Around the NFC North: Week 15

Saints - 24 :: Bears - 27

The Bears got off to a great start in this game by returning the opening kickoff for a touchdown.  The Saints, however, tied things up at 7 thanks to a Bears turnover.  Right on their own goal line, the Bears fumbled a snap and the Saints recovered, leading to a New Orleans touchdown just two plays later.

Despite the disappointing turnover, the Bears answered back with a pair of touchdowns to close out the first half with a 21-7 lead.  The Saints made another comeback and actually took the lead in the fourth quarter.  Pierre Thomas scored on a 42-yard run to get NO within 7, and then a field goal made it a 4-point game.  Finally, Marques Colston caught an 11-yard pass to put the Saints on top 24-21.

With only a few minutes left in the game, Kyle Orton had to drive the Bears down the field to tie or possibly win the game.  He was able to get them into field goal range, and Robbie Gould nailed a kick from 28 yards out to send the game to overtime.  In OT, it was more of the same from the Bears.  Orton led them down the field, setting up Gould to kick a 35-yarder to win the game.

Windy City Gridiron recapped the game by telling a story that had an unusual ending for Bears fans.

The Bears offense grows a sack and plays like a real offense.  The Bears all the sudden have receivers who can catch anything.  They move the ball down the field.  They should have won outright, but the refs don't blow the whistle when a Saints player mugs Greg Olsen.  The Bears settle for the FG and take it into over time.  The Bears win the toss.  Orton leads the team down field with the Hester assist and the Bears kick a FG for the win.

Packers - 16 :: Jaguars - 20

The Packers took a 13-3 lead into the fourth quarter and only managed to kick a field goal the rest of the game.  The Jaguars, on the other hand, scored a pair of touchdowns thanks to Maurice Jones-Drew.  One was in the air to Jones-Drew and the other was on the ground with only two minutes left.  Aaron Rodgers was picked off on the ensuing drive, leading to another Packers loss.

Acme Packing Company brought up a very interesting stat about the Packers this season (unfortunately the Lions are on the wrong end of it).

This is the 7th game this season (Tampa Bay, Atlanta, Tennessee, at Minnesota, Carolina, Houston, and Jacksonville) during which the Packers either have had the lead or are tied in the 4th quarter, and go onto lose the game. Only once this season, week 2 at Detroit, did the Packers tie or fall behind during the 4th quarter and go on to win the game.

Vikings - 35 :: Cardinals - 14

Who needs Gus Frerotte?

Tarvaris Jackson filled in for the injured Frerotte and played a great game.  He threw for 3 touchdowns in the first half.  Bernard Berrian was on the receiving end of one of them and also returned a punt.  The Vikings led 28-0 after one half, and it looked like this was going to be a blowout.

In the third quarter, though, the Cardinals made a comeback attempt.  A pair of touchdowns made this a 21-point game, leading some to believe that the Vikings didn't have it wrapped up yet.  Jackson made sure that the Cards wouldn't come back by throwing his 4th TD of the game.  This one was from 59 yards out to Bobby Wade, putting the Vikings on top 35-14, which is what the final score ended up being.

Daily Norseman pointed out that the Vikings are on the cusp of winning the NFC North.

That's right, ladies and gentlemen. . .ONE Minnesota victory or ONE Chicago loss will officially wrap up an NFC North division title for the Vikings.

Somewhere in New York, Roger Goodell is kicking a puppy.

The Vikings host the Falcons next week, and the Packers and Bears play in Chicago on Monday Night Football.

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