Division update: Vikings take (very early) NFC North lead


Week 1 of the NFL is officially in the score books, and – much to the surprise of many writers and analysts – the Vikings find themselves at the top of the NFC North.

Now, it's early in the season. Really early, and the standings right now are very unlikely to mean much down the line.

(Look at 2013's Week 1 scoreboard: The Texans got on of their two wins that year, beating a Chargers team that finished 9-7; the AFC's No. 2-seed, the Patriots, barely squeaked by the hapless Bills; and the Lions were at the top of the division along with the Bears, after Minnesota and Green Bay started 0-1.)

But hey, a win is better than a loss, no matter the time of the year. Here's how the teams got o where they are so far in 2014.

Packers – 16
Seahawks – 36

Green Bay hung around the defending champion Seattle Seahawks for a half, finding themselves within 17-10 at the break. But Seattle's offense kept chugging while Aaron Rodgers and the Packers sputtered. Marshawn Lynch continued to pile on with a 3-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter – his second score of the day – to make it 29-10 after the extra point. Rodgers finished with 189 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

Up next: The Packers host the New York Jets (0-1) at 3:25 p.m. Sunday.

Vikings – 34
Rams – 6

A dominating performance on defense, and an explosive showing by Cordarrelle Patterson drove the Vikings to their first road in since 2012. And the sports media world seemed to take notice. Patterson's long touchdown run certainly helped keep their eyes on the screen.

Up next: The Vikings host the New England Patriots (0-1) at noon Sunday. New England will be looking to bounce back after a 33-20 loss to the Dolphins in Week 1.

Bills – 23
Bears – 20

In maybe the most surprising NFC North outcome of the weekend, the Chicago Bears fell at home in overtime to the Buffalo Bills – a team many expect to be at picking near the very top of the NFL Draft next spring. Jay Cutler threw for 349 yards and two touchdowns, but also threw two picks. The worst came in the fourth quarter, with things tied up at 17-17, when Cutler put the ball directly in the hands of a Bills defensive tackle.

Up next: Chicago gets a tough task, as they go on the road to take on the 49ers (1-0) at 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

Giants – 14
Lions – 35

Matthew Stafford put up 346 yards in the air and two touchdowns to lead Detroit past a visiting Giants team. Calvin Johnson had two of those scores, plus 164 yards.

The defense looked strong too, picking off Eli Manning twice.

Up next: The Lions head east to Carolina (1-0), where they'll take on a Panthers team with a strong defensive showing in Week 1 against Tampa Bay.

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