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Sunday Insider: Northern Intelligence

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG
  • Star Tribune
  • December 22, 2012 - 10:57 PM

Yeah, the Packers have the Vikings spanked at quarterback. But running back isn't the only area the Vikings have an edge. While rookie kicker Blair Walsh was making five of five field goals and pushing his season percentage to .906 (29-for-32), Packers kicker Mason Crosby was missing a field goal for a ninth consecutive game and dropping to .586 (17-for-29).

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Déjà vu isn't the only emotion the Bears are feeling while free-falling a second consecutive season. "In my worst nightmare, this is where I imagined we'd be," linebacker Lance Briggs said. "In my very, very worst nightmare." Nah. The worst nightmare would be losing at Arizona on Sunday to turn their 7-1 start into an 8-7 record that would mean the Bears missing the playoffs for the sixth time in seven seasons.

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At times the pursuit of an NFL record seems, well, lame. Calvin Johnson may be the best receiver in the league, but the Lions are 4-11. So Johnson breaking Jerry Rice's single-season mark of 1,848 yards receiving doesn't seem like a big deal. Maybe Jerry can get an asterisk on his number that says the 49ers were 11-5 and won their division that year. Johnson now has 1,892 receiving yards after making 11 catches for 225 Saturday.

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