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NFC North Rundown: Packers secure division crown, missed opportunities haunt Vikings

Missed field goals crushed the Vikings and their likelihood at reaching the postseason on Sunday.

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It was not the cleanest game of the Green Bay Packers’ 2020 season, but the end result was a win over the Detroit Lions, 31-24, and a divisional championship.

With the victory, the Packers moved to 10-3 on the season and came away with their second-straight NFC North crown while moving to the top of the conference standings. But for their rivals, it was a weekend of mixed results. While Chicago edged its way back into the playoff conversation with a resounding win, Minnesota suffered a devastating loss due in large part to special teams struggles. With 6-7 records, each team has little room for comfort heading into the final three games.

Today’s rundown walks through polarizing days for Mitchell Trubisky and Dan Bailey for their respective teams, while checking in on the managerial search in Detroit.

Minnesota Vikings (6-7)

Lost 24-16 at Tampa Bay; Next vs. Chicago

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 26, Minnesota Vikings 14: Missed opportunities doom Vikings in loss

Field goal attempts were major dilemmas on Sundays, but so was a costly pass interference penalty before halftime and an offensive line that allowed six sacks.

Vikings’ Dan Bailey misses four kicks, leaves 10 points on the table in nightmare day

One needs to go back to 1961 for the last time a kicker missed three field goals and an extra point in a single game.

Former Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs on why he forced his way out of Minnesota

A more “run-heavy offense” on the heels of Dalvin Cook’s extension led Diggs to seek an opportunity more favorable to developing his career as a receiver.

Chicago Bears (6-7)

Won 36-7 vs. Houston; Next at Minnesota

Mitchell Trubisky outduels Deshaun Watson as Chicago Bears’ losing streak ends at six

The Bears scored a touchdown on their first offensive play via David Montgomery and never looked back en route to a rout.

10 Chicago Bears’ Takes after destroying the Texans

Just a few of the takes revolve around the Bears being one game out of the wildcard, moving outside the top-10 draft pecking order, and Mitchell Trubisky’ ability to maintain morale after his benching.

Bears, Mitch Trubisky finding identity — albeit against bad defenses

Speaking of Trubisky, the highly-criticized quarterback threw for an efficient 267 yards and a trifecta of touchdowns in one of his better performances to date.

Detroit Lions (5-8)

Lost 31-24 vs. Green Bay; Next at Tennessee

Marvin Jones on controversial call: ‘I knew I had it,’ so did refs

Whether or not the call on the field would have played a role in the game’s outcome is unknown, but video review in this article showed that Jones’s fourth-quarter snag might actually have been a catch.

Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford avoids broken ribs: What we know

Reports suggest Stafford’s x-rays on his ribs came back negative for a major injury after suffering a fourth-quarter hit against the Packers.

Detroit Lions want ‘proven head coach/GM team,’ search could last 6 weeks

Former Houston Texans General Manager Rick Smith is one of the early external names rumored to be getting an interview in Detroit as the search for new leadership continues.