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Around the NFC North: Week 7

Vikings - 41 :: Bears - 48

The Bears and Vikings went back and forth, and thanks to a couple big plays on special teams, Chicago came out on top.  The first important special teams play came when this game was tied at 7.  Minnesota punter Chris Kluwe dropped the snap and tried to quickly get a punt off once he picked the ball up.  Unfortunately for him, Bears players were there to block the punt, and Garret Wolfe picked the ball up and returned it 17 yards for a touchdown.

Minnesota answered back with a 24-yard TD pass to Visanthe Shiancoe before the two teams traded field goals.  Then came another huge mistake on special teams by the Vikings.  Chicago punted the ball away and it hit a Vikings player that was busy blocking.  He wasn't even paying attention when the ball hit him, allowing the Bears to fall on the fumble in the end zone after it was knocked there by a pile of players.  The Vikes again answered the score with one of their own, and Robbie Gould added a field goal before the end of the half.

The second half presented another break for the Bears.  Rashied Davis was right there to recover a fumble when another Chicago receiver had the ball knocked loose right at the goal line.  Davis recovered it in the end zone for a touchdown. 

Adrian Peterson scored on a 54-yard TD run less than two minutes later, but Chicago pulled away thanks to a 51-yard TD pass to Marty Booker and a 1-yard TD run by Matt Forte right as the fourth quarter started.  The Vikings tried to come back, but they were a touchdown short.

Windy City Gridiron said this after the game:

Kyle Orton once again proved he is an NFL QB and more than a game manager.  In fact you could say he is one of the better QBs in the conference.  He finished the game with 283 yards and 2TDs.  He could have had at least 4 TDs as Booker dropped 2 in the End Zone and Desmond Clark fumbled on the 1 yard line.  Orton controlled this game.

This was Daily Norseman's reaction following the defeat:

I can't remember offhand what the name of the Vikings' special teams coach is, but he should be fired on the plane trip home.

Hell, if Zygi wanted to fire the entire staff at this point, I don't think I'd be terribly opposed. . .but the special teams today were especially atrocious.

Colts - 14 :: Packers - 34

The Packers had their way with Peyton Manning and really made it tough for him to do anything.  Manning threw two interceptions, and both of them were returned for a touchdown.  On top of that, he had no TD passes, as all of the Colts' points came on Dominic Rhodes runs.  That is a recipe for disaster if Manning is playing that poorly, which is why Green Bay won impressively.

Acme Packing Company said this following the big win:

What decided the game was the secondary. QB Peyton Manning was well protected, as usual. He's always one of the least sacked QBs in the NFL. They didn't force him into many, if any, bad throws. But the secondary locked down the Colts' receivers and came up with two huge INTs that were both returned for TDs. Those turned the final score into a blowout. I was worried that they would struggle against a good pass offense. They've looked great against some lousy QBs (Tavaris Jackson, Jon Kitna, Brian Griese, Charlie Frye) and I thought Manning would be a different story. But the secondary is for real.

This coming Sunday the Lions are the only NFC North team that has a game.  The Vikings, Packers, and Bears all have a bye, meaning the next edition of "Around the NFC North" will come in Week 9.