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Guest Editorial

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October 25, 2011 by Nick in Guest Editorial

More so than in many recent seasons, the NFL’s best teams are spread all over the country this season, and the balance in the league seems increasingly real. This means that it may be time to head to in order to gain access to more games on television. Rather than revolving primarily on northeast teams like the Patriots, Steelers, Giants, Jets and Eagles, this season has seen strong performances from all corners. Out west, for example, San Francisco is off to a surprising 5-1 start, and Oakland and San Diego seem destined for a tight battle for the AFC West crown. Some of the most intriguing football, though, has been in the NFC North, which may just be the NFL’s strongest division. Even the Vikings, at 1-6, had a somewhat encouraging loss over the weekend and could well end up contending.

Early on, the Vikings’ season has been marked by uncertainty (with the exception of Adrian Peterson, who has been his usual stellar self). Offseason signee Donovan McNabb started the season at quarterback, though many fans wanted to see promising rookie Christian Ponder get his shot. Meanwhile, the division has been marked by great football and up-and-down performances. At the top, Green Bay seems dominant, and is the only undefeated team left in the league at 7-0. Meanwhile, Detroit has cooled to 5-2 after starting off 5-0, and Chicago is 4-3, struggling to push into the top ranks.

Of course, all of this means that things are looking tough for the Vikings. However, if Week 7 is any indication, this team hasn’t yet quit. Christian Ponder made his first start this past weekend, and nearly led the Vikings to an upset over Green Bay, ultimately falling short by just 6 points. Looking forward, however, there is a good chance that this division beats itself up, which could open a window for the Vikings. Minnesota next plays at Carolina, which may be a winnable game, and then travels to Green Bay, where it could really use an upset. Indeed, for the most part the schedule looks fairly tough from here on, but, as mentioned, this team showed some serious toughness this past weekend. If you’re betting, you may want to leave the Vikings alone for the year; however, if you’re merely a fan keeping an eye on the league, don’t’ be too surprised to see young Christian Ponder turn this team around toward contention. The road is tough, but this season has had no shortage of surprises thus far.

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