Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 9/26/12

The Vikings find themselves in a first place tie with the Chicago Bears after three weeks of football, and it's to everyone’s surprise.

It is a role reversal from last year-- the two former playoff teams now at the bottom and the two teams who missed the cut at the top. While everyone can argue the Packers should also be 2-1, they are not, and a game like the one we all watched on Monday night can disrupt a team’s feng shui both on and off the field, and impact an entire season.

The Vikings will be playing their first divisional game Week 4 against the Detroit Lions, and then they won’t face another NFC North foe until the Detroit rematch Week 10.

The key to a Vikings win is a balanced offensive attack and a defensive that can stop whichever Detroit quarterback will be playing. With Stafford possibly being sidelined with a leg injury, Detroit will rely on Shaun Hill to call the plays under center. This could work out in Minnesota’s favor because a weakened passing game will allow them stop an already weak running game. I’m predicting a Vikings victory in Week 4, but will it keep the Purple People Eater momentum going?

Following the Detroit game, the Vikings play two less then average opponents in Tennessee and Washington, but both game could easily be trap games. The Titans proved they could win last week in an overtime thriller against the Lions and the Redskins have proven to be a much more complete team this year with RG3 at the helm.  Between the two games, the Vikings will most likely win one and lose one. While both games could be easy wins with proper game planning, after a Week 2 lose to the Colts, I think it's inevitable that the Vikings will lose one out of these two contests.

To find themselves at the season’s midway point, the Vikings then have to play a very good Arizona Cardinals team and a gritty Tampa Bay team. Right now Minnesota has the 8th ranked defense and 15th ranked offense in the league.

The Buccaneers and Cardinals has the 32nd and 31st ranked offenses in the league; yes, that’s right, the two worst offenses in the league on paper. The Cardinals know how to win games with their defense, but as Minnesota proved this past weekend against the 49ers, a team is going to need more than that to get a W against them. I’m chalking up a Viking upset. The Buccaneers in my opinion are one of the worst team’s in the league. I think they’ll hang around with the Vikings, but fail to make the most of their opportunities and fall short of a win.

With eight weeks in the books, I have the Vikings at 6-2 and in the driver seat of the NFC North with five divisional games left to play.

While 6-2 is a solid mid-season mark I think it’s going to take at least 11 wins to earn a divisional title in the NFC North this year. The early season schedule for the Vikings is mediocre at best. It’ll be the second half of the season that will prove just how good they are. If they pass that test, then they’ll find themselves in the playoffs. But until then, they’ll have to remain consistent and well prepared every week.



GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Ex-Obama adviser touts Theo Epstein as potential candidate

Report: 49ers are not buying the Mitch Trubisky-to-Browns talk

Report: Browns source calls Garrett best draft talent in six years

Jaguars reportedly interested in Deshaun Watson at No. 4

Report: Teams believe Browns somehow will get Trubisky

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

JJ Watt offers to help pay Rockets owner’s fine

WATCH: Birthday boy Aaron Judge homers and makes spectacular catch at Fenway

Predators rookie Kevin Fiala carted off and hospitalized after gruesome collision

Warriors invite members of ‘We Believe’ team to playoff game

Report: Emails suggest no foul play in Eli Manning memorabilia case

Report: Adrian Beltre not close to return to Rangers

Box Score 4/27: Waiting for Goodell to call our name

Marshawn Lynch gives an already-spurned city hometown appeal

The 'Bonehead blunder that watered down the 1931 AL home run crown' quiz

Draft prospects we're most excited to see in the NFL

Stanley Cup Playoffs: The West is full of surprises

Box Score 4/26: NFL Draft eve

Everything you need for the 2017 NFL Draft

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'QB or not QB? That is the question' quiz

How the Astros are following the Cubs' blueprint to the top

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Paul Millsap needs a twin phone

Perfect matches: Handpicking players for certain teams in the 2017 NFL Draft

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Marshawn Lynch gives an already-spurned city hometown appeal

The 'Bonehead blunder that watered down the 1931 AL home run crown' quiz

Draft prospects we're most excited to see in the NFL

Stanley Cup Playoffs: The West is full of surprises

Everything you need for the 2017 NFL Draft

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

How the Astros are following the Cubs' blueprint to the top

The 'QB or not QB? That is the question' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Paul Millsap needs a twin phone

Perfect matches: Handpicking players for certain teams in the 2017 NFL Draft

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker