Going into yesterday’s games there was a sense of urgency for each team entering NFC North action. Except for the Lions, every team was in serious playoff contention and needed a win, and even the most die-hard passionate/insane Lions fan wouldn’t make the assertion that they were not trying to win yesterday. A lot of important divisional football was played and everyone’s playoff take certainly needs to be readjusted. Here’s what you need to know about Sunday’s games.
The Seahawks went into Chicago and handled business, proving that they and quarterback Russell Wilson may be the real deal. Wilson was superb as he led Seattle on back-to-back touchdown drives near the end of regulation and then overtime to overtake the Bears at home. The game only went to overtime when Seattle gave up an inexcusable 54-yard jump ball to Brandon Marshall at the very end of the 4th quarter that sent the game to a 5th period.
Russell Wilson has played very well for a rookie quarterback, but this game bring him to a whole ‘nother level. Going into Soldier Field and executing a 97-yard drive that should have ended the game and then finding the end zone again in overtime is impressive for any quarterback, yet alone a rookie who can’t seem to get out of the RGIII-Luck rookie shadow. If Seattle can retain their elite secondary for the remainder of the season and the playoffs then this is looking more and more like a team that needs to be taken seriously.
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Adrian Peterson had one of the more impressive rushing performances of recent memory but it wasn’t enough for the Vikings, who fell 23-14 to Green Bay on the road. Peterson had 21 totes for 210 yards and a touchdown, and it is a testament to the Vikings inability to capitalize that it could easily be said that Peterson should have had some more yards and/or scores. Christian Ponder tossed an end zone interception and another in the red zone to squash Minnesota’s chances, with both picks occurring in the second half.
This game taught us just how good Peterson is and how poor Ponder can be. There are a lot of very good running backs in the NFL, but playing on record recovery time he has demonstrated that there is a gap between him and the rest of the league’s premier rushers. The Vikings aren’t pulling the plug on Christian Ponder just yet despite the fact that he endured a 38-minute stretch without completing a pass. That’s a figure that could be applied with disturbing ease to Blaine Gabbert or Mark Sanchez, and with 119 total passing yards (including some garbage time play that would have left him below the century mark) his future with the Vikings must be put into question.
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The Lions are who we thought they were. Andrew Luck made a heroic 4th quarter effort to give the Colts a two point victory after a last-second touchdown to Donnie Avery, but it was the Lions who blew a late 33-21 lead. Detroit gave up a long touchdown to LaVon Brazil with 2:39 left in the 4th but still retained a 5 point lead. After getting the ball back, the Lions proceeded to set themselves up with a 3rd and 5 with 2 minutes left. Indianapolis has no timeouts and a first down would have iced the game. Mikel Leshoure carried for no gain and the rest is history. Lions punt, Colts touchdown. Depressingly painful stat of the day: Lions are the first team in NFL history to lose three home games in a row when leading with two minutes remaining.