The North Shall Rise Again

The Vikings pulled off a big upset Sunday. So did the Packers. But perhaps the biggest upset of all was that all four teams from the NFC North came out victorious Sunday.

It doesn't seem like that tall of an order -- all four teams in a division win in the same weekend. Surely it must happen every now and then. It does, but not in the NFC North.

Since the NFL added the Texans and realignment took place to make eight divisions, all four teams from the NFC North had never won in the same weekend. As hard as it might be to believe, there has been enough mediocrity over the years that someone always found a way to botch it up.

Not Sunday. On a day that few would have predicted it, the Vikings won at the Giants, the Packers won on the road at Atlanta and the Lions and Bears held serve at home vs. the Cardinals and 49ers, respectively, giving the NFC North the honor of being 4-0 Sunday.

Will it last? It can't. The Vikings and Packers play next Monday and there's no way both teams can win.

* Mike Tice is going to get re-evaluated, but it is believed that he has a strained medial collateral ligament in his left knee -- an injury that looked awful and was sustained during a punt Sunday. In the process, he broke his trademark pencil when he hit the ground and had to replace it with a pen.
* The pen got its own air time Sunday. After complaining about an offensive pass interference call, Tice inadvertently threw his pen on the field. When he went out to retrieve it, he was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct -- a rare penalty on a coach. It led to the unsual scenario of the Vikings facing a third-and-41 play. There aren't many plays in the book to cover that one.
* The 12 yards rushing for the Vikings Sunday was just one yard short of the least ever in a game -- 11 set vs. the Bears in 1996.
* Darren Sharper set a team record for most interception return yards with 123 -- shattering the old record of 97 yards set by Reggie Rutland in 1991. Sharper's 92-yard return for a touchdown was the third-longest in team history, behind Rutland's 97-yard return and Walker Lee Ashley's 94-yard return for a TD in 1988.
* Paul Edinger made the seventh game-winning kick of his career Sunday and his second as a member of the Vikings. All seven of his game-winners have been from 40 yards or more.
* Mewelde Moore didn't take a single snap with the offense Sunday.
* The last Giants opponent who had three interceptions in a game prior to Sharper was Washington's Vernon Dean back in 1984.
* Koren Robinson had one reception for 44 yards, but he led all Vikings rushers and receivers for individual yards gained.

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