Minnesota Vikings Remain Atop NFC North After Week 4 Win

Minnesota Vikings NFC North

The current NFC North frontrunner Minnesota Vikings hit the global stage in a Week 4 showdown against the New Orleans Saints over the weekend, facing off against the Saints at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London as part of the NFL International Series.

The game between Minnesota and New Orleans marked the 100th international game in league history, and the action on the field didn’t disappoint in Week 4 with the Vikings pulling out a 28-25 victory in thrilling fashion.

With the victory, Minnesota extended its winning streak to two in a row while improving to 3-1 overall on the season. Along with moving two games above the .500 mark, the Vikings also remain atop the NFC North now shifting focus to Week 5 of the regular season this weekend.

Minnesota Vikings Week 4 Win Leaves Them Atop NFC North

Thrilling Finish to Top New Orleans

The Week 4 showdown between the Vikings and Saints saw a back-and-forth battle that provided fans worldwide an entertaining game to kick off a full day of football Sunday. With Minnesota jumping out early, New Orleans kept fighting back to even things up multiple times including down the stretch in the fourth quarter.

In the final minutes, fans were treated to a thrilling finish that resulted in one of the more rare occasions in the game of football: a “Double Doink” missed field goal that saw the Saints leave in disappointment and the Vikings come away with a three-point win in London.

Minnesota pulled away late in the fourth quarter, with kicker Greg Joseph nailing the go-ahead field goal with 1:27 left to put the purple and gold in front 28-25. New Orleans drove down the field with less than two minutes remaining, having a chance to sink a field goal and force overtime. Unfortunately for the Saints, kicker Wil Lutz’s 61-yard field goal hit the field goal post twice, ending up bouncing out to give the Vikings the win.

For the Vikings, they didn’t necessarily wow everyone with their performance, but they did just enough to come out on top. That’s the most important thing as the team now looks at a 3-1 record and a stop atop the NFC North standings.

Kirk Cousins played relatively mistake-free football while connecting on 25 of 38 pass attempts for 273 passing yards, one touchdown, and one interception. Dalvin Cook led the rushing attack with 20 carries for 76 yards, while Justin Jefferson had 10 catches for 147 yards and Adam Thielen hauled in eight catches for 72 yards to lead Minnesota through the air.

Defensively, the Vikings held Andy Dalton to 20 completions for 236 yards and one touchdown through the air, with the Saints totaling 111 yards and two touchdowns running the ball. Jameis Winston couldn’t play, but it’s highly unlikely that he would have done any better.

Minnesota didn’t play its best game, but it did enough to win its second game in a row and third in the 2022 campaign thus far.

Division Standings and Schedule Ahead

Following the Week 4 slate of games in the NFL, the Vikings sit in a nice spot in the division and conference standings entering Week 5 this upcoming weekend. With the victory in London, Minnesota improved to 3-1 overall on the season and is off to a nice start after finishing below the .500 mark and outside of the playoffs the last two seasons.

Minnesota was one team that came away victorious in Week 4, but so did the Green Bay Packers which means the two teams have identical 3-1 records through four games to lead the NFC North division. The Chicago Bears are 2-2 overall in third place, while the Detroit Lions are 1-3 and in the bottom spot.

The good news for the Vikings, even while holding the same record as the Packers, is that Minnesota has a 1-0 season advantage over Green Bay currently which means the purple and gold are the leaders in the NFC North while holding the tiebreaker until the two rivals square off again in Week 17 at Lambeau Field. Currently, the Vikings are the top team in the division.

The Vikings appear to be living up to the hype of being viewed as a Top 10 team, but they will continue to be tested in the coming weeks until the midway point of the regular season arrives. In the coming weeks, Minnesota returns home to host Chicago in Week 5 at U.S. Bank Stadium, followed by a tough Week 6 road contest against the Miami Dolphins before the Week 7 bye week. Out of the bye, things pick right back up with a home game against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 8, a road showdown against the Washington Commanders in Week 9, and a Week 10 road contest against the Buffalo Bills.

The Week 4 victory in London was another important and big victory for the Vikings. Not only are they continuing to pull out wins, but they are also still atop the NFC North now shifting focus to another division opponent in Week 5. The tough tests will continue in the next handful of weeks for Minnesota, but this team could be the real deal in 2022.