Obviously the Packers were idle this week, but Detroit and Chicago managed to make up some ground while Minnesota was badly beaten.
Chicago looked like it was going to lose in Philadelphia, but scored on a 97 yard TD drive with under two minutes to go and only one timeout remaining. It was an ugly game with almost zero offense for both teams in the first half, but Chicago didn't have any turnovers, kept it close, and managed to pull out the victory.
Statistically Detroit got beaten by Tampa Bay but, again, Detroit had no turnovers, converted QB Jeff Garcia's only turnover into a TD, and won this game. Still Detroit's been outscored by 31 points this season which isn't the sign of a winning record. Either Detroit is going to start outscoring their opponents to bring that stat more in line for a winning team, or they are going to start playing down to their true level.
Minnesota lost in Dallas and it wasn't as close as the score looked. Dallas dared QB Tarvaris Jackson to do anything in the air, and he couldn't do it. Dallas killed Minnesota statistically and again Minnesota head coach Brad Childress held RB Adrian Peterson back, limiting him to only 12 carries in the game. There is a danger that Peterson could be overrused (curse of 370), but it is safe to give him 20 catches/touches per game.
These were three games that I expected all three NFC North teams to lose, but instead 2 of 3 won and Detroit remains a game behind Green Bay. I was hoping for some breathing room in the division, but it remains tight.