The NFC North had another big showdown this weekend as the 7-3 Packers and the 7-3 Vikings faced off for the lead in the division.

Previously Green Bay had lost three straight games to Denver, Carolina and division rival Detroit. While the Packers were losing, the Vikings were hoping to continue their six game winning streak. That was before Sunday.

The Vikings looked like the typical Minnesota team that their fans get headaches and have lost sleep over the last five years. If you look at the box score, Bridgewater and the offense didn’t have a terrible game.

However, if you were at the game you saw Bridgewater get sacked six times for a loss of 48 yards. In the fourth quarter he took back-to-back sacks for a loss of 18 yards.

As easy as it is to blame either the offensive line or Bridgewater for the lack of protection on Sunday, I think that it’s really a true combination of the two.

Bridgewater held onto the ball way too long at times and actually was backpedaling on three of the six sacks. As my buddy and former Gatorade Player of the Year Alex Schultz said after the game, it’s shocking that a professional and “franchise” quarterback takes 10 yard sacks so willing when he has multiple chances to throw the ball away.

There were at least three different times where he could have easily thrown the ball away instead of backpedaling and avoided taking a sack. People may say, “Rodgers does the same thing.”

My response would be 1) It’s Aaron Rodgers, he can do that and still throw a 30-yard dime; 2) He goes East and West at times to get out of trouble, which tends to work better than backpedaling ten yards; 3) Look at the complete lack of speed Rodgers is dealing with at receiver; 4) Rodgers has done that this year a lot and his numbers and productivity has suffered compared to past years.

The Minnesota offensive line needs to claim a lot of responsibility as well. They looked dazed and confused at times when the Packers blitzed and even when they didn’t. They looked slow and sluggish when they came off the ball the entire game.

There was many times that Green Bay only sent four guys and still got there or at least caused havoc. The Packers defensive line is pretty average when compared to the line of many other teams, which why it’s surprising that they were able to get there so easily. Before Sunday, they had gone three games without a sack.

Adrian Peterson was never able to get going but it wasn’t because he was ineffective running. It was simply because the Vikings trailed from the second quarter on and needed to throw to get back into it. This also helped the Packers schematically because they were able to sit in nickel defense most of the second half.