The Vikings enjoyed a well-deserved weekend off, having beaten the Redskins on Thursday night for their fourth straight victory. They get extra time to rest, recover, and prepare for their upcoming game in Kansas City.
Speaking of Kansas City, the Packers played there on Sunday night. The Lions and Bears were in action on Sunday, too. Here's everything we learned.
Chicago Bears (3-4)
Game result: Lost 17-16 to the Chargers at home
Things are starting to fall apart in Chicago.
Actually, that's not true. This started three weeks ago, when the Bears followed their stifling win over the Vikings by traveling to London and losing to the Raiders. It started to get real when Mitch Trubisky returned after their bye week and looked awful in a blowout loss to the Saints at Soldier Field.
Now, things are officially in crisis mode. The Bears dropped their third straight game, falling to the Chargers by a single point when Eddy Pineiro's 41-yard field goal curved wide left as time expired.
It was a horrific loss for so many reasons for a team that came into this 2019 season with sky-high expectations. First of all, this game had no business coming down to a field goal attempt. The Bears dominated time of possession, out-gained the Chargers 388-231, and had numerous opportunities to get a big lead early in the game.
In the first half alone, the Bears made four trips to the red zone, including three possessions inside the Chargers' 10-yard line. They settled for four field goal attempts, making three. It was some of the ugliest red zone offense you will ever see on a football field, and the time management on their drive to end the first half was bizarre. The Bears scored a touchdown to begin the second half, taking a 16-7 lead, but Trubisky turned the ball over on their next two possessions and the Chargers pulled ahead 17-16.
Still, the Bears had a chance to win it. Trubisky ran to the Chargers' 21 yard-line with 43 seconds left, and it looked like the Bears were in business. Despite having a timeout left, Matt Nagy decided not to try to advance the ball further, running the clock down for Pineiro's 41-yard attempt. The Bears, whose season ended on a kick in January, let the game come down to a kick. Pineiro missed it.
After the game, Nagy said he didn't want to risk a fumble or interception by trying to gain more yards, and that he had "zero thought" of doing so.
Things don't get easier for the Bears, with the Eagles, Lions and Rams the next three teams on their schedule. They close the season with games against the Cowboys, Packers, Chiefs and Vikings. This team might be done.
Detroit Lions (3-3-1)
Game result: Beat the Giants 31-26 at home
Last week in this space, we discussed how the Lions had actually played well during their three-game losing streak and shouldn't necessarily be written off. They got back in the win column on Sunday, taking care of business in a game against the Giants thanks to another big day from Matthew Stafford.
Playing their first game without running back Kerryon Johnson, who was placed on IR, the Lions got out to a fast start. They took advantage of a mistake from Giants rookie QB Daniel Jones, scooping up an errant backwards pass and taking it to the house. Then Stafford found Marvin Hall on a deep ball to take a 14-0 lead.
Jones and the Giants fought back against the struggling Lions defense, cutting the Detroit lead to 17-13 at halftime. But two second-half touchdown connections from Stafford to Kenny Golladay were enough offense for the Lions to pull out the victory.
The defense and running game are still concerns, but Stafford will give the Lions a chance in just about every game going forward. With winnable road games against the Raiders and Bears coming up, the Lions could be 5-3-1 in a couple weeks.
Green Bay Packers (7-1)
Game result: Beat the Chiefs 31-24 on the road.
He tried his best, but Matt Moore was unable to put a stop to the Packers' winning streak. The Chiefs' backup quarterback found himself with a 17-14 lead at halftime, having scored 17 unanswered points after a slow start.
The second half was all about Green Bay's Aarons – Rodgers and Jones. Early in the fourth quarter, Rodgers made an incredible throw to Jamaal Williams in the back corner of the end zone to take a 24-17 lead. The Chiefs tied it up, but less than a minute later, Jones zoomed past the Kansas City defense for the game-winning score.
Controversially, Andy Reid decided not to go for it on 4th and 3 from his own 40 with just over 5 minutes remaining. He chose to punt the ball back to the Packers, and never got it back.
Jones finished with 226 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns on 20 touches. Notably, 159 of those yards and both scores came on receptions. Williams scored the other two touchdowns, meaning Packers running backs accounted for all of the offense. Rodgers had another classic Rodgers game: efficient, dynamic, borderline unstoppable.
The Packers are soaring right now. They're 7-1 and have won four straight without top wideout Davante Adams, who was injured in a loss to the Eagles. The offense, behind MVP-level Rodgers and the tandem of Jones and Williams, is humming. However, they did give up five sacks to the Chiefs.
The other noticeable weakness is the defense, which has regressed after a strong start to the season. The Chiefs moved the ball effectively on the ground and through the air, much like the Raiders did a week ago and the Lions before that.
Still, there's not a ton to complain about at 7-1. The Chargers and Panthers are next. There's a real possibility that Nov. 24 could see a matchup between the 9-1 Packers and the 10-0 or 9-1 49ers.