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Around the NFC North: Detroit Lions win their bye week despite victories by Packers, Vikings

Ooo wee.

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Minnesota Vikings Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

In “Around the NFC North” we take a look at the Detroit LIons’ divisional rivals to see how they performed in the previous week and how it affects the race for the NFC North crown.

Bears lose in overtime on last second field goal to the Dolphins, 31-28

Boy was the schadenfreude heavy in this battle between two teams that actively tried to give the game away. The Bears had a rough start to the game scoring a goose egg in the first half, but only trailed by seven as their defense settled down and contained Brock Osweiler—who got the nod over an injured Ryan Tannehill—and the rest of the Dolphins’ offense.

The Bears would come roaring out of the gates at the start of the second half and quickly scored 14 unanswered points. But despite the resurgence from the Bears offense, Brock Osweiler, yes Brock Osweiler, managed to trade blows against the vaunted Bears defense with the help of Albert Wilson, who hauled in six catches for an impressive 155 yards and two touchdowns.

When the Bears held the Dolphins offense toward the end of regulation, instead of calling a timeout to get the ball for about a minute and 30 seconds, they decided to let the clock run out instead and play for overtime. They would also get the ball into Dolphins territory in overtime after a strike of luck when Miami fumbled the ball at Chicago’s the 1-yard line, and instead of continuing their push downfield, the Bears decided to play for the 53-yard field goal and missed that, too.

Miami finally put the game away on the following possession on a game winning 50-yard field goal on the foot of their rookie kicker, Jason Sanders.

This was really the first time that the Bears defense had looked vulnerable all year, and boy did they look bad. On the offensive side of the ball, Mitchell Trubisky had a nice game on the statsheet, but that doesn’t include the two or three throws that were nearly intercepted and could have spelled an early disaster for them. And it wasn’t just him, as Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen also had costly turnovers.

On the positive side for the Bears, Kyle Fuller is still really good as a No. 1 cornerback and notched two interceptions. Tarik Cohen also looks electric and aside from his costly fumble, I thought he had a great game. Another player that impressed me was Taylor Gabriel, who has proven to be a nice addition to the Bears offense. I fear what he might do to Nevin Lawson this year.

Next game: vs Patriots (3-2)

Vikings dance their way to victory over Cardinals, 27-17

The Cardinals held a lead very briefly halfway through the first quarter, but the Vikings would come soaring back with a touchdown of their own and never looked back. Latavius Murray had himself a career game with 155 rushing yards and a touchdown on 25 carries and Adam Thielen kept up his dominance, hauling in 11 receptions for 123 yards and a TD for himself.

The man with the moves, Kirk Cousins, didn’t have the best statistical game—aside from a nice 6.9 yards per attempt—but he did have a rushing touchdown.

Good for Kirk.

Dan Bailey, the Vikings’ new kicker was a perfect 2-for-2 on field goals and 3-for-3 on extra points which is just very unlike Vikings kickers and I’m beginning to fear that they might finally be good on all three phases of the ball again. Let’s just hope that the defense doesn’t go back to dominating.

Next game: at Jets (3-3)

Don’t sleep on the Jets. They might not have the best resume, but this could be a trap game for the Vikings.

Mason Crosby redeems himself on game-winning field goal, Packers win 33-30 against 49ers

This was about as back-and-forth as it gets, especially for a primetime “Monday Night Football” game. Just six minutes into the first quarter, each team marched their way down the field for an early seven points and the scoring would not let up. The 49ers offense got the best of the Packers for most of the game and held the lead all the way to the end, until they didn’t.

Rodgers was his old self despite his injury and spun the ball for a whopping 425 yards and two touchdowns on 46 attempts. He was more clutch than he has normally been throughout his career, capping the game off with a 10-play, 81-yard drive that led to a game-winning field goal from Mason Crosby.

Crosby was a perfect 4-for-4 on field goals and 3-for-3 on extra points—an obviously huge improvement over his performance last week against the Lions.

Next game (10/28): at Rams (6-0)

The Packers needed that win against the 49ers, as they head into their bye week, and then prepare for a difficult set of back-to-back road games against the Rams and Patriots.

NFC North Week 6 standings

1. Chicago Bears (3-2)
2. Green Bay Packers (3-2-1)
3. Minnesota Vikings (3-2-1)
4. Detroit Lions (2-3)

After a bye week, the Lions remain at the bottom of the NFC North, but this was still a successful week for them, as they’re only one game back from the lead currently. The Bears face a tough opponent in the Patriots next week, while the Vikings face a possible trap game on the road against the Jets. If the Lions manage to beat the Dolphins in Miami, there is a real chance that they could position themselves to possibly take lead of the North within a couple weeks, as long as they keep winning.

We’ll see.

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