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Saturday November 29, 2008 1:45 pm

NFC North Week 13 Predictions

Kyle Orton

The big showdown in the NFC North is between the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings at the Metrodome. The Bears are fresh off a 27-3 shellacking off the St. Louis Rams while the Vikes posted a convincing 30-12 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Minnesota QB Gus Frerotte posted average numbers on 12-of-20 passing for 120 yards and one interception. Force of nature running back Adrian Peterson ran for 80 yards on 17 carries. Bears field general Kyle Orton riddled the Jags’ defense on 17-of-28 passing for 132 yards and one TD while backfield partner Matt Forte punished the Jacksonville defense for 132 yards on 21 carries and two scoring strikes. Even though the game is being played in Minnesota, this contest is something of a toss up. Minnesota is 4-1 at home, but the Bears have been playing .500 ball on the road with a 3-3 record. This is a must-win game for both teams, but not necessarily a knockout blow. Whoever wins will sit alone atop the NFC North but only by one game. Whoever loses this game could be in a tie for second if the Green Bay Packers pull off a win over the Carolina Panthers. The Vikings lost a 48-41 melee at Soldier Field and will be looking to avenge that loss. Minnesota by 3.

While the Bears and the Vikings are butting heads in the frozen north, the Packers will host the Panthers at Lambeau Field. The Packers were decimated by the New Orleans Saints, 51-29, on Monday night while the Panthers were clobbered by the Atlanta Falcons, 45-28. The Falcons reeled off 28 fourth quarter points, making the Panthers defense suspect. Both the Packers and the Panthers are still in the hunt for playoff seeds, but the Packers are fighting for their lives in the NFC North and will be out for blood after losing in the Big Easy. Packers by 7.

The Detroit Lions? They recorded their weekly loss on Thanksgiving Day. This time out it was the Tennessee Titans that handed them a 47-10 pasting. At least the Lions get the weekend to lick their wounds. What else is new?

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