With a 30-23 victory over Detroit on Thursday, the Vikings have all but wrapped up the NFC North.
What's stranger is that they also have established that they have the best healthy quarterback in the division. Case Keenum outplayed Matthew Stafford, who makes $25 million more a year than he does, to give the Vikings a three-game lead in the division with five to play.
The Vikings are three games into what was supposed to be a season-defining five-game stretch, and they are 3-0, having beaten Washington, the Rams and the Lions. This was the most important game in the division race; now the Vikings can turn their attention to chasing the first or second seed in the NFC. The Eagles, with an easy schedule, will be difficult to catch, but the Vikings are positioning themselves for a bye and a home-field playoff game while playing a player not long ago considered a career backup.
Keenum did not commit a turnover despite a heavy pass rush, and also used his mobilty to run for a touchdown and avoid what seemed to be sure sacks. He is becoming an MVP candidate just two weeks after his two interceptions in Washington called into question whether he'd be able to keep his job.
Up next: Difficult road games at Atlanta and Carolina, as the season continues to play out as a slugfest between quality NFC contenders.