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NFC North Rundown, Week 10: Matt Prater magic leads Lions to a wild home win

The Lions were the beneficiaries of Prater’s big leg over the weekend.

NFL: Washington Football Team at Detroit Lions Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

It was certainly not as the Green Bay Packers drew it up, but a win is a win.

With a 24-20 victory over the one-win Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, the Packers improved to 7-2, keeping pace at the top of the NFC North while also staying in the hunt for the conference’s top overall seed. Green Bay shares that crucial position for the first-round bye with the New Orleans Saints, who defeated San Francisco despite losing Drew Brees to injury. Although the Packers’ head-scratching offensive performance at times versus the Jaguars was not in the mold of a number one seeded team, the defense pulled its weight and prevented a final touchdown drive as part of a more lucky Green Bay win this season.

Luck was on the Lions’ side in Detroit this past weekend as well, as a crucial Washington penalty and Matt Prater’s 59-yard field goal lifted the team to a season-saving win at this point in the season. But Chicago suffered an unlucky loss with Nick Foles carted off the field on Monday evening, giving the Bears plenty to think about at the quarterback position heading into their bye week.

Today’s rundown dives into those topics, while also exploring the way Minnesota is quickly becoming a playoff contender yet again.

Chicago Bears (5-5)

Lost 19-13 vs. Minnesota; Next is the bye

Matt Nagy’s play-calling switch produces familiar results for struggling Bears offense

With Offensive Coordinator Bill Lazor calling the plays, the Bears accounted for just 149 yards of offense in another embarrassing loss.

Nick Foles injured, carted off late in fourth quarter of Chicago Bears’ MNF loss to Minnesota Vikings

An apparent hip or leg injury removed Foles from the game and his status for the Bears’ next game against Green Bay is in jeopardy.

What will it take for Bears to keep Allen Robinson in Chicago next season?

ESPN’s Jeff Dickerson dives into the salary cap restrictions that might be in play for Chicago to extend Robinson and how the star receiver stacks up against one notable receiver that was recently signed to a long-term deal.

Detroit Lions (4-5)

Won 30-27 vs. Washington; Next at Carolina

Matt Prater’s big kick saves Lions after second-half collapse vs. Washington

The Lions’ kicker had a big afternoon on Sunday, knocking home a 53-yard field goal in the first half before winning the game from 59 yards out.

4 critical officiating calls made for a wild final 80 seconds in Detroit Lions’ win vs. Washington

A pair of defensive penalties almost cost Detroit the game. Fortunately for the Lions, Washington had a painful defensive penalty of its own in the waning seconds of the game.

Lions’ Matthew Stafford catches Joe Montana on all-time passing touchdowns list

Detroit’s franchise quarterback moved up to 17th on the all-time list, surpassing a legend.

Minnesota Vikings (4-5)

Won 19-13 at Chicago; Next vs. Dallas

Vikings’ gamble continues to pay off with third straight victory

Kirk Cousins earned his first win on Monday Night Football, snapping a nine-game winless streak, while Minnesota showed more emphasis on the passing game with Dalvin Cook held relatively in check.

Vikings Working a Different Formula on Defense

Without some of their key defensive pieces, the Vikings have altered their game plan schematically in a few different ways to prevent deep passes and boost the pass rush.

Minnesota Vikings have re-emerged as legit playoff contenders

That new defensive approach, combined with emerging offensive weapons and an NFC playoff field in flux, have opened the door for Minnesota to make a postseason run.