What an NFL season it's been so far. One of the more underrated stories going on is the Minnesota Vikings, who are still very much in the NFC North divisional race with the Green Bay Packers.

It's pretty safe to say we can count out the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears at this point in the season.

The Vikings have now won three in a row and five of their last six games to bring their overall record to 5-2. That's good enough for second place in the NFC North behind the Packers who are 6-1 coming off a lopsided loss to Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.

The Packers have absolutely dominated this division recently. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers have won the NFC North the last four consecutive seasons. The Packers have also dominated the head-to-head matchup against the Vikings lately. The Vikings have only won one of the last 11 meetings against Packers dating back to 2010. If the Vikings are going to win the division this year, they are going to have to beat Packers at least once to realistically have a chance.

The last time the Vikings won the NFC North was in 2009 when Brett Favre was starting. What an exciting season that was. Favre led the Vikings all the way to the NFC Championship game, but lost to the New Orleans Saints.

Anyway, back to this season. The Vikings are very much back in this. It was an embarrassing Week 1 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, but they've turned it around ever since primarily with defense. The Vikings defense ranks No. 2 overall in points allowed and No. 7 overall in yards allowed. They don't get a huge amount of attention or nationally televised games, but the Vikings are playing great football at the moment.

One of the biggest standouts has been wide receiver Stefon Diggs. St. Louis Rams running back Todd Gurley is the front-runner to win Offensive Rookie of the Year, but Diggs has been playing at an extremely high level. Diggs has 419 receiving yards in just four games of action this year. It appears as if the Vikings found a gem in the fifth round.

The Vikings will face the Packers in Week 11 and then again in the final regular season game at Lambeau Field. That final Week 17 game could very well decide the division, and who gets to pay a home game in the playoffs.

After a loss to the Broncos last week, things won't get much easier for the Packers. They have a date with the No. 1 seed Carolina Panthers this weekend. As long as Rodgers is throwing the ball for the Packers, they always have a chance, and they will always be the favorites, but the Vikings are still in this. One could make the case that the NFC North has the best quarterback in the league in Rodgers and the best running back in Adrian Peterson. Speaking of Peterson, he looks just fine after missing almost all of last season.

There's still a long way to go in this season, and the NFC North will certainly be one of the key divisions to keep an eye on.

NFC North Standings

1. Green Bay Packers: 6-1

2. Minnesota Vikings: 5-2

3. Chicago Bears: 2-5

4. Detroit Lions: 1-7

 Follow Damon Salvadore on Twitter @DamonSalvadore1