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Around the NFC North: Vikings and Bears

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I watched most of the Minnesota Vikings loss in Pittsburgh, 27 to 17, and it was a great loss for the Packers in a couple ways. First, it's their first loss of the season, and the Packers only trail them by 1 game in the loss column. Second, it seemed like a really physical game, and both teams must be hurting after it. CB William Gay certainly is after RB Adrian Peterson ran him over. Still, it wasn't a sign of big trouble either. The Vikings are still a really good football team. From Daily Norseman:

There were two big missed opportunities for the Vikings -- an absurd tripping penalty on Jeff Dugan that wiped away a Sidney Rice touchdown, and the pass that went through Chester Taylor's hands and sealed the deal for the Steelers. Both drives could have resulted in Viking touchdowns, and yet each resulted in seven for the Steelers...

Certainly, those two plays are the most obvious reasons for the defeat, but keep in mind some other factors. We saw glimpses of the old, undisciplined Vikings today -- 11 penalties for 78 yards. Several of those penalties were garbage calls, but the fact remains that you won't win too many games on the road with so many unforced errors...

It stings that a gutsy defensive effort was wasted, and it stings that numerous opportunities to win this one also went to waste. But it's important to keep perspective. Disappointing as this game is, it's 1/16 of the season.

I didn't watch the game phoned in by the Chicago Bears. I expected the Bengals to win, but I didn't expect a 45-10 blowout. From Windy City Gridiron:

This is one of those games that just hurts the soul...

At 3-3 it isn't over for the Bears, especially with the Cleveland Browns coming to town next week, but this game is a blueprint game for every team that we play the rest of the year.  They are going to do the same type of things until we can prove we can stop them.

This was a total collapse game.