The Minnesota Vikings have finished the last two seasons below the .500 mark and outside of the NFL postseason. Their last playoff appearance was all the way back in 2019, and they haven’t claimed the NFC North as their own since 2017.
Following Week 5 of the regular season, with new leadership at the helm of the front office and on the coaching staff, the Vikings have improved to begin the new year and are looking to be in a spot to make a serious push to claim the division crown. And through five weeks, Minnesota is officially the best team in the NFC North ahead of the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, and Detroit Lions.
Whether or not the purple and gold remain atop the division at the end of the season is another story. But for now, the Vikings are the best of the four teams in the NFC North heading into Week 6.
Minnesota Vikings Are Officially the Top Team in the NFC North
Week 5 Propels Vikings Into First
The Vikings entered a Week 5 contest against Chicago knowing a win would propel them into sole possession of first place in the NFC North, with the Packers falling before Minnesota’s kickoff while taking part in an international matchup in London.
With that in mind, the Vikings opened the Week 5 game against the Bears looking to be well on their way to a blowout victory at home, which was expected as heavy favorites in Minneapolis. Minnesota didn’t make things easy on itself after jumping out to a large lead early, even allowing Chicago to take a lead in the second half while requiring a late-game comeback to come out victorious.
In the end, the Vikings were ultimately able to come out on top, taking down the Bears 29-22 to improve to 4-1 on the season. As a result, Minnesota now sits as the lone team at the top of the NFC North while also sitting near the top of the NFC and NFL in general. And the Vikings are still three games above .500 while not looking like a team that should be 4-1 through five weeks.
FINAL: The @Vikings improve to 4-1! #CHIvsMIN #SKOL pic.twitter.com/lQfULPXVws
— NFL (@NFL) October 9, 2022
NFC North Breakdown
Following the slate of Week 5 contests, the NFC North standings are set entering the sixth week of the regular season next weekend. For Minnesota, that Week 6 schedule will include a matchup against the Miami Dolphins on the road in Miami for a chance to improve to 5-1 overall.
Through five games, Minnesota is 4-1 while sitting one game ahead of Green Bay in second place at 3-2. The Vikings are two games ahead of Chicago in third place at 2-3 and three games in front of Detroit at the bottom of the division at 1-4. Along with taking over first place, Minnesota also has the early-season advantage of holding a 1-0 series lead over each of the Packers, Bears, and Lions after already beating them this season. Now the Vikings will try to sweep those two-game divisional series’ against the three opponents when they face off later on in the regular season.
Entering Week 6, it will be interesting to see how things unfold in the NFC North and if Minnesota is able to continue to build upon its one-game lead. With the Vikings heading to Miami, Green Bay will play at home against the New York Jets, Chicago will host the Washington Commanders on Thursday Night Football, and Detroit will go through its bye week.
There is still plenty of season still to unfold before an ultimate NFC North Champion is crowned, but the Vikings are currently the best team in the division through five weeks.