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Around the NFC North: Week 13

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Week 13 was not kind to the NFC North outside of Green Bay, who is once again your division leader. Here's what went down in the rest of the division.

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

For those who weren’t able to stomach anymore football after Thursday night, here’s what happened in the rest of the NFC North on Sunday.

Vikings fall to Seahawks, 38-7

Needing a win to stay in front of the Packers for the division lead, the Vikings laid a complete egg at home on Sunday as they were beaten down by the Seahawks.

The Seahawks scored touchdowns on four of their first six possessions and the Vikings never had a chance of climbing out of the hole. Like in previous losses, Adrian Peterson had a quiet game as he had just eight rushes for 18 yards, while as a team they had just 16 rushes for 31 yards. Teddy Bridgewater wasn’t able to do anything through the air, throwing for just 118 yards on 28 attempts, including one interception. He was also sacked four times. Mike Wallace led the receivers, if you can call two catches for 43 yards "leading".

Defensively, a Vikings defense that had only allowed more than 20 points once this season, allowed the Seahawks to have their way. They gave up 173 yards on almost five yards a carry to a rushing offense that was without Marshawn Lynch. Russell Wilson had 51 of those yards, and added three touchdowns and 260 yards through the air in the first game since the Seahawks lost Jimmy Graham to injury.

Takeaway

This game may have been more about the Seahawks continuing to find their rhythm than the Vikings losing theirs, but Vikings’ fans have to be a little worried that they lost this bad to a potential playoff team at home. With losses against the Broncos, Packers, and now Seahawks, the Vikings best wins are probably against the Chiefs and Falcons, teams barely hanging in the wild card race. The story remains the same, as they struggle to come back after falling behind early due to a stagnant passing game.

The Vikings are tied with the Packers at 8-4 for the division lead, though they currently lose the head-to-head tiebreaker with a Week 17 matchup looming. With that said, Seattle is probably a team they will be fighting for a wild card with so this makes another team they would lose a tiebreaker against. Since they already have eight wins with home games against the Giants and Bears remaining, they should still be able to grab one of the wild card spots with a bunch of 6-6 teams competing for that second spot.

Up next: The Vikings travel to Arizona to take on the Cardinals on Thursday night.

Bears lose in OT to 49ers, 26-20

The Bears up and down season continues, as Blaine Gabbert connected with Torrey Smith on a 71-yard touchdown pass to win in overtime.

The Bears did a lot of their work on offense on the ground, running the ball 42 times at four yards a carry, with Matt Forte getting half of those carries for 84 yards. The passing game was mostly ineffective, with just 202 yards and one interception that was returned for a touchdown. Alshon Jeffery led the receivers with four catches and 85 yards, coming on 12 targets. The Bears were able to control the clock, with over 37 minutes of possession, but struggled to finished drives and had a number of costly miscues.

Defensively, the Bears didn’t give up much, allowing less than 200 yards through the air and sacking Gabbert four times. Though the running backs of San Francisco totaled just 16 carries for 42 yards, Gabbert was actually able to make some plays with his legs, running six times for 75 yards. Most of that came on a 44 yard run-and-score that tied the game late in the fourth quarter.

Takeaway

After winning three of four games, including in Green Bay, the Bears took a step back on Sunday. The 49ers were 3-8 coming into the game, 0-5 on the road, and starting Blaine Gabbert at quarterback. This was a game that the Bears were probably expecting to win with some ease. Instead, they just had too many miscues, including two missed field goals. One of those came on the last play of regulation, a 36 yarder that the normally reliable Robbie Gould yanked to the left. Add that to a pick-six and eight penalties for 72 yards, and the Bears made things about as hard as they possibly could for themselves.

A win would have had them at 6-6 and just a game out of the playoffs, but now at two games back and Seattle starting to find a groove, the Bears will need luck to go along with no losses to have a chance.

Up next: The Bears host the surprise NFC East leading Redskins on Sunday.