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NFC North Week 10 recap: Chicago Bears continue to free fall

The Packers are out to a big lead, but every other team is now in the Wild Card race.

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

Packers win a close one against Jaguars, 24-20

This was a battle that surprised a lot of people. Coming into this game with a seven-game losing streak and a 1-7 record, I don’t think many were giving the Jaguars much of a chance against a very good Packers team. This was a team that the Lions completely obliterated in all phases. But despite all of that, give credit where it’s due. The Jaguars came out fighting and held a lead in all four quarters of the game. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t enough to win the football game.

With the Packers rushing attack ineffective, Aaron Rodgers had to do things on his own accounting for all three touchdowns—two through the air and one on his feet. It wasn’t a perfect game for Rodgers by any stretch, however. His interception late in the third quarter gave the Jaguars a 20-17 lead and a chance at a huge upset.

In the end, it was Green Bay’s star power that carried them to victory. The connection between Rodgers and Davante Adams remains one of the best in football.

Next game: @ Colts (6-3)

Kirk earns first MNF win as Vikings defeat Bears, 19-13

Bears

Once again, the sputtering Bears offense failed to get the job done as they dropped their fourth straight. Despite head coach Matt Nagy handing over play calling duties to his offensive coordinator, Chicago failed to score an offensive touchdown against their rival Vikings. They find themselves sitting at 5-5 after a 5-1 start and are just a half-game out of last place in the division.

The only touchdown the Bears managed to score was a 104-yard kick return touchdown from Cordarelle Patterson—the eighth of his career—tying a career NFL record.

The defensive effort from the Bears defense kept them in the game up until the very end. They had their final chance with under a minute to go in the game, but quickly saw Nick Foles go down and get carted off the field with a leg or hip injury according to Matt Nagy.

The game was ugly from start to finish, such is any time these two teams meet.

Next game: BYE week

Vikings

Coming into this matchup, Vikings QB Kirk Cousins was winless in his nine previous starts on Monday Night Football—truly an astonishing feat. You could tell this was on his mind late in the game after he gave the nerdiest celebration I’ve ever seen.

Hats off to Kirk for getting his first MNF win. He earned it, and the passing attack did a nice job making up for an uncharacteristically pedestrian day from the Vikings rushing offense.

Defensively, the Vikings shut down the Bears, allowing only 149 total yards and just 3.0 yards per play (oof). If not for their special teams, they would have held the Bears to just two field goals and following the kickoff return TD, the Vikings did not give up another point.

Next game: vs. Cowboys (2-7)

NFC North Standings after Week 10

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

With a relatively soft schedule ahead of them, the Packers should win this division fairly easily. The only team I’d give a slight chance to give them a run for their money is the Vikings, who I’d argue is the hottest team in the division right now. Unfortunately for Minnesota, they find themselves in quite a hole despite their three-game winning streak. They’ll need a lot of luck.

The real race in this division is for last place. The Bears are certainly making a case to be the worst team in the North following their fourth-straight loss.