The Minnesota Vikings didn’t need to play Sunday to gain ground in the NFC North standings.
Both the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears lost Sunday, and in both cases it was pretty embarrassing.
The Packers lost to what was the league’s only remaining winless team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And the Bucs were wearing their cremesicle jerseys, no less.
The Bears got hammered by the Arizona Cardinals in a game that was pulled pretty quickly from local airwaves here in Fargo-Moorhead.
Both teams fall to 4-4, putting them three games behind the Vikings for first place at the halfway point of the season.
The Bears are in better shape, but only because they haven’t played the Vikes yet. Their quarterback play from Jay Cutler has been wildly inconsistent, which isn’t helped by a questionable offensive line, a lack of a running game, and very inexperienced receivers. This week, the defense hurt their cause.
The Packers have a had a phenomenal season from Aaron Rodgers, but those around Rodgers – the offensive linemen – have been anything but stellar. He has been sacked a league-high 37 times, seven more than the next closest team. That makes Rodgers’ performance – 16 TDs and just five picks – even more impressive.
The Vikings have a couple of gimme games – host Detroit and at Seattle – before the first of two matchups with Chicago. Time’s running out on the Bears and Packers catching up to snag the division title from the Vikings.