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NFC North Rundown: Detroit records first non-loss in almost a year

It wasn’t a win, but at least it wasn’t another loss for the reeling Lions.

Detroit Lions v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

It was a win on many fronts for the Green Bay Packers in the aftermath of Week 10.

Not only did the Packers leave a cold and snowy Lambeau Field with a shutout and a commanding divisional lead at 8-2, they received mostly positive news after the game from an injury standpoint. While Whitey Mercilus is out for the season with a torn bicep, the early prognosis on Rashan Gary and Aaron Jones is that each will be back relatively shortly. For a Green Bay team that has been beaten and battered with injuries so far this season, it appears some of the Packers’ stars will be able to suit up again for the stretch run.

The Packers’ biggest competition for the division appears to be the Minnesota Vikings, and the two teams will square off this coming week for the first time this season. The Vikings will be riding a high after defeating the LA Chargers on a risky fourth-down decision and have climbed back into the postseason conversation with their fourth win of the year.

Today’s NFC North rundown checks in on this week’s Packers rival, but recaps Detroit’s first non-loss since December 6th of last year. Although spirits might be lifted a little this week in the Motor City, the Lions are still seeking their first official win.

Detroit Lions (0-8)

Tied Pittsburgh 16-16; Next at Cleveland

Steelers vs. Lions score: Detroit avoids 0-9 start by salvaging a tie in Pittsburgh

The Lions will not have a “defeated” season, but they are still seeking their first win after being part of the NFL’s first tie of the 2021 season.

Detroit Lions’ Dan Campbell sticks with Jared Goff: ‘Gives us the best chance’

Playing with a strained oblique, Goff threw for just 54 yards in the first four quarters. Still, Detroit will move forward with the former Ram as next week’s starting quarterback.

Detroit Lions will eye kickers for visits after Ryan Santoso misses 2 kicks in ugly tie

Already using their backup, Detroit will be in the market for another kicker after Santoso’s misses cost the Lions a potential victory.

Chicago Bears (3-6)

Bye week last week; Next vs. Baltimore

Rookie OT Teven Jenkins returns to practice

The Bears’ second-round pick may be close to making his first regular season performance after missing time since August 18th.

Bears Second-Year TE Cole Kmet Is Quietly Breaking Out

The chemistry between Kmet and Justin Fields seemed to improve against Pittsburgh and perhaps that is a sign of a breakout second half of the season for another former second-round pick.

Chicago Bears Midseason Awards

We’ll let you be the judge on whether or not there were any surprises from Windy City Gridiron’s midyear honors.

Minnesota Vikings (4-5)

Won 27-20 at LA Chargers; Next vs. Green Bay

Justin Jefferson, Defense Lead Vikings to Much-Needed 27-20 Victory over Chargers

Mike Zimmer’s bold decision to go for it on fourth-and-two, rather than kick a late field goal, helped cement a big win for Minnesota.

Next man up: Vikings S Camryn Bynum

Last week’s headline news was the absence of safety Harrison Smith, but the Vikings’ replacement has made impact plays the past two weeks and might have worked his way into the rotation permanently.

Zimmer Provides Update on Potential Returns by Several Vikings

The Covid-19 list for the Vikings is getting shorter as a date with Green Bay approaches. A few starters could be back just in time for the rivalry game.