NFC North Game Balls and Goats: Week 9

By
Updated: November 6, 2012

Chicago Bears cornerback Charles Tillman was one of the stars of Week 9, forcing four fumbles against the Tennessee Titans.

Tension rises

When they’re good, they’re really, really good, but when they’re bad, they’re awful. You could say that about the NFC North in 2012. It seems as though the teams of the Black and Blue Division are either way, way up . . . or way, way down.

Week 9 treated the North pretty well, as the Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, and Detroit Lions all won, bringing the division’s record to 22-12 (.647) on the season, tops in the NFL. The only loser this week was the Minnesota Vikings, who fell to the Tampa Buccaneers on Thursday Night Football, but even that game featured at least one excellent performance.

But you don’t come here tonight to listen to me ramble on. You want your NFC North Game Balls and Goats for Week 9. And now the moment you’ve all been waiting for!

Drumroll, please . . .

Game Ball — offense

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was phenomenal in a losing effort against NFC North nemesis Seattle Seahawks. He carried the ball 17 times for 182 yards (10.7 ypc) and two touchdowns, singlehandedly accounting for the entirety of Minnesota’s offensive scoring. It’s unfortunate that the Vikings seem to be on a downward skid, because they are wasting an excellent season by this superstar. At this point in his career, Peterson has to be wondering if he’ll ever win a Super Bowl.

Honorable mention goes out to Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall, who caught nine passes for 122 yards (13.6 ypc) and three touchdowns. Marshall received some Game Ball votes, but the deciding factor in Peterson’s favor was that most of Marshall’s production came after the game was already well in hand.

Mikel Leshoure also receives an honorable mention for becoming the Detroit Lions running back ever to rush for three touchdowns in the first half of a game. Legendary Lions rusher Barry Sanders acknowledged Leshoure’s accomplishment via Twitter after the game.

Game Ball — defense

There are simply no words to describe the kind of season Chicago Bears cornerback Charles Tillman is having. Against the Tennessee Titans he recorded nine solo tackles, one pass defensed, and an NFL-record four forced fumbles. At this point, only a catastrophic injury could keep him from running away with Defensive Player of the Year Honors. We’ve never seen a season like this from a cornerback before, and it’s not likely we will see another one any time soon.

Honorable mention goes out to Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher, who combined for seven tackles (five solo) and registered one interception return for a touchdown, one defensed pass, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery. In any ordinary week, that would easily have been enough to win the Defensive Game Ball!

Game Ball — special teams

Normally we hand the Game Ball to a single player per week, but this was a special week in more ways than one. Defensive back Sherrick McManis blocked a punt by Brett Kern, which defensive end Corey Wootton returned five yards for a touchdown. Because that play could not have happened without each of these players’ contributions, the Special Teams Game Ball will be divided among them.

Honorable mention goes out to Green Bay Packers cornerback Jarrett Bush, who jumped on a muffed punt inside the Arizona 5-yard line and crab-crawled toward the end zone. He would have scored easily . . . if the NFL allowed players to advance muffed punts.

Green Bay Packers punter Tim Masthay quietly had another excellent day and earned himself an honorable mention.

Goat — offense

The panel is almost starting to feel bad for picking on Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder week after week, but he just hasn’t been performing lately. Against the Seahawks, he completed only 11 of 22 passing attempts (50%) for 63 yards (2.9 ypa) and no touchdowns. No team is going to win many games when the quarterback plays that poorly. Fortunately for Ponder, Peterson had an incredible day and saved the team from being blown out on the road.

Dishonorable mention goes to the Green Bay Packers wide receiving corps, who combined for four drops in the first half alone. They also put up four touchdowns, which keeps them from receiving this week’s Offensive Goat.

Goat — defense

In a week when three teams in the division win, there aren’t too many candidates for the Defensive Goat, so this week’s dishonor goes to the Minnesota Vikings pass defense. Although they didn’t give up much in the way of yardage (173 yards on 24 attempts, 7.2 ypa), they did surrender three passing touchdowns to rookie quarterback Russell Wilson. On a day when the offense falters, the defense needs to pick up the slack, and they failed to do so.

Goat — special teams

Unlike some previous weeks this season, there were no notable special teams gaffes in Week 9. Both Green Bay Packers kicker Mason Crosby (44 yards) and Detroit Lions kicker Jason Hanson (47 yards) missed field goals, so they will share the shame together.

About the author(s)

Rourke Douglas Decker covers the Green Bay Packers beat for Water Cooler Sports. He resides with his family in the Twin Cities. He can be reached for questions or comments at . Connect with .

515 comments
Johnathan Wood
Johnathan Wood moderator

off to a church meeting.  Woo..hoo?!?

Preparation_A
Preparation_A

Oh dick! Didn't realize Washington passed recreational herb too. Motherfuckin right!

