NFC North Teams Combine for Dubious Record Not Done Since 2013

The Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears teamed up to make history Sunday. Unfortunately, it wasn't the good type of history.

Each NFC North team lost its Week 1 game, making it the first full division to start the season winless since 2013 and only the third since the NFL moved to eight, four-team divisions in 2002.

Only the 2002 and 2013 AFC North and 2011 NFC South also had a winless team atop the standings after Week 1. In most seasons there is at least one divisional game in each division, yet the Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears each met opponents outside the North on Sunday.

The Packers, Vikings, Lions and Bears combined for another dubious honor by having the worst point differential (-66) of any division through Week 1 since 2002. The point-differential could've been even worse if not for a garbage-time rally from the Lions, where they scored the last 16 fourth-quarter points in their 41-33 defeat to the San Francisco 49ers.

The Vikings came closest to victory by rallying from a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to force overtime in Cincinnati. But Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow led his team down the field for the game-winning field goal with no time left in Cincinnati's 27-24 win.

The defending NFC North champion Packers had the most disappointing opener of any team Sunday. A year after scoring an NFL-best 509 points, Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay offense mustered just three points and a league-low 244 yards of offense in their stunning 38-3 loss to the New Orleans Saints.

"It's just one game," Rodgers said after the game in Jacksonville that was moved due to Hurricane Ida. "We played bad; I played bad. Offensively, we didn't execute very well [but it's] one game. We've got 16 to go."

Aaron Rodgers
Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers had the most disappointing outing of any team Sunday, losing 38-3 to the New Orleans Saints. However they are still tied for first place after Week 1. James Gilbert/Getty Images

The Bears had one final opportunity to salvage the day for their division but were outscored 21-7 in the second half of their 34-14 loss to the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium on Sunday night.

The North's loss was the NFC West's gain. Led by the Rams and 49ers wins, and victories by the Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks, the West became the NFL's first division since the 2015 AFC East to have each team win its opener.

Fans online also had their fun at the NFC North's expense, and some supporters of the division's teams looked on the bright side that in spite of its loss each team was tied for first place after Week 1.

Your Minnesota Vikings are officially in 1st place in the NFC North.

— Vikings Central (@VikesCentral) September 13, 2021

welp, NFC north fans, at least we sucked ๐“’๐“ธ๐“ต๐“ต๐“ฎ๐“ฌ๐“ฝ๐“ฒ๐“ฟ๐“ฎ๐“ต๐”‚

— CheeseheadTV ๐Ÿง€ (@cheeseheadtv) September 13, 2021

The #Lions are tied for 1st place in the NFC North!

At least the Lions didn't lose by 35 points today... pic.twitter.com/zHMmVpWXdM

— Logan Lamorandier (@LLamorandier) September 13, 2021

Dan Campbell has gotten the Lions to first place in the NFC North faster than any Lions coach in franchise history.

— Mike Payton (@POD_Payton) September 13, 2021

Live look at the NFC North after going 0-4 today pic.twitter.com/i7vFvyNk66

— 10,000 Takes (@10kTakes_) September 13, 2021

There is further good news for downtrodden fans of NFC North teams: one team will likely get a win in Week 2. The Vikings and Bears will play interdivisional foes in Week 2, but the Packers and Lions will meet next Monday night, meaning at least one team will not be 0-2.