games that were played on Sunday, they only lost by three and that point differential was enough to put the team on top of the standings after the first week.

Another positive to come out of every team losing for the Vikings was that their opponent was from the AFC. The Bears, Packers, and Lions all faced NFC opponents and that could prove to be quite costly when it comes to playoff positioning down the road. The Vikings also play the Rams and 49ers this season and if they are able to defeat them that’ll give them an edge in seeding over the Lions and Bears.

The Vikings on paper were a much better team than the Bengals. They had a loaded roster chock full of depth at key positions. The team lost because they shot themselves in the foot with penalties and their offensive line really struggled against the Bengals’ defensive front. While this loss stings, they can take comfort knowing that the entire NFC North can share in their misery after Week 1.