The Vikings saw their quickest chance at a playoff berth squandered when Green Bay had a last-minute field goal blocked Monday night. The Packers' ensuing overtime loss to the Bears sets up a one-game season for the Vikings and Bears.
Thanks a lot, Green Bay.
On a night where the Bears didn't have 100 yards of total offense until late in the third quarter and finished an overtime game with just 210 total yards, it still proved to be enough in a 20-17 overtime win over the Packers that puts the pressure back on the Vikings to win Sunday or be in danger of squandering away another playoff opportunity.
Following Sunday's loss to Atlanta, head coach Brad Childress was shaking hands with players and saying, "It's a one-game season."
That wasn't entirely true at the time. As it pertained to the Vikings winning the NFC North Division title at that point, it was a three-game season – one more for the Vikings and two for Chicago. Any combination of a Vikings win or a Bears loss would give the division crown to the Vikings. Another one of those games has gone by the boards and it remains possible for the Bears to snatch away the division title.
The way the Bears won the game, using defense and special teams to make up for its typically pedestrian offense, was hard for Vikings fans to watch. Green Bay lined up for a short field goal to win the game and send the Vikings to the playoffs – only to have a low kick blocked by the Bears, who went on to score on the first possession of overtime when Robbie Gould
made his field goal for Chicago.
Childress was right. It is a one-game season for the Vikings and a one-game season for the Bears. Now that statement is accurate.
The NFL has asked that an appeals court reconsider a judge's order that has blocked the suspensions of Pat Williams and Kevin Williams for violating the league's policy on steroids and related substances. Monday was the deadline for filing motions in U.S. District Court for proposing a schedule for further proceedings in the case. The players union has proposed a schedule for proceedings that would delay any decision on the suspensions for more than three months.
The Vikings still hold all the cards in the division race despite losing and the Bears winning to tie things up at 9-6. If both teams win Sunday, the Vikings would win the division due to a better conference record (8-4) than Chicago (7-5). If both teams lose, the Vikings would win by virtue of better record vs. common opponents (4-4) than the Bears (3-5).
Brad Childress said he expects the Giants to play all their starters and not take their foot off the gas heading into the bye week they earned by virtue of the No. 2 seed in the NFC.
It came as little surprise that Childress confirmed Monday that Tarvaris Jackson will remain the starting QB.
Through a complicated series of events, the Bears can make the playoffs as a wild card if Dallas and Tampa Bay both lose.