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NFC North Rundown: Playoff implications will make Packers-Bears clash one to remember

While Green Bay will be fighting for top-seed status, Chicago will be playing to keep its season alive at least another week.

Chicago Bears v Green Bay Packers Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

It was a week of routs within the NFC North, as no outcome was settled by fewer than 19 points. While the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears won their matchups in a landslide, it was another story for Detroit and Minnesota, who were absolutely crushed.

For the Packers (12-3), this weekend poses a tough test in the final chapter of the regular season. Green Bay is still in the driver’s seat for the top seed in the NFC and can clinch with a win this week, but faces its storied rival at at time in which Chicago has hit its stride. With the Bears hungry for a win to clinch their own playoff spot, Sunday should present a storyline for years to come.

More on the Bears’ postseason chances in the event of a loss and a check-in on the gloomy Lions and Vikings can be found in today’s final-week rundown.

Chicago Bears (8-7)

Won 41-17 at Jacksonville; Next vs. Green Bay

Notes: Bears explode in second half, demolish Jaguars to boost playoff hopes

Fresh off a Pro Bowl snub, linebacker Roquan Smith had two interceptions that ultimately led to points in the Bears’ victory.

Bears playoff push: Jared Goff, Kyler Murray are uncertain for Week 17

A Chicago win or an Arizona loss would land the Bears in the wildcard. But Arizona’s chances of winning took a big leap forward with an injury to Los Angeles’s Jared Goff on Sunday.

What if Mitch Trubisky beats the Packers on Sunday?

Head Coach Matt Nagy says it would be “special” if Trubisky led the team to another win and playoff berth this weekend. A lot has certainly happened since the last Packers-Bears meeting for the young quarterback.


Minnesota Vikings (6-9)

Lost 52-33 at New Orleans; Next at Detroit

Saints vs. Vikings score: New Orleans clinches NFC South behind Alvin Kamara’s historic six-touchdown day

Six scores from Kamara were too difficult to overcome for the Vikings, even with 33 points of their own.

There’s no quick fix for worst defense Vikings’ Mike Zimmer has ever had

Adding talent to a front seven that ranks 30th in pressured dropbacks will be an important part of the Vikings’ offseason, as will be finding a solution to Anthony Barr’s 2021 cap hit.

Vikings say they still have something to play for this week: pride

Battling for a win in the season finale would be a good indicator of the team’s makeup, but it will also be a chance for young players, like Adam Thielen a few years back, to make a statement.


Detroit Lions (5-10)

Lost 47-7 vs. Tampa Bay; Next vs. Minnesota

Lions could see big drop in draft order with win over Vikings

Right now, the Lions are primed for the seventh pick in the draft, but a win could drop them as far as 13th and out of a more marquee range.

Detroit Lions waive S Jayron Kearse, want to see more of Tracy Walker, Will Harris

The safety started seven straight games for Detroit, but the Lions have opted to go in a different direction.

Detroit Lions need to sit Matthew Stafford in Week 17 against Minnesota Vikings

After suffering an ankle injury last week, and a rib injury a few weeks ago, it might be time to allow Stafford to heal in a low-stakes final week of the season.