NFC North Week 13 recap: Bears, Vikings could be headed for big changes

Pride of Detroit

With only five weeks remaining in the NFL season, let’s take a look at how the NFC North division is shaping up, shall we?

Vikings hand the Lions their first win, blow fourth-quarter lead, 29-27

You know you’re down bad when you’re handing a team their first win in Week 13, and the Vikings are one play away from getting swept by the Lions this year. That’s how close these games have been. It should have been a comfortable win for the Lions, but they did their best to make it a game after turning a 20-6 lead in the second half into a 27-23 deficit following two turnovers.

The Vikings’ offense struggled to find the end zone in the first half and had to settle for a field goal on each of their first three scores. This had a lot to do with the Lions’ defense clamping down in the red zone and implementing that bend-but-don’t-break defense that we all know too well. Jerry Jacobs made some huge plays early and had a great game overall, while the entire defense overall continues to overachieve.

Minnesota’s defense, currently ranked near the bottom of the NFL, continues to struggle. They allowed Jared Goff to have one of his best performances on the year. This is not the same suffocating defense from head coach Mike Zimmer that we’re used to seeing.

Vikings fans can be happy that they have Justin Jefferson who continues to prove himself as one of the best receivers in the NFL at just 22 years old. But other than that? It might be time to start cleaning house in Minnesota.

Next game: vs. Steelers (6-5-1)

Return of Kyler Murray signals defeat for Bears, Cardinals win 33-22

After a 3-2 record to start the year, the Bears are now in free-fall mode as they find themselves tied for the second-worst record in the NFC at 4-8.

Kyler Murray, who had missed the past three weeks due to an ankle injury, was back in action against the Bears and looked as good as ever finishing with four total touchdowns (two passing, two rushing).

The Bears tried to make it close in the end by bringing it to within two scores, but it was too little too late and they shot themselves in the foot too many times. Andy Dalton had a particularly rough game with four interceptions thrown on the day.

Chicago’s next two games will be on primetime television. Next week on SNF against the Packers and MNF against the Vikings the week after.

Next game: @ Packers (9-3)

Packers on the bye

No game for the Packers this week. They’ll host the Bears next week.

Next game: vs. Bears (4-8)

NFC North Standings after Week 13

1. Green Bay Packers (9-3)
2. Minnesota Vikings (5-7)
3. Chicago Bears (4-8)
4. Detroit Lions (1-10-1)

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