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Vikings Upcoming Opponents Following Bye Week

The Vikings have returned from their bye week as one of six teams in the NFC with a mark of .500 or better.

Heading into Week 5, Minnesota (2-2) was one of six teams in the NFC that had split its first four games.

Four of those teams — Dallas, Washington, St. Louis and Seattle — lost Sunday. Only the New York Giants improved to 3-2 with late-game heroics.

The Vikings will host the Chiefs at noon (CT) Sunday. Kansas City has dropped four in a row, including games against three unbeaten teams: Denver, at Green Bay and at Cincinnati. Kansas City also suffered a home loss against Chicago, which was amplified by a knee injury to talented dual-threat running back Jamaal Charles.

ESPN.com's Ben Goessling wrote the time for the Vikings to "take advantage" of a stretch in the schedule begins this week:

*The Chiefs likely lost their best offensive threat for the season on Sunday when a preliminary diagnosis showed a torn ACL for Charles. The Chiefs, sitting at 1-4 after a last-second loss to the Chicago Bears, have an impressive collection of pass-rushers but have given up 13 touchdown passes this season and allowed Alex Smith to be sacked 21 times. *

*Then comes a pair of divisional road games against the Detroit Lions (0-5) and Bears (2-3), followed by a home game against the 2-3 Rams and a trip to Oakland to face the 2-3 Raiders. All told, the Vikings play five teams with a combined record of 7-18 in the next five weeks, before the Packers come to town. *

Green Bay's Nov. 22 visit will begin a four-game stretch in 18 days that will include the Packers (5-0), Falcons (5-0), Seahawks (2-3) and Cardinals (4-1).

This week's matchup

In his look ahead at the next five games, Andrew Krammer of 1500ESPN.com addressed why the game is "winnable" for the Vikings:

The Chiefs have allowed the most passing touchdowns (11) through four weeks, to only two interceptions. They lost starting cornerback Phillip Gaines to a torn ACL two weeks ago. After a tough start to the season, they're giving up the most points (31 per game). On offense, they can't protect the quarterback and [are tied for allowing] the most sacks [22] so far. They have one of the worst turnover margins (-3) in football. The Chiefs announced that preliminary tests for Jamaal Charles' injured knee Sunday point toward a torn ACL, which would end his season.

Replacements

With Charles suffering the injury, Kevin Patra of NFL.com* *noted the Chiefs turned to Charcandrick West more than Knile Davis against the Bears:

In Charles' absence, the Chiefs relied on Charcandrick West. Knile Davis who hasn't played an offensive snap in two weeks, helped shoulder the load, but it wasn't enough to beat the Bears.

West finished with seven carries for 31 yards (4.4), and Davis netted two yards on two carries against the Bears.

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