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NFC North: Minnesota (5-4)

Pleasant: Like with Denver quarterback Peyton Manning, I believed it was only fair to temper expectations for him and Vikings running back Adrian Peterson considering the severity of their injuries. As it turned out, both are miracles of modern medicine. Peterson is running as if he never suffered a blown-out knee last December. He leads the NFL with 957 rushing yards after three consecutive 100-yard outings.

Unpleasant: Just how much more development Christian Ponder needs before approaching franchise status. It appeared Ponder had turned the corner in his second season when Minnesota started 5-2. But his inability to make plays downfield – which isn’t helped by a meh wide receiver corps outside of Percy Harvin – has greatly contributed to a two-game losing streak. - Alex Marvez (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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