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NFC North Rundown: Bears bring a division lead to Thanksgiving in Detroit

A win over Minnesota on Sunday gave Chicago the marquee win it has perhaps lacked, but playing in Detroit on Thanksgiving is far from a reward.

Philadelphia Eagles v Detroit Lions Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

Days and nights of misery have long been felt by Green Bay Packers fans when their team has visited Seattle over the past decade.

Unfortunately, another devastating loss was in store for the Packers last Thursday evening as they fell 27-24 to the Seahawks. With the defeat, Green Bay dropped to 4-5-1 and well behind the division-leading Chicago Bears in the divisional race. The Packers now enter a must-win situation this week on Sunday Night Football against Minnesota, who has not played well in prime time games in 2018. Green Bay may benefit from a condensed Vikings offensive playbook after too many bells-and-whistles last week.

On a short week of preparation, the Bears will head to Detroit for the Lions’ annual Thanksgiving day of obligation. Although the Lions have won the last three meetings on the holiday, Chicago has the momentum while Detroit seems headed for another season in purgatory.

An explanation of that description, as well as some Thanksgiving Lions-Bears history, in today’s NFC North recap.

Detroit Lions (4-6)

Won 20-19 vs. Carolina; Next vs. Chicago

The Detroit Lions Are Stuck In The NFL’s Weirdest Purgatory

In four of the past five seasons, the Lions have either finished 9-7 or 7-9, preventing them from a top playoff seed or a top draft pick. They seem destined for a similar finish this season.

Detroit Lions stock watch: Tracy Walker needs more playing time

While one secondary performer stepped up at safety, a once-promising second-year cornerback may have already played himself out of a job.

Why do the Lions always play on Thanksgiving?

A little history on the tradition and its most notable games in this link, as well as all your TV viewing information for this Thursday’s first NFL game of the day.


Chicago Bears (7-3)

Won 25-20 vs. Minnesota; Next at Detroit

Bears prove they’re back, assume control of NFC North

Mitchell Trubisky outplayed Kirk Cousins, the Bears’ defense forced three turnovers, and Matt Nagy brought effective offensive innovation in Chicago’s statement win over Minnesota.

Bears, Matt Nagy have quick turnaround with Thursday day game

Despite an enormous victory over the Vikings, the Bears are victims this week of a scheduling nightmare on short rest.

Lions should be just Bear-ly thankful for Chicago’s Turkey Day visit

It will be the Bears’ 17th visit to Detroit on Thanksgiving. Here is a breakdown of the 11 matchups since World War II.


Minnesota Vikings (5-4-1)

Lost 25-20 at Chicago; Next vs. Green Bay

Mike Zimmer: Too much ‘volume’ in Vikings’ offensive playbook

In the team’s third prime time loss of the season, Minnesota may have gotten too flashy on offense. Zimmer wants to execute the basics better this week.

The Minnesota Vikings have the best safety in the NFL

At least according to Pro Football Focus. But it’s neither Harrison Smith, nor George Iloka.

Early Look: Vikings vs. Packers

Here is the skinny on each team from all sides of the ball ahead of next Sunday’s evening meeting.