Deadlines were tight Sunday night, but columnists from Chicago and Minnesota still had time to weigh in on an entertaining, if one-sided, game between the previous NFC North co-leaders. The Vikings' 34-14 victory brought forth a variety of opinions, of which we will take our usual Monday morning sampling.
David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune thought the play before the Vikings' 99-yard touchdown pass represented the true turning point of the game:
Vikings nose tackle Pat Williams and defensive end Jared Allen rose to the occasion, one that was too big for the Bears' offensive line. Williams stuffed the hole on the right side, and an unblocked Allen came from the backside to wrap [Matt] Forte at the waist. ... No matter what "SportsCenter" shows you, that was the play of the game. The one that followed on the Vikings' ensuing possession was more spectacular but not as significant. It was too easy for that.
The Tribune's Rick Morrissey came down hard on quarterback Kyle Orton:
As Sunday's game against the Vikings wore on, Kyle Orton went from Good to Bad to Are You Kidding Me? He threw three second-half interceptions in a crushing 34-14 loss.
Rick Telander of the Chicago Sun-Times got in his shots as well:
People, it's hard to screw up more than the Bears did during a stupendous vapor lock with five minutes to go in the second quarter at the Hump Dome.
Jim Souhan of the Star Tribune, meanwhile, considered Sunday night's game the model the Vikings have been building toward for years.
This is what the Wilfs envisioned when they spent all that money -- Bernard Berrian outrunning his old teammates to the end zone, and the sweat gleaming off Jared Allen's mullet on HD TVs across the land. This is what Brad Childress envisioned when he bestowed the unfortunate nickname of "Kick-ass offense" on his beloved and besieged scheme -- Adrian Peterson running wild, commanding attention from safeties while receivers bolted behind them. This is what the Triangle of Authority envisioned while sketching this team's blueprint -- a team that pounds the line of scrimmage and devours opposing quarterbacks. This is what the Vikings craved all decade -- a dominating, consequential victory that seizes command of a division they've never won, the historic NFC North.
We'll be back later Monday with some a few more thoughts on the division. For now, let's take a look at some news and notes after Week 13's games.
- The Bears might have lost defensive tackle Dusty Dvoracek for the season because of a right arm injury, writes Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times.
- Despite a sore knee that twice forced him from the game, Minnesota tailback Adrian Peterson reclaimed the NFL rushing lead with 1,311 yards this season. Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune details Peterson's night.
- Mike Vandermause of the Green Bay Press-Gazette: "Is there somebody on this Green Bay Packers team -- anybody at all -- that can make a play when the game is on the line? Apparently not, and the result on Sunday was an agonizing 35-31 defeat against the grateful Carolina Panthers at Lambeau Field."
- Green Bay is now giving up 24 yards per kickoff return, writes Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
- Packers cornerback Charles Woodson after Sunday's loss: "Well right now, we're not a very good team defensively." Rob Demovsky of the Press-Gazette details the Packers' defensive collapse.
Final Indianapolis 28 Cincinnati 42 Final Atlanta 21 Green Bay 22 Final Cleveland 26 New England 27 Final Oakland 27 New York 37 Final Detroit 20 Philadelphia 34 Final Miami 34 Pittsburgh 28 Final Buffalo 6 Tampa Bay 27 Final Kansas City 45 Washington 10 Final Minnesota 26 Baltimore 29 Final Tennessee 28 Denver 51 Final St. Louis 10 Arizona 30 Final New York 14 San Diego 37 Final Seattle 17 San Francisco 19 Final Carolina 13 New Orleans 31