Two of the NFC North teams played each other on Thursday (note: YAY!), leaving the other two teams to play their games on Sunday. Here are the results of those games, and how they will affect the division.
The Vikings allowed rookie Andrew Luck to win his first NFL game, with the winning score coming on a 53-yard field goal by Adam Vinatieri. Both quarterbacks, Luck and Christian Ponder, were efficient and smart with the football, as neither threw an interception. Ponder completed 12 passes for 104 yards to Percy Harvin, who should be a top-5 receiver in PPR fantasy leagues, while Donnie Avery of all people went over 100 yards for the Colts.
The running games weren't really a major factor in this game. Adrian Peterson only ran 16 times for 60 yards, and had a long run of 6 yards. That's not a typo. Yikes. Donald Brown wasn't much better, with 16 runs for 45 yards. Surprisingly, both teams asked their young quarterbacks to throw more than 30 times in the game.
Takeaway: the Vikings are where we expected they would be, having beaten a bad Jacksonville team in overtime and losing to the young Colts. The emphasis on the passing game was surprising, but may have resulted from Peterson's lack of production.
This game hearkened back to the Lions of the late 2000's, when Jason Hanson was their most potent offensive weapon. Hanson hit 4 of 5 field goals to help a Lions offense that couldn't seem to find paydirt, but it wasn't enough. With safety Louis Delmas out again this week, Vernon Davis had a big day with two touchdowns and 73 receiving yards. Matthew Stafford completed less than 60% of his passes, and Calvin Johnson was the only Lion to catch more than three passes.
Takeaway: the Lions almost (maybe should have?) lost to the Rams last week, but few people around here expected them to go into San Francisco and win last night. They won the game they should have and lost the one they should have; there isn't cause for concern yet in Detroit.