Last week brought about two divisional games, one of which went into overtime and nearly ended in yet another tie.
The Green Bay Packers faced the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving Day and in the end, the only thing Packers fans were thankful for was that the game was over. The Lions thumped the Packers to the tune of a 40-10 beat down that epitomized just how low the Packers have sunk since losing quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The Minnesota Vikings came back and scored an overtime win against the Chicago Bears, who had what seemed like a solid lead heading into the fourth quarter. Minnesota tied the game on a Blair Walsh field goal to force overtime. In the overtime, the Bears drove down and set up their usually-reliable place kicker, Robbie Gould, for a 47-yard attempt for the win. Gould’s kick sailed right and on the ensuing possession, the Vikings rode Adrian Peterson down field and set up the eventual game winner by Walsh.
The Lions now have sole possession of first place in the North with a record of 7-5 and a one-game lead over the Bears. The Packers fell to 5-6-1 and are two games back. With the Carolina Panthers (9-3) and San Francisco 49ers (8-4) rolling, the only way a NFC North team is getting into the playoffs is likely by winning the division.
This week’s slate features four separate games. The Packers will host the Atlanta Falcons in a game that was originally slated for Sunday night. It was flexed out a few weeks back due to the decline in both teams’ level of play. The Panthers and New Orleans Saints will now play in the Sunday night slot.
The Detroit Lions will head to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles, who have suddenly remembered how to win at home. The Minnesota Vikings will take to the road to face the Baltimore Ravens and the week culminates with the Bears hosting the Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night Football.
With that, let’s take a quick look at each matchup and the implications for this week.