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NFC North Rundown, Week 3: Five years later, karma bites Golden Tate

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The controversial no-touchdown call takes its place as king in week three’s divisional headlines.

Atlanta Falcons v Detroit Lions Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

Following a thrilling overtime victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday evening, the Green Bay Packers head into their first divisional game of the year with their oldest rival.

With a 2-1 record, the Packers sit tied atop the NFC North with the Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings. As Minnesota witnessed an astounding performance from backup quarterback Case Keenum, the Lions were surprised in their own way with a reversed call as time expired. Meanwhile, this week’s Packers opponent from the Windy City etched its name into the win column for the first time this season behind an old-fashioned ground game and stingy defense.

We have those stories and more in today’s rundown.

Detroit Lions

Lost 30-26 vs. Atlanta; Next at Minnesota

Tate and Lions’ loss is sweet revenge in the eyes of Packer fans.

Exactly five years to the date of Golden Tate and the Seattle Seahawks defeating Green Bay on the infamous “Fail Mary,” Tate’s touchdown reception in the waning moments of Sunday’s game was overturned.

Eric Ebron struggles again, attracts scrutiny regarding his long-term potential.

The fourth-year tight end dropped two fourth quarter passes, and has amassed just nine catches for 60 yards and a touchdown so far this season. The former first round pick led the league in drop percentage (8.2%) from a tight end last season and has Lions fans wishing to see a jump in Ebron’s production.

Detroit’s linebacker depth was tested without Jarrad Davis.

As noted last week, Davis suffered a concussion in week two and was inactive against the Falcons. The loss of Detroit’s first round pick exposed question marks regarding the Lions’ third linebacker as the team mixed-and-matched players throughout the game.

Minnesota Vikings

Won 34-17 vs. Tampa Bay; Next vs. Detroit

Minnesota’s offense went from poor to prosperous in one week. What was the difference?

The Vikings received surprisingly enormous contributions from Case Keenum and his receivers in week three. But that’s not all that led to Minnesota’s success last week and so far this season.

Adam Thielen and Brian Robison have shining moments; Trae Waynes still lacking consistency.

Mark Craig of the Star Tribune details five under-the-radar stories from week three, including a big performance from the Minnesota-native Thielen.

Goldy Gopher runs over youth football player during halftime. Maybe the next Browns running back?

On a more humorous note, the University of Minnesota mascot destroyed a youth football linebacker while carrying the rock during a halftime promotion. Check out the bulldozer!

Chicago Bears

Won vs. Pittsburgh, 23-17; Next at Green Bay

Bears lose a fourth starter for a significant amount of time.

New Chicago safety Quintin Demps fractured a forearm while trying to tackle Le’Veon Bell on Sunday and will miss at least a month. Demps joins the likes of Jerrell Freeman, Kevin White, and Cameron Meredith, starters that will miss a great deal of time with early-season injuries.

Despite just 84 passing yards, the Bears found a way to upset the Steelers with their running game.

Between running backs Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen and an impressive defensive performance from its front seven, Chicago was able offset its abysmal passing offense and knock off one of the best teams in the league.

Speaking of those receivers...

Only one wide receiver - Deonte Thompson - caught a pass on Sunday with only four receivers seeing the field during the contest. Looking at the snap count, Markus Wheaton and Thompson have emerged as Chicago’s top two options, while rookie tight end Adam Shaheen is beginning to split snaps with Zach Miller.