The Green Bay Packers finally won a football game. It was ugly at times, but Joe Barry's defense led the way to a comfortable victory over the Brett Rypien-led Los Angeles Rams.
It was Green Bay's first win since Week 3. This team desperately needed a victory and couldn't afford to lose to a Rams team missing so many starters, including quarterback Matthew Stafford. And to the Packers' credit, they were the better team throughout.
The Minnesota Vikings won their first game without Kirk Cousins. Minnesota lost starting quarterback Jaren Hall to a concussion early, forcing Joshua Dobbs into the game. This time last week, Dobbs was an Arizona Cardinals player.
Incredibly, he threw for 158 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 66 yards and a touchdown off the bench, leading the Vikings to a stunning 31-28 road victory over the Atlanta Falcons.
The Chicago Bears lost their seventh game of the season, a 24-17 defeat to the New Orleans Saints. Quarterback Tyson Bagent threw two touchdown passes to tight end Cole Kmet but was intercepted three times.
NFC North standings after Week 9: Wins for Packers and Vikings
The division-leading Detroit Lions didn't play this week, but they saw their lead at the top of the NFC North close a little. Here's how the NFC North stands after Week 9:
- Detroit Lions (6-2)
- Minnesota Vikings (5-4)
- Green Bay Packers (3-5)
- Chicago Bears (2-7)
The Vikings are the only team that can realistically push the Lions the rest of the way, but that won't be easy without Cousins. The Lions have the best roster in the division and should cruise to their first NFC North title.
Green Bay finally got a win, but tougher games await. The next four are against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Los Angeles Chargers, Lions, and Kansas City Chiefs. The Packers need to play a lot better offensively to have a chance of winning any of those games.
Up next? The Lions visit the Chargers, the Packers are on the road against the Steelers, the Vikings host the New Orleans Saints, and the Bears meet the Carolina Panthers.