This week’s NFC North action saw the division (for the most part) come out on top in four out-of-division games. Chicago coasted to a 51-20 victory over the struggling Tennessee Titans, who played the type of game that prompted the owner to publicly question every facet of the organization.
Chris Johnson had a decent game for the Titans in giving himself a very respectable 16-141-1 stat line while also contributing two key fumbles that played a major role in the team’s loss. The Chicago defense continued their historic performance with four forced fumbles and an interception return for a touchdown. All four fumbles were forced by Charles Tillman, who is clearly a weekly reader of my column and was grossly offended by my skepticism of the Bears’ due to their soft schedule.
The Packers went into Arizona and pulled out a 31-17 victory over the declining Cardinals. Aaron Rodgers threw for less than 50% completion with a 14-30 day, but more than compensated with four touchdowns. Even when the Packers are slowed down they have an aerial attack that is very hard to shut down. On all four touchdowns Rodgers put the ball right on the money, and an overwhelmed Cardinals defense got ran on to the tune of 28 combined carries for 113. It’s tough to get your defense off the field when your John Skelton-led offense is allergic to first touchdowns.
The Detroit Lions coasted to victory in Jacksonville 31-14, with Mikel Leshoure padding his stats on 70 yards and three touchdowns. The Lions offense is appearing to be more and more in sync with every passing week, although the Jaguars certainly didn’t present much of a challenge for the resurging Lions. Jacksonville scored twice in the fourth quarter to create an illusion of competitiveness, as their season tumbles further and further down the drain.
The Vikings were the only team to represent the NFC in defeat, losing to the Seahawks 20-30 amidst vomit-inducing quarterback play by Christian Ponder. The Vikings’ signal caller finished with a total of 63 yards on 11 completions. Yes, that is 63 yards passing. Yes, this is an NFL box score. Yes, Coach Leslie Frazier stands by Christian Ponder as the quarterback that gives his team the best chance to win. No, I would not wager significant funds on Frazier passing a polygraph examination that includes this question.
The game was competitive due to Adrian Peterson’s 182-yard outburst that included a first half 74-yarder that was finished off with a 1-yard touchdown run. Peterson managed only 38 yards in the second half after scorching the Seahawks for 144 in the first. The Seahawks evidently decided that if they were going to get beat in the second half it wouldn’t be by Peterson. Ponder responded to the game plan with a dismal performance that is sure to spark some quarterback controversy in Minneapolis.
Current NFC North Standings
Chicago Bears 7-1
Green Bay Packers 6-3
Minnesota Vikings 5-4
Detroit Lions 4-4