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Week 13 NFC North Roundup

Posted by cjsiewert on December 6, 2010 – 7:19 am

After trouncing the Bills by a mark of 38-14 on Sunday afternoon at Mall of America Field, the Vikings improved their record to 5-7 and are still mathematically in the hunt for the playoffs (see below for the conference breakdown).

So here’s another edition of the divisional recap to see how the NFC North shook out. But this week we’ll dedicate a great deal of the focus on what needs to happen for the Vikings to reach postseason play – and as you’ll see, A LOT of help is needed.

The Chicago Bears won their 5th consecutive game with a 24-20 win over the lowly Detroit Lions at Ford Field, improving their record to 9-3 while maintaining their hold on the division lead.

The Lions led 20-17 midway through the 4th quarter, but a questionable unnecessary roughness penalty called on Lions DT Ndamukong Suh led to a 7-yard go-ahead TD pass from Bears QB Jay Cutler to TE Brandon Manumaleuna on the ensuing play.

Cutler completed all but 5 of his passes, going 21 of 26 for 234 yards and the go-ahead TD. Chicago will host the AFC East-leading New England Patriots (9-2) next Sunday.

The other team in the division vying for a playoff spot found its spark in the 2nd half at Lambeau Field. The Green Bay Packers defeated the San Francisco 49ers by a score of 34-16, improving their record to 8-4.

The Packers held a slim 14-13 lead at halftime, but QB Aaron Rodgers and Co. opened the 2nd half with a quick 4-play, 69-yard scoring drive that ended on a 61-yard TD pass from Rodgers to WR Donald Driver. From there it was all Green Bay, with the Packers adding another TD – Rodgers to WR Greg Jennings – and 2 Mason Crosby FGs to seal the victory.

Green Bay will travel to Detroit to take on the Lions (2-10) next Sunday.

The Packers win over the 49ers coupled with a Bears victory eliminated the Vikings from defending their back-to-back division titles. Even if the Vikings win their remaining 4 games, the Bears and Packers face each other once more this season, and common sense will tell you that at least 1 of those teams will leave the Week 17 matchup without a loss (I can’t say with a win because there is always the chance of a tie).

So if you are wondering, “can the Vikings still make the playoffs?” here’s what needs to happen…

1)     Vikings win remaining 4 games.
2)     Packers lose remaining 4 games.
3)     St. Louis Rams or Seattle Seahawks lose at least 2 games.
4)     NY Giants or Philadelphia Eagles lose at least 3 games – 1 must be to the Vikings.
5)     Tampa Bay Bucs lose at least 3 games.

If all 5 of the listed possibilities happen, here is how the NFC playoff picture would look:

South Champ – Atlanta Falcons or New Orleans Saints
North Champ – Bears
East Champ – Giants or Eagles
West Champ – Rams or Seahawks
Wild Card – Either the Falcons, Saints, Giants, Eagles, Rams, Seahawks or Bucs (all dependant on which teams win their respected divisions and which team has the best record among the rest of the Wild Card prospects)
Wild Card – Vikings

I realize that’s a lot to chew on, but something to keep in mind for all the supreme optimists out there.


Posted in All, CJ Siewert | 9 Comments »


9 Responses to “Week 13 NFC North Roundup”

  1. By Frederick Jones on Dec 6, 2010 | Reply

    Congratulations to the Vikings on a GREAT WIN!

    Remember that just two weeks ago, we would have thought winning an NFL game would be near impossible.

    We have to be thankful.

    We shouldn’t complain!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. By Frederick Jones on Dec 6, 2010 | Reply

    ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

  3. By Woodboat on Dec 6, 2010 | Reply

    Yeah, take the wins when and where we get them. The next three weeks will give us an indication of the true mettle of our team, facing the Giants, Bears and Eagles.

    BTW, I’m not going to go back and research the fan that was cussing those of us that said we were out of the playoffs last week, but read CJs blog above then reiterate your stance, my friend. :)

  4. By Justin on Dec 6, 2010 | Reply

    1) Vikings win remaining 4 games.
    2) Packers lose remaining 4 games.
    3) St. Louis Rams or Seattle Seahawks lose at least 2 games.
    4) NY Giants or Philadelphia Eagles lose at least 3 games – 1 must be to the Vikings.
    5) Tampa Bay Bucs lose at least 3 games.

    Allow me to dissect these possiblilities:

    1. Vikings have Giants, Bears, Eagles, and Lions. 2 at home and 2 abroad. The Giants, Bears, and Eagles are all heavily favored to make it to post-season. And it seems that unlike our team, each of the 4 teams left in the season don’t have a crippled roster. I would consider the Vikings very lucky if they make it out of the Bears game intact in order to stand any chance against the Eagles.

    *continued in next post*

  5. By Justin on Dec 6, 2010 | Reply

    2. The Packers have to play the Patriots, Lions, Giants, and Bears yet. It’s entirely possible for them to lose to the Lions, but I wouldn’t count on it. That said, the Patriots is a likely loss, the Giants could be a loss, and the Bears might be a loss.

    3. The Rams face against Saints, 49ers, Seahawks, and the Chiefs. It’s possible they’ll lose against 2 of them, as the Saints have gotten their stride, and the Chiefs and Seahawks are respectable.

    *continued in next post*

  6. By Justin on Dec 6, 2010 | Reply

    4. Giants face against Vikings, Eagles, Packers, and Redskins. I say they probably will beat the Redskins for sure. Everything else is a tossup and the likely-hood that they lose to 3 of the teams is pretty slim.

    5. Tampa Bay face against Redskins, Lions, Seahawks, and Saints. Hmmm, not likely they’ll lose more than one game in that pile. The Saints game could be interesting.

    So yeah, not likely Vikings get in the playoffs this year.

  7. By BE SANE, SERIOUS, & LOVE ALL, BABY on Dec 6, 2010 | Reply

    And looking at your dissection Justin, I noticed Giants would have to lose to three of those teams– with a must loss to Vikings and a must win against the Packers– or Packers do not lose all their games– so Giants would HAVE to lose to the Redskins, have to– but anything is possible— is that in NY?

  8. By silver fox 2 dallas on Dec 6, 2010 | Reply

    Yes the Giants would have to lose to the redskins but that is very possible if the packers loose to the lions they will loose to the patriots and they could very easily lose to the giants and the bears we only need either the rams or the seahawks to not go better than 9-7 which is the last thing we should worry about cause they both will be lucky if they get to 9-7 and if we beat the giants we would win a tiebreaker and there is still a scenario in which we could be the 5th seed and play the 4th seed being either the rams or seahawks and if we won that we would play chicago at chicago but we would win that game no doubt in my mind

  9. By silver fox 2 dallas on Dec 6, 2010 | Reply

    the bears will loose the next three games so teh final game agains the packers will be huge and most likely decide if the bears get a first round bye or not so i could easily see them winning that game

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