The opening weekend was not the best start to the 2021 season for the four NFC North teams.
Detroit lost to San Francisco. Minnesota was beaten by Cincinnati in overtime. Green Bay was blown away by New Orleans. Chicago was beaten by the Los Angeles Rams in Sunday Night Football.
It’s a 0-4 start for NFC North to kick off the year, and now the season turns into a 16-game run for the division title. Here are some pros and cons of the first weekend of the regular season for the four teams in the division:
Week 1: Cincinnati 27, Minnesota 24 (OT)
Next : at Arizona (1-0)
- Minnesota were able to increase the pressure on Joe Burrow at times, sacking him five times. Defensive tackle Michael Pierce led the way with two sacks.
- Wide receiver Adam Thielen had a great afternoon catching nine of his 10 targets for 92 yards and two scores. He and Justin Jefferson (5 catches for 71 yards) could be one of the best receiving duos in the league.
- Quarterback Kirk Cousins was solid. He completed 36 of 49 passes for 351 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. He started the year with a passer rating of 106.8.
- While the Minnesota defense was able to put pressure on Burrow at times, they had no chance to stop the Bengals’ ground attack. Cincinnati ran for 149 yards, led by Joe Mixon for 127 yards and a touchdown.
- Veteran cornerback Bashaud Breeland was selected on every game and ended up allowing 107 receiving yards in his coverage zone and two touchdowns, according to Pro Football Focus stats.
- Minnesota needs to be more disciplined from a penalty standpoint going forward. They have been flagged 12 times, which represents 116 penalty yards.