The NFC North had a lackluster showing in week 12 with none of the four teams winning their respective games. As such, the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears remained tied atop the division with matching 6-5 records.
The Green Bay Packers moved to within a half game of the division lead with a tie against the Minnesota Vikings. And the Vikings? Their biggest remaining question mark is how badly they want to finish this season and in preparation for next year’s draft.
The Packers and Vikings tie was Green Bay’s first such result since 1987. If nothing else, it ended the Packers’ three-game losing streak and also gave the Vikings a moral victory. Win-win, right? Not really, but just trying to find some good in it all.
I am not a fan of a tie game and wish the NFL would allow teams to play until there is a winner. But I digress.
This week, there are two divisional matchups to look at, starting the Thanksgiving Day matchup between the Packers and Lions.
Green Bay Packers (5-5-1) at Detroit Lions (6-5)
I have long wondered how I would react to a Packers tie game. I can now cross that off of my “life’s mysteries” list and gladly so. Green Bay was able to mount a comeback against the Vikings after entering the fourth quarter down 23-7. The Packers, looking for a spark, benched starting quarterback Scott Tolzien in favor of backup Matt Flynn. Many had been clamoring for Flynn after watching Tolzien struggle to move the ball most of the day.
It was Flynn’s first action since returning to the Packers two weeks ago. In his last appearance at Lambeau Field in 2011, Flynn started a week 17 game against the Lions and set a Packers franchise record with 480 passing yards and six touchdown passes. While Flynn’s performance against the Vikings fell way short of those totals, he was able to rally Green Bay to even up the game and with a chance to win.