NFC North In Review: Packers Regain Top Spot

Cary Edmondson-US PRESSWIRE

It took eleven weeks, but the Packers are back at the top of the NFC North division where they belong.

The recent trends that have been taking place in the NFC North continued this week. While the Vikings had their bye week, the Packers continued their winning ways while the Lions struggled and the Bears came out flat in prime time against very good competition.

Green Bay Packers 24, @ Detroit Lions 20

Aaron Rodgers' late touchdown to Randall Cobb gave the Packers the lead for good, and ensured that they would remain no more than a game behind the Bears, pending Chicago's game on Monday night. Meanwhile, the Lions continued to struggle in divisional games; they are now 0-4 against fellow NFC North teams this season. That rough stretch inside the division has left them looking up at the other three teams, and at 4-6 they're highly unlikely to make a playoff run.

However, the Packers moved to 2-0 inside the division, and 7-3 overall.

@ San Francisco 49ers 32, Chicago Bears 7

The Bears were without Jay Cutler due to his concussion, and the 49ers left Alex Smith inactive as well, as he also was concussed last week. In a big surprise (at least to me), 49ers backup Colin Kaepernick sliced through the Bears' defense with ease on Monday night, leading the 49ers to a dominating win.

The Bears' offensive line was completely mauled by the Niners' defensive front, as OLB Aldon Smith recorded five and a half sacks all on his own. That's right, that was 5.5 sacks by one guy, a number which vaulted Smith into the league lead with 15 on the season. Even when he did have time to throw, Jason Campbell looked bad, overthrowing receivers and looking generally unimpressive.

This was the second straight game that the Bears have played against a premier opponent in prime time, and they've lost both, with poor showings by their offense in each. They are now 1-3 against teams with records currently above .500.

Division Standings

With this week's events, the Packers have moved into the division lead, tied with the Bears at 7-3 but owning the tie-breaker with their head-to-head win.

Team W L T GB
Green Bay Packers 7 3 0 -
Chicago Bears 7 3 0 -
Minnesota Vikings 6 4 0 1
Detroit Lions 4 6 0 3
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