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NFC North Rundown, Week 8: Packers & Vikings pulling away from the pack

As Chicago continues to slip, Minnesota and Green Bay appear to be the division’s top contenders.

NFL: Washington Redskins at Minnesota Vikings David Berding-USA TODAY Sports

A seesaw affair saw the Green Bay Packers (7-1) finish on top Sunday night, knocking off the Kansas City Chiefs, 31-24. With the win, Green Bay continues to top the NFC North standings and remains in the hunt for the conference’s top playoff seed as the season reaches the midway point.

The Packers’ main competitor may just be the Minnesota Vikings, who rolled to another victory of their own in week 8. Behind another solid rushing performance from Dalvin Cook, Minnesota maintained its pace for a divisional title of its own while Detroit also pulled closer with a win. The only divisional loss of the week came in the Windy City, as Chicago’s offense sputtered once again despite an improved game on the ground.

Several aspects of the Bears’ fall from grace make up the headlines of today’s rundown on this site and across the league.

Detroit Lions (3-3-1)

Won vs. NY Giants, 31-26; Next at Oakland

Justin Rogers’ Lions grades: Receivers shine, secondary has rough day

Kenny Golladay and the Lions’ receiving corps took home the top grade in Detroit’s victory.

Lions safety Tracy Walker is day-to-day after injuring knee

As trade chatter picks up with calls about the availability of Darius Slay, one of the Lions’ safeties is nursing a knee injury.

Detroit Lions look like buyers as NFL trade deadline approaches: Some names to target

A trio of high-profile running backs heads the list as the deadline nears Tuesday afternoon.

Minnesota Vikings (6-2)

Won vs. Washington, 19-9; Next at Kansas City

4 takeaways from the Vikings Week 8 win over the Redskins

Dalvin Cook touched the ball 28 times, which led to another big day for the talented tailback.

Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes: ‘Right now, I’m hurting my team’

The All-Pro corner has seven penalties in just eight games to start the season.

Vikings safety Anthony Harris getting better by the week

Meanwhile, a different player in the secondary has been opening eyes for the Vikings with his crucial takeaways.

Chicago Bears (3-4)

Lost vs. LA Chargers, 17-16; Next at Philadelphia

Brad Biggs’ 10 thoughts on the Bears’ 17-16 loss to the Chargers

162 rushing yards was one of the few bright spots in a pivotal Chicago loss.

Coach Matt Nagy’s bizarre decision to take a knee reveals a real lack of faith in Bears’ offense

A curious playcall before halftime to settle for a field goal failed to dispel the notion of Nagy’s lack of trust in quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.

How would you fix the 3-4 Chicago Bears?

Continuing to drop in the standings, several fans have taken to Twitter to state their opinions on how to best fix the Bears’ slide.