NBN’s from-the-couch football writer recaps Week Six in the NFL’s NFC North division.
Minnesota 34, Chicago 31
It was a one-man show on both sides at Soldier Field on Sunday. Anyone watching Vikings rookie running back and demigod Adrian Peterson got one message: Offensive Rookie of the Year. Cleat marks were visible on the backs of the Maidens of the Midway after Peterson torched them for 361 all-purpose yards with three TDs. An explosive Peterson return at the end of the fourth quarter set up the winning field goal as time ran out.
The Bears should just put Devin Hester back on defense. After all, he’s the only Bear who shows up these days. Hester cemented his place as the greatest NFL return man ever in my eyes with yet another punt return touchdown. Here’s the video:
That makes nine special-teams return TDs in his not-yet two-year career. And his 81-yard touchdown reception tied up the game with 1:38 remaining in the fourth.
Griese was forced to pass the ball 45 times (offensive coordinator Ron Turner should run for his life if he sees Mike Ditka in a dark alleyway) and Bears tailback Cedric Benson stumbled for a mere 67 yards on 18 carries.
The Bears need to find the all-star defense that has somehow disappeared in the last year. I will reiterate what I said going into this week: Chicago can’t win games on the arm of mediocre quarterbacks, or the legs — miraculous as they are— of Devin Hester.
Washington 14, Green Bay 17
I was wrong about this one, but for the right reasons. The Pack came away with a win on Sunday, but boy-oh-boy was it an ugly one. Green Bay had fewer first downs and put up only 225 total yards. In addition, No. 4 managed to surpass George Blanda for the all-time interception record with two picks thrown to Washington safety Sean Taylor.
Fortunately for Green Bay, they were able to win the turnover battle, and the defense put on their best performance so far this season. The formidable Packers D scored the go-ahead touchdown on Corey Williams’ acrobatic, one-handed strip of ‘Skins receiver Santana Moss, with corner Charles Woodson running it back 57 yards to the house.
The Green and Gold improved to 5-1 on the season, but they are looking mighty shaky with no running game and a banged-up offense. But with the exception of this year’s loss against the Bears, the young team has been winning the ugly, close games like this one, and that speaks volumes to the quality of their coaching staff.