Week 16 NFC North Review

USA TODAY Sports

One improbable win highlighted a 3-1 week for the NFC North division this week.

The top three teams in the NFC North won this week .While the division crown is settled, the other two teams in contention kept themselves in the NFC playoff race.

Atlanta Falcons 31, @ Detroit Lions 18

The Falcons moved to 13-2 and clinched the #1 seed in the NFC playoffs with their win over the 4-11 Lions, who haven't won since week 9 against Jacksonville. Matt Ryan had a great day, throwing for 279 yards and four touchdowns, two of which went to Roddy White. Matthew Stafford racked up 443 passing yards, but did not throw for a touchdown in the losing effort.

There was one bright spot for the Lions, as Calvin Johnson set the single-season record for receiving yards. He totaled 225 yards on 11 catches in this game to break Jerry Rice's record of 1,848 set in 1995.

@ Green Bay Packers 55, Tennessee Titans 7

The Packers offense was unstoppable this week, rushing for four scores and passing for three more. Aaron Rodgers was pulled early on in the blowout after throwing for 342 yards and running for the team's first score.

Minnesota Vikings 23, @ Houston Texans 6

The Texans needed a win to clinch home field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs - instead they came out flat and couldn't get anything going on offense. Arian Foster left early with a heart issue after only 10 carries for 15 yards and the Vikings defense held Houston to only 178 total yards of offense.

Christian Ponder looked quite a bit better this week, and threw for a touchdown along with 174 yards. Adrian Peterson wasn't impressive on the ground, but he carried the ball 25 times to help take some pressure off Ponder. His 86 yards gives him 1,898 for the season, 102 short of 2,000 and 207 shy of Eric Dickerson's record from the 1984 season. The Packers' defense will look to stop him short of that record in their Week 17 matchup, but they did allow 210 to Peterson in Week 13.

Chicago Bears 28, @ Arizona Cardinals 13

The Bears beat the pitiful Cardinals handily, as the Chicago defense got back to its scoring ways. Zack Bowman and Charles Tillman scored on turnovers and Jay Cutler hooked up with Brandon Marshall for a score. Matt Forte had a good day on the ground despite only carrying the ball 12 times; he racked up 88 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Larry Fitzgerald was the only bright spot for the Cardinals, with 111 receiving yards on eight catches.

The Bears need a win this week and some help to make the playoffs. We'll have more on the NFC playoff scenarios later this week.

Division Standings

Team W L T GB
Green Bay Packers-x 11 4 0 -
Minnesota Vikings 9 6 0 2
Chicago Bears 9 6 0 2
Detroit Lions 4 11 0 7

x-clinched division

The Packers can be no worse than the 3 seed in the NFC, while the Vikings and Bears are fighting for a Wild-card spot. We'll have more on the playoff scenarios across the NFC soon.

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