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NFC North Rundown: Where do the Vikings turn after another close defeat?

Minnesota dropped another close contest in its third overtime game of the season and may be falling out of playoff contention.

Minnesota Vikings v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

For the Green Bay Packers, the silver lining in the team’s second loss of the season is the lack of ground lost in the NFC North race.

After a 13-7 loss to Kansas City, filled with special teams mishaps and a disappointing first appearance from Jordan Love, the Packers find themselves still 7-2 with a commanding division lead. Part of that fortune is due to the struggles of the Minnesota Vikings, who lost again on Sunday in their seventh game decided by four points or less. As speculation about Mike Zimmer’s job security reaches an all-time high this week, Minnesota will be looking to quickly correct some of the offense’s consistent inconsistencies.

Today’s rundown goes into more detail on some of the Vikings’ missed opportunities, as well as a controversial call that plagued the Chicago Bears on Monday night.

Chicago Bears (3-5)

Lost 29-27 at Pittsburgh; Next is the bye week

Steelers spoil Justin Fields rally, top Bears with help of controversial taunting call

A wild fourth-quarter filled with what appeared to be a phantom unsportsmanlike conduct penalty ultimately doomed Chicago.

Justin Fields shines late in Bears’ loss: ‘It was his time’

Bears fans can take some solace in the fact that their quarterback showed some improvement and moxie in the final quarter with a go-ahead touchdown drive.

Chicago Bears activate RB David Montgomery off IR before Monday night game vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

While rookie Khalil Herbert has played well for Chicago, the Bears were able to get back their productive veteran Montgomery ahead of Monday night’s game.

Detroit Lions (0-8)

Bye week last week; Next at Pittsburgh

Detroit Lions’ Darren Fells asks for release after getting benched vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Like Jamie Collins earlier this season, the Lions may grant Fells’ release as the veteran looks for a new home and increased playing time.

Lions notes: Team won’t claim OBJ; QB Tim Boyle returning to practice

If the Packers are able to make a claim for Odell Beckham Jr.’s services, they won’t receive competition from Detroit.

Detroit Lions’ Taylor Decker ‘feels good,’ could return at LT if all goes well this week

After a year filled with marquee injuries, Detroit may actually return one of their top players this week to protect Jared Goff’s blindside.

Minnesota Vikings (3-5)

Lost 34-31 at Baltimore (OT); Next at Los Angeles Chargers

Baltimore Ravens 34, Minnesota Vikings 31 (OT): Vikings squander multiple opportunities in loss

Here is a scoring drive synopsis of a back-and-forth game that finally ended with a Vikings loss on a 36-yard overtime field goal.

Have the Minnesota Vikings hit their ceiling? And if so, now what?

Predictable playcalling, troubles with the Cover-2, and a bend-but-don’t-break defense that often breaks have become the calling cards of this Vikings team that cannot seem to move past its weekly mistakes.

Vikings’ Harrison Smith sits out Sunday while on COVID-19 list; will also miss Chargers game

The loss of a team leader like Smith in the defensive secondary was felt against Baltimore, and Minnesota will rely on Cam Bynum again this week in Smith’s second week of absence.