Minnesota Vikings need to take advantage of a now wide open NFC North

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 15: Case Keenum (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 15: Case Keenum (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) /

The injury to Aaron Rodgers opens a window for the Minnesota Vikings to claim the NFC North crown.

Before the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers tilt on Sunday, I wrote about how the Packers could be setting themselves up for a home game at U.S. Bank Stadium. It was a flowery way of saying that Packers could very well likely be playing in the Super Bowl and after Sunday’s game that probably won’t be happening. Heck, the chances the Packers win the NFC North are not exactly great anymore.

As you probably know by now, Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone early in Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings. Anthony Barr took Rodgers to the ground after a throw and that process injured the All-Pro quarterback. He might be out for the rest of the season.

Seeing a vast majority of the game being played without Rodgers, showed how much Rodgers truly is the deodorant for Green Bay. The presence of Rodgers makes everything seem better than it actually is because Rodgers’ skills can basically singlehandedly defeat a lot of teams in the NFL. It’ll be a battle for the Packers to defeat a lot of NFL teams without him.

The injury is bad for the game of football, but it does stand as an opportunity for the Vikings. I never thought that the following statement would be true, but it currently is: Case Keenum is the second best starting quarterback in the NFC North. The NFC North is quarterbacked by Matthew Stafford, a pair of backups and a rookie. Essentially, the division is completely up for grabs.

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It looks like the Vikings might be best prepared to take the crown, too. First off, the Vikings now have the tiebreaker with the Packers if they are tied at the end of the season. Second, the Vikings have the best players on their roster around the division. Detroit obviously wins the battle of quarterbacks with Stafford, but I’ll take the Vikings defense and wide receivers over the other three teams in the division.

On paper, it is kind of the Vikings’ division to lose now. Sadly, that is more of a statement that reflects on how important Rodgers is to the Packers than it does on the Vikings as a whole.  That is such a crazy statement to say with a backup QB at the helm for the Vikings for the foreseeable future, but I’ll take Keenum over Brett Hundley.

Maybe I’m just drinking too much purple Kool-Aid. There’s probably not too much of a probably about that.

Next: Five things we learned in the Vikings win over Chicago

The division is up for grabs and the Vikings need to take advantage of that. They might not have a quarterback, but only one team in the division does right now. The NFC North just got a whole lot more interesting.