The Minnesota Vikings lost in overtime to the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 1 by the score of 27-24.
Despite mistakes and penalties galore, the Vikings still had an opportunity to win this game but failed to do so.
Vikings fans should be concerned about this Week 1 loss for the following reasons.
3. Error-Prone Football Rarely Wins Games
It is normal to see rustiness and errors in Week 1 particularly when teams rested their starters in the three preseason games.
However, the Vikings had more errors than what would be considered typical because of rust.
They committed 17 penalties in total; 12 were accepted for a total of 116 yards.
The Bengals declined the other five.
Coach Mike Zimmer talked about the onslaught of penalties.
“We shot ourselves in the foot, especially in the first half, way too many times. Through the third quarter we had 10 penalties, with 10 accepted. There were too many mistakes. It was disappointing.”
Maybe more concerning than those errors was the finger pointing from Zimmer to his starting quarterback Kirk Cousins.
Three false start penalties and a holding call on the opening drive; welcome to Minnesota Vikings football 🤦♂️
— Jeff O'Brien (@jeffobrien) September 12, 2021
Cousins had a decent day completing 36 of 49 passes for 351 yards and two touchdowns.
As reported by Jen Hale of Fox Sports, Zimmer still blamed Cousins for holding the ball too long causing the first half penalties.
Mike Zimmer puts the blame on Kirk Cousins holding onto the football for too long… 😳 pic.twitter.com/QXi3jCLjYO
— SKOR North (@SKORNorth) September 12, 2021
2. Vikings Running Game Was Unimpressive
Running back Dalvin Cook rushed for 61 yards on 20 attempts in the game.
He also fumbled the ball with two minutes left in overtime.
This was the unlucky 13th fumble for Cook as he begins the fifth year of his NFL career.
Though the Vikings challenged the ruling on the field, it remained.
Ruled a fumble on the field but Dalvin Cook may be down pic.twitter.com/aztBJHhF2b
— Sean Borman (@SeanBormanNFL) September 12, 2021
Cook spoke about moving on from the Week 1 disappointment.
“You get the ball so many times in a football game. The value of taking care of the football is like the world is in my hands. I’ve got to take care of it. I’m moving on and getting that bad taste out.”
1. Week 2 Against Arizona Is An Even Tougher Game
The Vikings challenges continue with a tough home game against the Arizona Cardinals.
The Cardinals are coming off a big Week 1 win over the Tennessee Titans.
Mistakes need to be cleaned up and practices need to focus on being ready for the Cardinals in short order.
Though fans should be concerned by the sloppy play in the opening game loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, it does not mean the entire season is bound to be filled with doom and gloom.
There are 16 more regular season games, and Week 1 tends to be the most difficult because teams are preparing against rosters that are new and different from last year.
The Vikings are not alone in allowing sloppiness to dictate the final outcome of their game.
Other good teams including the Buffalo Bills and the Cleveland Browns learned the hard way that error-prone football results in losses.
However, the public blame game leveled by the head coach at the quarterback could be the biggest problem the Vikings have to deal with going forward if the team does not improve.