The Vikings kicked a 45-yard field goal with no time left to pull off a stunning 35-34 win in Green Bay, while the Lions suffered a 24-21 loss at Chicago.
Minnesota, which heads into next week’s game against the Panthers with an unblemished 7-0 record, scored the winning touchdown on a perfectly executed final drive. The last time the Vikings travelled to Lambeau Field, on December 6, 2013, they lost 21-7.
The 24-21 loss at Chicago was the latest defensive defensive disaster for Detroit, who have not won since September 1. The Bears had scored touchdowns on six straight drives before Kevin Ross intercepted a Matt Stafford pass with 2:01 left.
Minnesota will be back at TCF Bank Stadium next week to face the Panthers. Carolina, who defeated the Panthers in last year’s playoff opener, is tied with Minnesota for the best record in the NFC at 5-0.
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Here is a wrap-up of the action on the NFC North:
Chicago Bears 24 Detroit Lions 21 (Green Bay Packers win)
Jay Cutler threw three touchdown passes, in a game played despite a late snow storm. Cutler hit Alshon Jeffery on a 40-yard pass and Markus Wheaton on a 50-yard pass to help the Bears to a 20-3 lead at halftime. Chicago pushed its lead to 24-10 on a 27-yard run by rookie Jeremy Langford, but the Lions cut it to 24-14 on a two-yard pass from Matthew Stafford to Golden Tate in the third quarter. The Lions got it back to two points with 8:58 left in the game, after a touchdown pass from Stafford to Tate on fourth down. But the Bears’ Derek Dimke hit a 48-yard field goal with 23 seconds left to put Chicago on top 24-21. After Stafford’s first pass was intercepted by the Bears’ Kevin Ross, he was sacked by Danny Trevathan. Dimke’s kick sealed the game.
Minnesota Vikings 35 Green Bay Packers 34 (Green Bay Packers win)
Quarterback Case Keenum completed a 14-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Stefon Diggs with 15 seconds left, as the Vikings earned their third straight victory over their division rivals, with coach Mike Zimmer trying to get revenge on Chicago’s John Fox. Keenum, who relieved injuries-riddled Sam Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater earlier this season, passed for 300 yards and three touchdowns. He connected with Diggs on a fourth-and-11 play for the go-ahead score. He threw a fourth-quarter touchdown pass to Adam Thielen, who also caught two long touchdown passes. Atlanta Falcons 21 New Orleans Saints 20 (Atlanta Falcons win)
Drew Brees passed for 381 yards and two touchdowns, as the Saints remained unbeaten at home. Panthers 28 Saints 19 (Carolina Panthers win)
Cam Newton ran for three touchdowns and threw for two others in just a bit over two quarters of work. Newton made his debut in a home matchup with the Saints after signing a two-year deal with the Panthers this week. The Saints were without running back Mark Ingram (ankle), and also without defensive end Cameron Jordan (back). Carolina got in position for a game-winning field goal when Newton scrambled for 24 yards to the 1. Newton scored on the next play for a 28-19 lead. The Saints drove to the Carolina 11 with 1:33 left, but Carolina got the ball back after punter Brad Nortman took a knee to run out the clock. Panthers quarterback Cam Newton ran for three touchdowns and threw for two others in just a bit over two quarters of work.
Cleveland Browns 0 Buffalo Bills 10 (Buffalo Bills win)
One by one the NFL’s winless teams went down Sunday night. The Browns lost for the eighth time in their last nine games, falling to 0-9. Not even busting out of their anemic offensive attack could help Cleveland, who dominated the time of possession but couldn’t get anything going. The one bright spot for the Browns was kicker Greg Joseph, who hit a 63-yard field goal with five seconds left. Tennessee Titans 19 Miami Dolphins 10 (Tennessee Titans win)