NFC North Game Balls and Goats: Week 10

By
Updated: November 15, 2012

Rookie kicker Blair Walsh scored four times for the Minnesota Vikings in Week 10, earning him NFC North Special Teams Game Ball recognition.

It’s time!

You can feel it in the air. The atmosphere is electric. Hearts are pounding. Athletes, normally inflappable, are white-knuckling the edges of their sofas.

That’s right . . . the long-awaited moment has arrived. It is time to award the Week 10 NFC North Game Balls and Goats awards.

The jury has spoken and the verdicts are in. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you . . . the best and worst in Week 10 NFC North Action!

Game Ball: Offense

Continuing his amazing season — arguably the best of his career — running back Adrian Peterson carried the Minnesota Vikings offense on his back against the Detroit Lions. He exploded for 120 yards in the 4th quarter, including a 61-yard touchdown run, finishing with 171 yards on 27 carries and averaging an impressive 6.2 yards per carry. At times it seems as though Peterson is almost singlehandedly dragging this team toward a possible Wild Card berth. Although it seems unlikely that he’ll be in serious contention for 2012 MVP honors, he is almost certainly the frontrunner (no pun intended) for Offensive Player of the Year.

Honorable mention goes to the Chicago Bears defense, which had its best outing of the season, surrendering no sacks. They were unable to protect quarterback Jay Cutler from being knocked out of the game, but given that he was over the line of scrimmage when the hit happened, there was nothing much they could have done about that.

Game Ball: Defense

The good times just keep rolling in Chicago, at least on the defensive side of the ball. Bears cornerback Tim Jennings hauled in two more interceptions against the Houston Texans, bringing his year-to-date total to eight and putting him on pace for 14 on the season. It’s a measure of just how amazing the Bears defense has been that Jennings is getting so little media attention. As superb as his performance has been, he finds himself overshadowed by fellow cornerback Charles Tillman, who had a comparatively quiet day (six tackles, two passes defensed). Hang tough, Jennings: your accolades will come.

Honorable mention goes to Detroit Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley, who was one of the lone bright spots in the game for Detroit against Minnesota. He recorded four tackles and a sack of quarterback Christian Ponder.

Game Ball: Special teams

It can take a season or two for a rookie kicker to catch his stride in the NFL, but Blair Walsh of the Minnesota Vikings has played like a seasoned veteran this year. Against Detroit he successfully connected on all four field goal attempts, bringing his season total to 23 of 24 attempts, a stellar 95.8 percent, including an impressive 55-yard score. Blair’s excellence in his rookie campaign has more than vindicated Minnesota’s decision to move on from predecessor Ryan Longwell.

Chicago Bears tight end Kellen Davis was utterly ineffective against the Houston Texans in Week 10.

Chicago Bears tight end Kellen Davis was utterly ineffective against the Houston Texans in Week 10.

Goat: Offense

Seldom are our judges so adamant about meting out dishonor, but Chicago Bears tight end Kellen Davis stood out this week. He fumbled on Chicago’s first play from scrimmage, and the ball was recovered by Houston at their 40-yard line. On another attempt from quarterback Jay Cutler, Davis failed to complete the catch, which was promptly intercepted. In fact, he did not manage to secure any of the passes thrown his well. It was an overall dreadful performance from a player that has consistently disappointed this season.

Goat: Defense

With the exception of Fairley, the oft-hyped and ostensibly dominant Detroit Lions defensive line was nowhere to be found against Minnesota. They were unable to get pressure on Ponder, nor were they able to maintain contain on Peterson. They broke down completely against the run in the 4th quarter, allowing Peterson to run wild for 120 yards, much of it on three disastrous plays. If the Lions are to have any hope of turning this season around, it has to start in the trenches, and so far, this line does not seem to have the intestinal fortitude to get it done.

Goat: Special teams

There were no egregiously bad play on special teams in the NFC North this week. Chicago Bears free safety Anthony Walters did commit a holding penalty on a punt return that pinned the offense deep in its own territory on their final drive of the first half.

