Oct 6, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA; Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson watches the Lions warm up before game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Johnson is inactive for the game with an injury. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

NFC North Race Tightens Up

Things played out perfectly for the idle Vikings this Sunday when it comes to the NFL North race. They needed the Packers to beat Detroit, preventing Detroit from improving their record to 4-1. The Packers winning became almost a foregone conclusion when Calvin Johnson was declared inactive, rendering the Lions’ offense inert. Indeed the Packers did take care of the Lions, in fairly easy fashion.

The other ideal outcome for the Vikes was a Chicago Bears loss against the  New Orleans Saints. That too came to pass, with a little help from an early Jay Cutler fumble. So here are the division standings after Sunday’s action:

Detroit 3-2

Chicago 3-2

Green Bay 2-2

Minnesota 1-3

The Detroit and Chicago losses guaranteed that, for now at least, no team will be able to take command of the division. I still have a funny feeling the Packers will grab hold of this thing and get it under control before too much longer, but then you never know. The injuries are piling up for that team again on defense. Chicago seems to be suffering from some inconsistency on offense as they get a handle on Marc Trestman’s system. For the Lions it’s all about keeping Calvin Johnson healthy. The Detroit defense performed well today against Green Bay but with no offensive punch they just couldn’t stay in the game.

The Vikings of course have their own issues. They are a mess in the secondary. And there’s a little quarterback situation going on that seems to be getting more and more weird with each passing moment. But at least the race is still tight. That gives you some hope that you can put together a streak and get in playoff contention.

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