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NFC North Week 13 recap: Vikings clasping onto final playoff spot

The Vikings aren’t winning pretty, but they are winning.

Jacksonville Jaguars v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Bears extend losing streak to six games, Lions win 34-30

All was well for the Bears to start the game as they got out to a quick 9-0 lead after tacking on a field goal and a touchdown (missed PAT). The defense forced the Lions’ offense to an early turnover on downs, and the Bears’ offense had no issues marching down the field. By the time we reached the half, the Bears had already scored 23 points against the Lions, who are clearly lacking talent on the defensive end.

Once the second half rolled around, the Lions cut the lead to three following a touchdown pass from Matthew Stafford to Jesse James, but the Bears answered back quickly with a touchdown of their own. And on the following drive, when Stafford threw an interception to defensive end Bilal Nichols, it was looking like the Bears were going to finally end their losing streak.

Romeo Okwara had other plans for the Bears, however.

Bevell’s decision not to onside kick was confusing at the time, but it worked out in the end. The Lions defense—after an abysmal first half—came up huge in the second half forcing a turnover late and coming up with a huge stop on fourth-and-one to close things out.

The Bears now drop to 5-7 on the year and share last place in the division with the Lions. Mitchell Trubisky had another decent game against the Lions’ defense, but this time it wasn’t enough.

Next game: vs. Texans (4-8)

Vikings scrape by in overtime over Jaguars, 27-24

Another team fighting for their playoff hopes is the Minnesota Vikings. After a 1-5 start, the Vikings have flipped the script and have won five of their last six games to bring themselves to 6-6 as they hit the last four games on their schedule. But first, they had to beat a 1-10 Jaguars team that was anything but willing to let them win easily.

Led by quarterback Mike Glennon, the Jaguars gave Minnesota everything they could offensively, and led by as many as 10 following a pick-six just 10 seconds into the third quarter. But the Vikings quickly bounced back with two consecutive touchdown drives and maintained control for most of the second half.

The Vikings led 24-16 in the fourth quarter before the Jaguars managed to tie things up and send it into overtime, but not before Dan Bailey missed a 51-yard field goal to win the game. Jacksonville also had a chance with one second left to win on the leg of Chase McLaughlin—signed off of the Vikings practice squad back in November—but the 61-yard attempt was no good.

In overtime, each team had at least one possession to close things out. The Vikings started extra time with a three-and-out possession, and the Jaguars turned the ball over for the fourth time before Minnesota finally closed out the ballgame and Bailey got his redemption on a successful 23-yard field goal make.

Cousins finished the day with 305 passing yards, three touchdowns and the lone interception, while the running game was led by Dalvin Cook (32 carries, 102 yards).

Minnesota looks to continue their hot streak against a very good Bucs team on the road.

Next game: @ Bucs (7-5)

Packers blow out Eagles, 30-16

Not much to see here. The Packers are good, and the Eagles are bad.

Once, the Packers took the lead, this game was pretty much decided from there. Eagles QB Carson Wentz had another rough game and was finally benched for rookie QB Jalen Hurts. Both finished the game with poor statlines, but it’s looking like the Eagles may need to move on from Wentz despite his newly signed extension.

The Packers were efficient in all phases of the game, especially when running the football. Aaron Jones was spectacular and ran the ball for 130 yards on 15 carries (8.7 yards per carry), including a 77-yard scamper late in the game for a touchdown.

Aaron Rodgers also had a great game and continues to add to his Hall of Fame resume by becoming the fastest QB to 400 career touchdown passes.

Next game: @ Lions (5-7)

NFC North Standings after Week 13

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

Technically, each team in the division has a chance to make the playoffs. The Packers have probably already done enough to do so, but even the Lions are not mathematically out of the hunt just yet. Like the Bears, they will most likely need to win out, but as of now, they are just one game out of the last wildcard spot, which is currently being held by the Vikings.

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