Jury summons

We are always looking for new panel members to hand out these accolades and dishonors. It doesn’t matter which team you follow, your input is welcome. If you would like to serve as a judge for the Week 11 Game Balls and Goats, be sure to show up for the gameday chat during the Monday Night Football contest between the Chicago Bears and the San Francisco 49ers.

Livefyre appears to be down temporarily, so we will use the Gameday Chat room until service resumes.

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 .

524 comments
Evil Donkey
Evil Donkey moderator

we are hanging in the BBOA. this article is sooooooo yesterday

Evil Donkey
Evil Donkey moderator

morinin all, this where we are hanging?

JVince11
JVince11

Where the F*** is everyone..?

niemerg1
niemerg1

need to be more subtle kid...

MIBearFan
MIBearFan

There goes my dream of putting the cream in the Twinkes.

JVince11
JVince11

So my wife watched Teen Mom 2 on MTV last night.....

Holy Shit... i feel so fucking good today... just imagine watching that while at Wal-Mart.. KING KONG AIN'T GOT NOTHING ON ME!!!!

aciddragon
aciddragon moderator

so is there a a fucking profanity filter now? i notice a few comments with an allow/deny button 

JVince11
JVince11

Fine.... screw you guys I'm going home.

Childerz...
Childerz...

OHHHHHHHHHHHHH SNAP Israel is about to open a can of whoop ass again over in Gaza.... do those fucks never learn that Israel will fuck you 5 days from Sunday before you have time to put your pants on. 

aciddragon
aciddragon moderator

Hostess is going out of business, no more Twinkies! this makes sad :(

MIBearFan
MIBearFan

If you staid up and watched it, that was a good game. Those are the 2 best 4-6 teams in the league. that will be reflected in the Power rankings next week. 

Gabes, if you"re here, I don't think they'll jump the Packers.

JVince11
JVince11

 trying to.... but its a short order this morning so far.

MIBearFan
MIBearFan

  

I think you annoy people.

JVince11
JVince11

 LOL.... its not even like the woman is THAT attractive... 

MIBearFan
MIBearFan

  

Why does that remind me of Preperation_A?

JVince11
JVince11

 he fucked that thing up...

andylet445
andylet445

why would they do this?  i thought we were going to keep the articles clean and the comments for freedom of speech?

JVince11
JVince11

 FUck shit dick balls cock asshole....

andylet445
andylet445

they'll just sell the brand to a different bakery brand manufacturer

Preparation_A
Preparation_A

  

What the fuck? No more Ho-Hos or Ding-Dong or Sno-Balls either. Weak sauce.

Johnathan Wood
Johnathan Wood moderator

 they shouldn't; 6-4 is better than 4-6

JVince11
JVince11

  really?? I don't think I am annoying at all... I am funny and a hoot to be around.. 

aciddragon
aciddragon moderator

 my guess is that it is a livefyre thing, i highly doubt Rourke would add that 

aciddragon
aciddragon moderator

 but it won't be the same 

aciddragon
aciddragon moderator

  as of today they are shutting the doors and selling assets 

MIBearFan
MIBearFan

  

Miami could easily be 7-3. Buffalo is starting to look like they were supposed to at the beginning of the season.

JVince11
JVince11

 Maybe if I was still a Moderator it wouldn't do that..

JVince11
JVince11

  yea it says pending... wtf!!???

JVince11
JVince11

  I see your point... 

andylet445
andylet445

  i would but rib removal is too damn expensive.  :(

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

   They just ruined 18,000 jobs for people who may want that job.  If you don't like it, go find someplace else to work.

aciddragon
aciddragon moderator

   yup they all went on strike cause a bankruptcy judge approved a wage reduction, and Hostess gave them till today to report to work or they were shutting down 

MIBearFan
MIBearFan

 

Don't worry j, I'll figure out a way to drop the Pack in the rankings, even if the Bears lose.