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NFC North Rundown: Logjam at the top of the division as Packers reach the bye

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Green Bay’s improbable final drive against the 49ers kept the team in the thick of a tight division battle as a tough post-bye schedule awaits.

San Francisco 49ers v Green Bay Packers Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

A frustrating, pull-your-hair-out game came to a joyful end for Green Bay Packers fans on Monday night, as the Packers capped a fourth-quarter comeback behind an unforeseen final offensive possession. Aaron Rodgers and company’s magical 81-yard drive with just over a minute to play set up a storybook ending for Mason Crosby, who redeemed himself with a game-winning field goal after a forgettable game in Detroit. With the win, Green Bay improved to 3-2-1 and kept itself in the divisional hunt with a morale-saving victory before the bye and a tough road schedule in Los Angeles and New England.

With Chicago’s overtime loss on Sunday, the Packers and Minnesota Vikings crept back into the first-place picture in the NFC North. The Bears will have plenty to correct this week as they prepare for a suddenly-scary New England squad and navigate health concerns for a star player. The Vikings, traveling to New York this week, also face injury struggles after losing a promising young player for the season for a second consecutive season. Meanwhile, coming off a bye, the Detroit Lions have a road date with the Miami Dolphins, a team Head Coach Matt Patricia has struggled with on the road in the past.

More on those storylines and injuries in today’s rundown.

Chicago Bears (3-2)

Lost at Miami, 31-28 OT; Next vs. New England

5 observations from re-watching the Bears’ Week 6 loss, including missed tackles, the pass rush and Mitch Trubisky’s game

A whopping 12 missed tackles and 170 yards allowed off of those misses headline the notes from Chicago’s overtime loss.

Khalil Mack to undergo additional tests on right ankle this week

Heading into a difficult matchup with Tom Brady and the Patriots, the Bears might be in a tough injury position with their prized pass rusher.

After loss, Matt Nagy, Bears deal with big dose of adversity

Mack’s injury is just one of the issues facing Chicago this week as the Bears face their first true adversity since a week one collapse in Green Bay.


Detroit Lions (2-3)

Bye last week; Next at Miami

Detroit Lions tagging Ziggy Ansah looks like horrible free-agent move

The Lions gave Ansah the franchise tag for roughly $17 million in the offseason. After just 19 total snaps in the regular season from Ansah as a result of a shoulder injury, the deal is looking very unfavorable for Detroit.

How do Detroit Lions replace Jamal Agnew? Start with Brandon Powell

The undrafted receiver will get one of the first cracks to replace the All-Pro return man Agnew, who was placed on Injured Reserve Monday.

History says Matt Patricia-led Detroit Lions in for fight vs. Dolphins

As Defensive Coordinator of the New England Patriots, Matt Patricia was 6-0 against Miami at home, but 2-4 on the road. The Lions will face an upstart Dolphins squad on the road this week.


Minnesota Vikings (3-2-1)

Won 27-7 vs. Arizona; Next at New York Jets

4 Takeaways: Vikings Beat Cardinals, 27-17

A breakout ground performance from a backup running back vaulted the Vikings’ offense in Arizona, while it’s defense prevented another rookie quarterback named Josh from having a big day.

Vikings vs. Cardinals Week 6: Five Game-Changing Plays

Kirk Cousins was an instrumental part of two pivotal plays in Sunday’s Minnesota victory, but it was a balanced effort from both sides of the ball.

Vikings place rookie Mike Hughes on IR, bring back defensive tackle

After losing Dalvin Cook last season, the Vikings lost their first pick of the draft again this season as cornerback Mike Hughes was placed on Injured Reserve with a torn ACL.