It was a wild day in the NFC North in week one. Here’s a recap and a look at the division standings.
Vikings 26, Jaguars 23 OT (box score)
Neither team is expected to contend for anything in 2012 but the Vikings and Jaguars turned in one of the day’s best games. Blaine Gabbert found Cecil Shorts for a go-ahead touchdown with 20 seconds remaining. A successful two point conversion gave the Jags a 23-20 lead but the game was anything but over. Blair Walsh hit a 55-yard field goal as time expired to send the game into overtime and then a 38-yarder that served as the game winner. This was the first regular season game played under the new overtime rules that allows both teams to have the ball unless a touchdown is scored on the opening possession of overtime. The Jaguars didn’t pick up a first down after Walsh’s overtime field goal to give the Vikings the win.
Bears 41, Colts 21 (box score)
The Colts got on the board first after Jerrell Freeman intercepted Jay Cutler and returned it four yards for a touchdown. It was a close game until the Bears scored a late first half touchdown on a Michael Bush 1-yard run to take a 24-14 lead into the locker room. Ten third quarter points by the Bears allowed them to take a comfortable 20-point lead into the fourth quarter. Jay Cutler threw for 333 yards in the win while Andrew Luck threw for 309 yards but was intercepted three times in his NFL regular season debut.
Lions 27, Rams 23 (box score)
The Lions survived an unexpected test from the St. Louis Rams. Matthew Stafford threw three first half interceptions that helped lead to the Rams’ 13-10 halftime lead. The Lions battled from behind three times in the second half including the game winning touchdown pass from Stafford to Kevin Smith with ten second remaining. The Lions out gained the Rams 429 yards to 247 yards but lost the turnover battle 3-0.
49ers 30, Packers 22 (box score)
The 49ers defense held the high powered Packers offense in check surrendering just seven first half points in taking a 16-7 lead into the halftime break. The first half closed with a bit of history as 49ers kicker David Akers hit a 63-yard field goal to tie the all-time long. Alex Smith found Vernon Davis for a third quarter touchdown that gave the 49ers a commanding 23-7 lead. The Packers made a game of it in the fourth quarter and found themselves with one last chance to score a touchdown and covert a game tying two point coversion but a fourth down pass intended for Jordy Nelson went incomplete.
NFC North Standings