The early NFL games on opening Sunday looked like a good-news bad-news situation for the Bears.
The good news was the Minnesota Vikings hardly appeared to be the formidable force everyone seemed to be predicting. The Vikings fell behind on the road 21-7 in the third quarter and lost to the Cincinnati Bengals 27-24.
Of course, the bad news for the Bears in this is they have to face the resurgent Bengals at Soldier Field in the Week 2 home-opener.
FanNation's preseason poll of NFL website publishers had called the Vikings the second-best team in the NFC North behind the Green Bay Packers and only six of the 28 polled thought the Bears would finish better than the Vikings.
In the opener, the Vikings rallied after a fourth-down gamble by Cincinnati in its own territory failed in the second half.
Cincinnati won it in overtime after letting a 21-7 lead slip away, and appeared beaten before Dalvin Cook lost a fumble in field goal range to give the Bengals a chance to drive for Evan McPherson's winning 33-yard field goal.
The Bengals displayed a strong running game with Joe Mixon rushing for 127 yards on 29 attempts. Joe Burrow completed 20 of 27 for 261 yards and two TDs, giving the Bears defense something to be concerned with next week.
Also in the NFC North, Detroit figured to be rebuilding as usual.
The San Francisco 49ers took advantage of this in the opener at Ford Field and buried the Lions early with a 28-point deficit in the debut of new coach Dan Campbell. The Lions played catchup late and pulled closer for a 41-33 loss.
The Packers being routed by New Orleans left the Bears alone in first place before they even played a game this season.