The NFC North finished Week 7 with a combined 3-1 record, with the only loss coming in a divisional battle on Monday night. The NFC West, which has been highly talked up in recent weeks, saw two of its members fall to Black and Blue Division members.
The Packers' passing game was clicking for the second straight week, and the defense allowed a late touchdown to make the game seem less lopsided than it actually was.
This game was a fascinating look at how a strong defense and running game can still win games in today's NFL. Christian Ponder, fresh off a 50-attempt game in Washington, went 8 for 17 for 58 yards, a touchdown, and two interceptions; however, the Vikings still managed to pull out a win against Arizona. The Cardinals even out-gained the Vikings by nearly 150 total yards, but an interception return for a score by safety Harrison Smith proved to be the final margin of victory.
Adrian Peterson had a great day running the ball, with 23 attempts for 153 yards and a score. The Vikings' defense, while allowing a substantial amount of yardage, came up big with that key interception and forced a second turnover from John Skelton on a fumble, all while sacking Skelton seven times. Brian Robison was one of the stars of the game, with three sacks and that forced fumble.
This one looked like it would be a runaway win for the Bears early, as Matt Forte broke off a big run on the Bears' opening drive and Jay Cutler connected with Brandon Marshall for a short touchdown. However, the Lions defense clamped down after that drive, recording five sacks and briefly knocking Cutler out of the game.
The Lions couldn't break into the end zone though, as they turned the ball over three times in the red zone. Mikel LeShoure fumbled once, Joique Bell lost the ball while trying to stretch the football over the goal line, and Matthew Stafford threw an interception on fourth and goal from the three. Those mistakes allowed the Bears lead to hold up, as the Lions scored their lone touchdown with only 30 seconds remaining.
After seven weeks, the divisional standings sit as follows:
|Green Bay Packers||4||3||0|