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Around the NFC North – Week 14

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Around the NFC North – Week 14

The Packers putrid loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday was made worse by the fact that they could have gained ground in the division with losses from all other teams in the division over the past weekend.

Chicago Bears

In a crazy up and down battle at MetLife Stadium against the New York Giants, the Bears made a miraculous last-minute comeback to tie the game and force overtime with quarterback Chase Daniel continuing in backup duty in place of Mitch Trubisky.  The Bears entered the final period of play down by 10 points and found themselves at the same deficit with under two minutes to play.  After pulling within seven points with a Cody Parkey field goal with 1:13 left on the clock, the Bears special teams unit converted an onside kick recovery and Daniel led the offense downfield to score the game-tying touchdown as time expired.

With all of the momentum on their side entering overtime, the Bears allowed the Eli Manning led Giants offense to march downfield and take the lead with a field goal.  After receiving the ensuing kickoff, the Bears offense went stale in a series featuring recovered fumbles and sacks by the Giants defense and an incomplete Daniels pass on 4th down gave the Giants an overtime win over the Bears.

The loss to the Giants moves the Bears to 8-4 on the season and currently projected as the 3rd seed in the NFC playoff picture.  With just four games left to play, the Bears sit two games ahead in the win column for the NFC North title and two games behind a potential 2nd seed and a first-round bye.  The Bears host the Rams on Sunday Night Football this coming weekend with quarterback Mitch Trubisky’s status still up in the air.

Minnesota Vikings

As the Vikings traveled to Foxborough, Massachusetts to take on the Patriots this past Sunday, both teams defensive units were on full display for the first three quarters of the game.  The Vikings trailed just 10-7 at the half and tied the game at the 10-10 with just over two minutes left in the third quarter.  From there, Tom Brady led the Patriots offense on two straight scoring drives to put the game out of reach at 24-10, where it would eventually end.

The Vikings offense struggled mightily in the game.  While it looked like they could gain some momentum on the ground behind Dalvin Cook, who rushed for 84 yards on just nine attempts, quarterback Kirk Cousins threw 44 pass attempts while only throwing for 201 yards, one touchdown and two costly interceptions.  And when the game was on the line in crunch time and a close score, the Vikings defense couldn’t stop the big plays from the Patriots offense.

The loss moves the Vikings to a record of 6-5-1 on the season and they currently sit as the 6th seed in the NFC playoff picture with a few .500 teams hot on their heels.  The Vikings look to get back on track in Seattle this Monday night when they take on the Seahawks in prime time. 

Detroit Lions

With their 30-16 loss to the Los Angeles Rams at home this past Sunday, the Lions continued their skid in losing five of their last six games and stumbling to a 4-8 record on the season.  In the game, the Lions defense successfully held the Rams potent offense in check and the team found themselves down by a score of 16-10 as the game entered the final period of play.  But with quarterback Jared Goff struggling, the Rams relied on running back Todd Gurley in the final quarter and he rumbled through the Lions defense for two scores in the final seven minutes of the game to seal the win for the Rams over the Lions.

The Lions offense has surely hit a wall in the absence of rookie running back Kerryon Johnson over the last couple of weeks and quarterback Matt Stafford seems unable to find a rhythm without his dynamic playmaking ability out of the backfield scaring defenses.  Two costly turnovers in an interception and a fumble at the hands of Matt Stafford in the fourth quarter ultimately sealed the Lions fate in this game.

With new head coach Matt Patricia struggling in his first year at the helm for the Lions, Detroit fans and media alike are left questioning the coach and quarterback sitting at 4-8 on a season that was supposed to have promise.  Further complicating things for the team are huge wins over the Packers and Patriots while losing to the Jets and the 49ers in the same breath.  In looking to show some life to end the season, the Lions travel to Arizona to take on the Cardinals this Sunday.

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Ryan Brunner is an avid Packers fan hailing from Chippewa Falls, WI.  He is a firm believer that punters are NFL players too!  Follow him on Twitter @brunwardo

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Fan friendly comments only: on Comments (4) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Mojo's picture

Since my hatred of the Vikings surpasses all other NFL hatreds, I'm reluctantly hoping for the Bears to win the division since I think they're less likely to do anything in the playoffs.

I'm also aiming , by some chance, for the Vikings to miss the playoffs altogether. It seems unlikely to me because I expect them to beat the Bears in their last game of the season and win the division.

The Bears are the lesser of two evils to me right now. That could change if I keep hearing the never ending media hype surrounding Mack and Trubisky in the near future. But for now - f the Vikings.

There are two things I hope for at the start of every season; 1.) The Pack to win the SB and if not then 2.) The Vikings don't win the SB.

Tundraboy's picture

Always F the Vikings!

jsb937's picture

You replaced M&M with Casper militias instead of discplinarian. You lost. Sigh Kareem Hunt you pussies.

Lphill's picture

I like Mike Zimmer but I think Cousins is not the guy to take them to the promise land, the Bears moving forward might be the real obstacle if Trubisky is for real , I think the Super Bowl will be the Patriots and Saints and I don’t think the Patriots lose 2 in a row.

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