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Around the NFC North: Week 3

Buccaneers - 27 :: Bears - 24 (OT)

This was a back and forth game that produced another choke job by the Bears.  Chicago was up 24-14 with just over 3 minutes left, but the Tampa Bay comeback began when Matt Bryant connected on a 35-yard field goal.  Fast forward to when there were only 7 seconds left in this game and you'll see a 1-yard Brian Griese touchdown pass that sent the game to overtime.  In OT both teams got a chance to score and neither did.  However, that wasn't the case on Tampa Bay's second drive in OT as Matt Bryant kicked another field goal, this time from 21 yards out, to give the Bucs a dramatic win in which Brian Griese had a ridiculous stat line.  Take a look:

vs CHI / 9.21.08 Passing
Comp Att Pct Yds TD INT
Brian Griese 38 67 56.7 407 2 3

67 pass attempts?  That's unheard of.

Anyways, this is what Windy City Gridiron had to say after the devastating loss:

The Bears passing defense gave up 407 yards to F'n Brian Griese.  Come on guys!  Many Up!  Don't we have one of the better 1-2 corner back combos in the league?  Didn't we say Tillman is the most underrated CB in the league?  Don't we have Mike Brown back and healthy?  What gives? [...]

Somebody or everybody on this team needs to be taken behind the woodshed.  To lose in two consecutive games with late leads is inexcusable.  We have outplayed the last two teams and whether it was fumbles or ints in the end zone or penalties, we have to tighten this up.

Vikings - 20 :: Panthers - 10

Minnesota got a much-needed win to avoid starting the season 0-3.  It looks like benching Tarvaris Jackson was a good move as Gus Frerotte threw a 34-yard pass to Visanthe Shiancoe for the go-ahead touchdown.  That came after Antoine Winfield picked up a fumble near the end of the first half and returned the ball 19 yards for a touchdown to tie the game up.  Minnesota once trailed 10-0 in this game before scoring 20 unanswered to take down Carolina.

Daily Norseman was in much better spirits after this week's game, although he still has a bone to pick with Brad Childress.

Don't get me wrong. . .I still really, really don't approve of Brad Childress' handling of the quarterback situation this past week.  It's not the benching of Tarvaris Jackson that I have an issue with so much as how the matter was handled, but that's another debate for another time.  What I WILL say, however, is that if this is the kind of thing that it took for Childress to actually open up the offense and try something other than "let's hand the ball to #28 until he collapses," then I'm alright with it for now.

Cowboys - 27 :: Packers - 16

Aaron Rodgers experienced his first loss as the Packers' starting QB Sunday night.  Dallas, who is one of the most talented team in the league, went into Lambeau and left victorious thanks to a great defensive performance and a solid game out of the offense.  It wasn't a star or big name that sealed the game for Dallas, but instead was wide receiver Miles Austin.  Austin had a pair of long catches, and his second one went for 52 yards and a touchdown that really put this game out of reach.  Rodgers did score a TD on a QB sneak just prior to the 2-minute warning, but it was too little too late. (The same can't be said for my opponent in the SBN/AOL fantasy league as he won as a result of this Rodgers TD.)

Despite the loss, Acme Packing Company wasn't too down.

The 12 yards of offense in the 2nd quarter was bad. Sometimes a team can vanish on offense for that long and pull out a win with one or two scoring drives, but not against an offense like Dallas. It's hard to get upset about one loss against arguably the toughest team on the schedule. Like I read in the open thread comments, it didn't help Dallas in the playoffs that they had beaten the NY Giants twice in the regular season. It didn't help the Packers in the playoffs that they smoked the Giants in the regular season either. Just secure winning the division and get into the playoffs. The lesson that Mike McCarthy and the Packers have to learn is how did Dallas shut them down during that awful six drive sequence.

The NFC North slate for Week 4 is as follows: Chicago hosts the Eagles in a Sunday night showdown, Minnesota heads to Tennessee to play the undefeated Titans, and Green Bay looks to rebound at Tampa Bay.