Sep 23, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder (7) throws during the third quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at the Metrodome. The Vikings defeated the 49ers 24-13. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE

Jags, Colts, Vikes Make NFL Parity Apparent

The Minnesota Vikings have just shocked the world by handling the seemingly unstoppable San Francisco 49ers in a hard fought 24-13 victory.  The week before they had been beaten by a rebuilding Colts squad.  The week before that they hung on for a victory in overtime against a rebuilding Jaguars team.  With an improbable win this week, the Vikes are suddenly sitting pretty at 2-1 in the NFC North.  For the Jaguars and the Colts, the Vikings provide an odd measuring stick.  For the rest of the NFL, the Vikings are an interesting look at the way parity permeates the league..

The Jaguars went to Minnesota and lost in overtime.  The Vikings went to Indianapolis and lost big.  The Jags to Indianapolis and win in the last minute.  What does this say about three teams who are all in the middle of rebuilding?  This little round robin is an interesting look at how teams must be ready any given Sunday.  Are the 2-1 Vikings one of the better teams in football right now?  Not really, but they still toppled the Niners.  Does the victory over the Vikings hold more weight for the Colts now that they’ve seen the Vikings find a second level top topple San Francisco?  Maybe.  But what does that say about the Jaguars team that has looked painful in two contests yet lost a heart-breaker to the seemingly strong Vikings and then eked out a win over Indy?

It’s a conundrum trying to gauge these three teams that are hovering in the mid-bottom end of the NFL. If the Vikings keep winning, then this may be one of the quickest rebuilding efforts the NFL has seen in a long time.  If they keep winning, does that mean that the AFC South is actually a much stronger division than many perceive it to be?  I think it could very well be the case.  The Texans are obviously the cream of the crop and have beaten down opponents thus far, but maybe the gap between them and the rest of the AFC South is closing a bit sooner than we thought.  With the Titans beating the Lions on Sunday as well, this whole division just got a whole lot tighter.

– Luke N. Sims

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