Whether it’s coaches, players or fans, nobody associated with the Minnesota Vikings will look back at Week 11’s game against the Dallas Cowboys with any fondness. The Vikings were on the wrong side of a 40-3 final score, giving them their own place in NFL history.
The Vikings are 8-2 on the season. Of the eight wins, though, only Week 1’s 23-7 victory against the Green Bay Packers was decisive. A pair of eight-point wins against the Miami Dolphins and Arizona Cardinals are otherwise Minnesota’s most convincing victories. The two losses, meanwhile, have been decisive. Prior to Sunday, the Vikings’ only other loss on the season came in Week 2, when they fell 24-7 to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Even when including the Week 1 win over Green Bay, Minnesota’s eight victories have been by a combined 52 points. The two losses, meanwhile, have been by a combined 54 points. All, told, Minnesota has scored 229 points on the season and allowed 231.
An 8-2 record with a negative point differential isn’t rare — it’s unprecedented.
The @Vikings lost 40-3 today . They’ve been outscored 231-229 on the season… yet they’re 8-2. They become the 1st team in NFL history to be 8-2 with a negative scoring differential.
— trey wingo (@wingoz) November 21, 2022
Football fans had interesting reactions to Minnesota making bizarre history.
— Marques Eversoll (@MarquesEversoll) November 21, 2022
It’s what we do in Minnesota Sports. https://t.co/KrgwgCg4nN
— Jeff (@zekewill1980) November 21, 2022
— Alx (@alexinsix) November 21, 2022
Is that good. https://t.co/1f8gNe75GE
— Mark Schlereth (@markschlereth) November 21, 2022
The fortunate news for the Vikings is not only that they’re 8-2 but also that the NFC North lacks any viable competition. The 4-6 Detroit Lions are in second place and the 4-7 Green Bay Packers and 3-8 Chicago Bears round the standings out. Like the Vikings, those three teams all have negative point differentials. Minnesota also has the second-best record in the NFC. So, while they aren’t clinching the NFC North in Week 12, things are still going fine for the Purple Gang as it relates to playoff positioning.
But the two losses do show that the Vikings have struggled to even compete against stronger competition. If Minnesota is going to go on a deep postseason run, that will need to change.
[Trey Wingo on Twitter]