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Vikings vs. Packers: Minnesota must shore up third down defense

The Vikings are heading to Lambeau Field facing a must-win game as they are on the outside looking in of the NFC playoff picture.

Bruce Kluckhohn-US PRESSWIRE

Sunday's 28-10 loss to the Chicago Bears wasn't as disastrous as it could've been for the Minnesota Vikings. All the teams they're competing with for the final playoff spot in the NFC lost as well. Although it makes the playoff picture more muddled than ever, it at least keeps the Vikings in play for the sixth spot.

If they want to stay in contention though, one thing that has to be fixed: third-downs conversions on defense. In Sunday's game, the Vikings allowed the Bears to convert 11-of-19 third-down tries, including four third-and-6 plays. The Bears also picked up a fourth-and-short on their longest drive of the day that went 80 yards on 14 plays. Head coach Leslie Frazier knows why the Vikings defense might not be playing as well as they did earlier in the season:

"We're just not making some of the plays we were making early in the season. We've got to get back to making some of those game-changing plays."

The Vikings defense will have to make plenty of game changing plays this week when they face the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.