Week 15 brought about some major fireworks around the NFC North, culminating with the Monday night game between the Detroit Lions and Baltimore Ravens. The Lions scored a late touchdown to take the lead but allowed the Ravens to drive and give kicker Justin Tucker a shot at a game winning 61-yard field goal. He made it and suddenly, the Lions find themselves in third place behind the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers.
On Sunday, the Bears were able to hang on and pick up a valuable road win against the Cleveland Browns. It was Bears quarterback Jay Cutler’s first game back in over a month and while he was admittedly a bit rusty, he was able to create enough to get Chicago the win. The Bears are now alone in first place in the North.
The Minnesota Vikings spanked the visiting Philadelphia Eagles and brought the birds back down to earth a bit, ending Phily’s five-game winning streak. What is more impressive is that Minnesota did so without the services of their best player in that of running back Adrian Peterson. They were also without running back Toby Gerhart but they did manage to get three rushing touchdowns from. . Matt Asiata? While the Vikings are playing for pride, at this point, they certainly showed plenty on Sunday.
Benefiting from the Eagles’ loss, albeit ever so slightly, was the Dallas Cowboys. In Sunday’s late game and America’s “Game of the Week”, the Cowboys hosted the Packers. Green Bay had not won in nine previous trips (including playoffs) to Dallas and had lost 11 of their last 12 there, spanning over a 24-year period. That record, however, was at the old Texas Stadium in Irving. This game would be played at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, where the Packers won their most recent Super Bowl in February of 2011.
After heading in the halftime locker room down 26-3, the Packers seemed all but done for the day. Many suggested that they just board the bus and head home. I know because I was among them. After watching this team flail through the past five games, it seemed highly unlikely that they could overcome such a deficit. They did just that, however, capitalizing on two huge interceptions late in the fourth quarter to seal the comeback victory over the Cowboys, 37-36. No team or fan base was more elated by the Lions loss to the Ravens than the Packers, as they remain in contention for a division title and can secure it on their own and without help.