Coming into the 2012 season, the consensus of the Minnesota Vikings suggested their ship was sunk. Considering the surprising 2011 campaign of the Detroit Lions, Green Bay’s recent domination of the NFC North and the bolstering of Chicago’s offense, was it really out of pocket to project Minnesota as this division’s bottom feeders?

Exactly how has the NFC North faired five weeks into the season? At 1-4, Detroit seems to be trending back into that look of your father’s Lions. Green Bay appears to be a fraction of itself with the absence of Greg Jennings and while Chicago is 4-1, they find themselves on the lookout for the cancerous Jay Cutler to possibly rear his ugly head again. Finally, there are the Vikings! The team that was supposed to be the NFC North’s doormat, not only has an identical record to the Bears,  they’re technically first because they are 2-0 in the NFC. One of those wins coming at the expense of the San Francisco 49ers.

If nothing else, this should tell you that at this point of the season, Minnesota’s 2012 team is not made to perpetuate some sort of status quo.

There are some elements that have allowed the Vikings to impose its will thus far. They are as follows:

The coaching prowess of Leslie Frazier

-Adrian Peterson’s return to form as a top 10 running back; averaging 4.4 yards a carry

-The ninth ranked defense brings forth an attack that can frustrate any offense 

-A Healthy Percy Harvin who is aiming to become a top-tier receiver

-An emerging tight end in Kyle Rudolph who may not be tops in yardage, but with four touchdowns, is evolving into a red zone threat

-And then there’s Christian Ponder!  The second year quarterback out of Florida State is out to establish himself as the future of the Vikings. A completion percentage of 69% and a quarterback rating of 95.5 (10th best QBR in the league) helps him solidify his status.

This band of bandits is poised to revolt against the constitued authority that tried to keep them in the bowels of their division.

I myself have taken notice; not only of the Vikings, but of the fact that I posted an above .500 mark (8-6) for the first time since the opening week of the season. Time to take another stab at it! Here we go:

Steelers over Titans

Vikings over Redskins

Falcons over Raiders

Browns over Bengals

Dolphins over Rams

Colts over Jets

Eagles over Lions

Buccaneers over Chiefs

Ravens over Cowboys

Cardinals over Bills

Patriots over Seahawks

49ers over Giants

Texans over Packers

Broncos over Chargers

Can I get over .500 in successive weeks? We’ll see in 168 hours, won’t we?

By Antoine Hoffman

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