Johnathan Wood
Johnathan Wood moderator

Facebook from last night is pretty funny.  I've got a bunch of friends exulting that Obama won, and a bunch of friends threatening to move to Canada to escape this socialism.  

RBB-DGAF
RBB-DGAF

So did you guys hear about the 30,000 dead people that registered to vote in north carolina?

Johnathan Wood
Johnathan Wood moderator

Colorado legalized marijuana.  So.... who's moving to Colorado?

Childerz...
Childerz...

OMFG my CO-worker needs to SHUT THE FUCK UP! she has no idea what the fuck she's talking about and she's spreading lies and nothing pisses me off more than un-educated people talking like they know something. 

RBB-DGAF
RBB-DGAF

You guys do realize that Barry Sanders has had multiple 3 TD games in his career right?

Childerz...
Childerz...

 meh Obama can only do 4 more years of damage... Romney would've done 4 years plus a potential 4 more.... we're safer this way...

.

Maybe it opened the Republicans eyes that they can't put forward an war monger, neo-conservative candidate that doesn't relate to anyone anymore.... MAYBE JUST MAYBE they need to go back to their Libertarian roots. 

Preparation_A
Preparation_A

Just found it. 20,000 dead people were on the registration rolls. Only 20 of them showed any election activity yesterday.

thebaskett
thebaskett

dead people vote in every election, its nothing new

Johnathan Wood
Johnathan Wood moderator

 pfft, that's only like one cemetary in Chicago.  Weak sauce.  

Childerz...
Childerz...

 Washington State surprsied me the most.... But how is that going to work when Federal government still trumps state government on Drug laws?

RBB-DGAF
RBB-DGAF

 I don't know about moving in, but I know where I'm taking vacation this summer!

thebaskett
thebaskett

tell her that time travel actually is possible

RBB-DGAF
RBB-DGAF

 shove your cock in her mouth! Works 9 times out of ten!

MIBearFan
MIBearFan

  

What does that have to do with anything?

Preparation_A
Preparation_A

   

The Republican Party never had libertarian roots.

Johnathan Wood
Johnathan Wood moderator

  You mean nominating someone who alienates, women, minorities, and gays isn't a good strategy?  

Preparation_A
Preparation_A

   

Obama Justice Department has already actively deemphasized federal prosecution of small scale possession, and won't interfere in state-legalized growing, distribution and sales operations.

Kenny Fucking Powers, Bitch!
Kenny Fucking Powers, Bitch!

  Why would Washington surprise you?  In seattle, Cops are instructed to go after a J-Walker before someone smoking a J on the street.

Childerz...
Childerz...

  2 things that really piss me off.... 1) that Obama signed a treaty with the EU and with his second term is going to allow them to come in and take our weapons from us. 

2) that because the Marriage amendment didn't pass that Gay's can now legally be married in Minnesota..... 

Johnathan Wood
Johnathan Wood moderator

  it says above that LeShoure was the fist Lions RB to accomplish that feat

Childerz...
Childerz...

   Yes they did nub sauce. read your history back in the day when the first came into power. 

Childerz...
Childerz...

   I did vote on the issue yesterday morning. 

Childerz...
Childerz...

    yeah she was like YEAH they already have 50,000 troops over here from Russia ready to disarm the American Citizens...... 

Johnathan Wood
Johnathan Wood moderator

  I don't understand, Childerz.  You voted on the issue yesterday, did you not?

Childerz...
Childerz...

   i'm already thinking Obama might be the next president to be assassinated with how polarizing he is. 

Childerz...
Childerz...

 The reason I voted yes for the Admendment was not that I disagree wtih Gay's having rights.... but that now the people of minnesota have been stripped of their right to vote on this issue and now the Supreme court or legislature can now make a law with out the publics vote to legalize gay marriage. That part alone makes me sick.... 

RBB-DGAF
RBB-DGAF

  LMAO, uhhuh the redcoats are going to storm in and take our gats!!! PFFTTTTTTTTTT    ahahhahaa

Preparation_A
Preparation_A

    

And they did it by referendum. The "activist judges" argument can't be pulled out of its deep, dark hole in these cases.

Kenny Fucking Powers, Bitch!
Kenny Fucking Powers, Bitch!

  #1, yeah no.  But watch out for the American Union!  Obama better get assassinated if he trys that shit!

Johnathan Wood
Johnathan Wood moderator

  Three more states legalized gay marriage yesterday and the first openly gay senator was elected.

HUGE day for gay rights.

MIBearFan
MIBearFan

   

If the marriage amendment had passed, Minnesota would have been an asexual state, because everybody in Minnesota is gay.

RBB-DGAF
RBB-DGAF

   He had 4 against minny in 1991!

MIBearFan
MIBearFan

   

Lol. I guess I should read the whole article.

RBB-DGAF
RBB-DGAF

   It's hard to find old stats like that but pro football reference clearly shows it, they have every TD he's ever scored documented.