The Dallas Cowboys had an enjoyable bye week last month, with every other team in their division playing — and losing.
The Minnesota Vikings have had a similar experience this weekend, with the two teams in position to keep them from winning the NFC North crown for a second straight year dropping games they were widely expected to win.
The Bears opted for early hibernation against the Cardinals, with Arizona hanging 41 points on a defense that was apparently preoccupied by playing with its porridge.
And then the creamsicle Bucs uniforms apparently induced flashbacks for the Packers, who played like they did in the days when Tampa wore those duds on a full-time basis.
So now the 7-1 Vikings lead both the Bears and Packers by three games. The bulge over Green Bay is as a practical matter four games, since the Vikes hold the head-to-head tiebreaker.