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NFC North recap: Another coach fired, Bears extend division lead

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Ahhhhhh.

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Packers blow out Falcons, 34-20

Things started out weird for the Packers, who got out to an early 7-0 deficit and were immediately down to just one timeout remaining with 13:56 left in the first quarter after losing two quick challenges. It was easy to mock interim head coach, Joe Philbin, but in the end, he and his team got the job done.

Aaron Rodgers had a much better game than his previous two contests despite only 196 yards on the day. He’s only thrown one interception all year and hasn’t thrown a pick in his last nine games, which is remarkable. The Packers offense ranks seventh in DVOA, but it’s their defense and special teams that have been bringing them down.

Speaking of defense, the Packers were ultimately able to keep the once powerful Falcons offense at bay, and held Matt Ryan to just 262 passing yards on 42 attempts. The Falcons had more total yards than the Packers, but the difference would be two costly turnovers (one resulting in a touchdown).

The Packers face an extremely tough test as they travel on the road and face the Bears next week. Green Bay still hasn’t won a single game on the road this year.

Next game: @ Bears (9-4)

Bears win defensive struggle and suffocate Rams offense, 15-6

It was an ugly game for those who enjoy offensive battles. Both QBs combined for seven interceptions and just 290 yards. The Bears offense did have plenty of success on the ground, however, with the team combining for 194 yards and averaging 5.5 yards per carry.

Jared Goff looked very, very bad for his second game in a row and Mitch Trubisky was barely any better. Chicago’s defense continued to look impenetrable in both phases of the game, and I feel bad for any offense that has to play them for the rest of the year.

The game was tied 6-6 at the half and the Rams’ best shot came early in the fourth quarter, down nine points, but Greg Zuerlein audible dong’d one off the right upright and the Rams were unable to muster up any more momentum offensively for the rest of the game.

The Bears now just need to win one more game, or have the Vikings or Washington lose one more game and they clinch the playoffs.

Next game: vs. Packers (5-7-1)

Vikings lose on Monday night to the Seahawks, 21-7

After an embarrassing loss on “Monday Night Football,” we received news of another NFC North coach being fired a day later: Vikings offensive coordinator, John DeFilippo. The news is a bit surprising considering that the Vikings are still in the thick of a wild card race and can still technically win the division. But the Vikings’ offense has underperformed greatly and it’s clear that head coach Mike Zimmer isn’t messing around.

This one’s for the #QBWinz crowd:

Cousins is also 0-7 on “Monday Night Football” and fails to come up big with the spotlight shining on him.

The Vikings’ offense struggled badly to get the ball moving early in the game, having their first five series end with a punt. The next three resulted in a turnover on downs, missed field goal and a fumble picked up by the Seahawks and taken the other way for a touchdown. Yikes.

Minnesota still currently holds the second wild card spot, but face some internal struggles and will need to step things up if they want to stay on track for a playoff berth.

Next game: vs. Miami (7-6)

NFC North Week 14 Standings

1. Chicago Bears (9-4)
2. Minnesota Vikings (6-6-1)
3. Green Bay Packers (5-7-1)
4. Detroit Lions (5-8)