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This Week In NFL Narratives

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With a thumping at the hands of Green Bay in the rear view mirror, the Vikings can start their Road to Redemption back this week...or, you know, continue on their Road to Perdition

Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

We all know what happened last Thursday, so we don't need to rehash it, do we?

We don't? Good. Oh, I see we have a couple of Packers fans here earnestly nodding their heads, you smart alecks. Go back to APC for a little while. BEGONE!

So what does it all mean? In the grand scheme of things, not a lot. Well, it does mean the Vikings got throttled by their biggest rival, and they lost a divisional game, and neither of those things are good. But like almost all of us said when the schedule came out, if you had told us the Vikes would be 2-3 at this point, I think we all would have taken it. It's not the best start, but it's not 1-4 or 0-5, either,

So what's your point, Ted? Well, it's simple, really--the Vikings are far from out of this thing.

Let's look at the current NFC North standings, shall we?

NFC North

W

L

T

PCT.

DIV

CONF

Detroit

3

2

0

.600

1-0

2-1

Green Bay

3

2

0

.600

2-1

2-2

Minnesota

2

3

0

.400

0-1

2-2

Chicago

2

3

0

.400

1-2

1-2

If there's one takeaway about the NFC North this year, it's that there really aren't any world beaters in the division, and one week can change The Narrative to the point that what The Narrative was last week is rendered irrelevant. For example, let's take the week six slate of games in the NFC North.  Those games are:

Detroit at Minnesota

Green Bay at Miami

Chicago at Atlanta

The one we care about the most, obviously, is the Vikings game. The Lions are starting to turn in to the Lions, as they suffered a tough home loss to the Kyle Orton Neckbeard And Buffalo Football Experience on Sunday, and they might have lost two of their three biggest offensive weapons in Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush for this weekend. It seems that Megatron will more than likely miss the Vikings game, but the status of Reggie Bush is still unclear. But a running back with a bum wheel can't be considered a 'good thing'.

So, let's do some prognosticating, shall we? Let's say, just for the sake of argument, that the Vikings can beat Detroit at home this weekend. And let's say that Miami can knock off the Packers. It's not out of the realm of possibility here. The Dolphins are 2-2, and they've beaten Miami New England at home. And just because we're feeling generous, let's give the Bears the in against the Falcons, too. But between you and me, I think the Packers would beat Miami on the road before the Bears would beat Atlanta. But that Falcons defense though...sheesh.

Anyway, if all that were to happen, this is what the NFC North updated standings would look like after six games:

NFC North

W

L

T

PCT.

DIV

CONF

Green Bay

3

3

0

.500

2-1

2-2

Minnesota

3

3

0

.500

1-1

3-2

Detroit

3

3

0

.500

1-1

2-2

Chicago

3

3

0

.500

1-2

2-2

Somewhere, Pete Rozelle would be smiling. Green Bay still has the tiebreaker, and the division lead, but the Vikings are right on their heels. At 3-3 and the schedule getting a lot more manageable, the Vikings are in the hunt, and I think that's more than anyone would have expected.

So yeah, I'm not going to sit here and tell you I enjoyed Thursday night, because I didn't. But I'm also trying very hard not to go from one extreme to the next after each game. Hey, I know I can be just as guilty as the next guy, but there are still 11 games to play, with a four game stretch for the Vikings coming up (Detroit, @Buffalo, @Tampa Bay, Washington) that's a heck of a lot more manageable/encouraging/whatever positive adjective you want goes here than the first five games were. And after that four game stretch, they have back to back division games (@Chicago, Green Bay), which will determine whether or not the Vikings are pretenders or contenders for the division crown.

When you consider that this team has had to endure a season's worth of strife in about a month and some change, the worst part of their schedule is more than likely behind them, and they're still very much in this thing...heck, I'll take it.

It sure beats where we've been in two of the last three years.