Blowout loss to Cowboys gives 8-2 Vikings historic point differential


The Minnesota Vikings are tied for the second-best record in the NFL.

And they also have a negative point differential.

The previously one-loss Vikings were embarrassed in front of their home crowd on Sunday with a 40-3 blowout loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Things got so ugly at U.S. Bank Stadium that CBS cut away from the national broadcast in the third quarter to show most of the country the Bengals-Steelers game instead.

Minnesota entered Week 11 with 35 more points scored than points allowed this season. But following the 37-point defeat, the 8-2 Vikings now have a negative point differential at minus-two, which ranks 16th in the NFL.

The Vikings have outscored opponents by an average of 6.5 points in their eight wins -- with just one victory coming by more than one score -- while their two losses have come by 17 (against the Philadelphia Eagles) and 37 points.

Just how rare is it for a team an 8-2 team to have a negative point differential? So rare that it's never happened before in NFL history.

According to NFL Research, the Vikings are the first team in NFL history to start 8-2 or better through 10 games while also having a negative point differential.

The previous point differential low among that group of teams was held by the 1987 Chargers, who were plus-six with an 8-2 record. That Chargers team started 8-1, lost its final six games and missed the playoffs.

Barring an epic collapse and a turnaround from a different NFC North squad, the Vikings shouldn't have to worry about suffering the same fate. Minnesota has a four-game cushion over the Detroit Lions (4-6) for first place in the division.

Still, Vikings fans probably aren't feeling great after seeing their team get absolutely dominated by a fellow NFC contender.

Minnesota will look to bounce back against the New England Patriots on Thursday Night Football.

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