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NFC North Rundown: Is Detroit’s shocking win over Arizona a sign of the future?

The Lions put together their finest and fullest game of the season to date, and gave head coach Dan Campbell his first statement win.

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Detroit Lions Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Divisional champs for the third straight year, the Green Bay Packers will now set their sights on a top-seed standing in the NFC.

In a nail-biting finish, the Packers held off Baltimore, 31-30, and moved to 11-3 on the season. The victory officially landed a NFC North crown for Green Bay and kept the team in the driver’s seat heading into the final three games. While Chicago and Minnesota fought for second place in the division on Monday night, all eyes were on Detroit a day earlier as the Lions raised eyebrows with a resounding win over Arizona.

Today’s musings join in on the celebration in the Motor City, while also touching on a major COVID loss for the upbeat Lions.

Detroit Lions (2-11-1)

Won 30-12 vs. Arizona; Next at Atlanta

Detroit Lions shock Arizona Cardinals, 30-12, at Ford Field: ‘Our brand of football’

The Lions pitched a defensive shutout in the first half while scoring on their first two drives. It was the team’s most complete game of the season by far.

Lions QB Jared Goff latest to land on COVID list; Jamaal Williams, Mark Gilbert activated

Injuries and illnesses have hindered Detroit’s quarterback over the past month, and that trend continued with a COVID diagnosis on Monday.

Detroit Lions’ upset win makes a big statement to NFL. And more importantly, to themselves

Is the Lions’ monumental win a sign of positive things to come for them under Dan Campbell’s leadership?

Minnesota Vikings (7-7)

Won 17-9 at Chicago; Next vs. LA Rams

Vikings Stumble to Ugly 17-9 Victory Over Bumbling Bears on Monday Night Football

Whether Minnesota “won” the game or did just enough to get by over a depleted Chicago roster, the Vikings came out on top and remained in the playoff hunt.

Not all challenges are bad; one stalls Bears and works in Vikings’ favor

A well-timed red flag helped determine a fumble and keep Chicago out of the end zone.

CB Bashaud Breeland waived by Minnesota Vikings after verbal altercation at practice, source says

After a situation that escalated in position meetings, carried onto the practice field, and then finished in the GM’s office, the former Packer Breeland was waived by the Vikings.

Chicago Bears (4-10)

Lost 17-9 vs. Minnesota; Next at Seattle

Week 15 recap: Chicago Bears fall 17-9 to the Minnesota Vikings, committing 3 turnovers and failing in the red zone 4 times

The headline says it all for Chicago, who kept the game competitive despite missing 14 players due to COVID.

Gabbert, Clausen and Rosen, oh my! Chicago Bears QB Justin Fields in dubious company amid rough rookie season

To this point, Chicago’s rookie has totaled one of the NFL’s worst quarterback ratings for a season with at least nine starts.

10 Bears’ Takes: What’s next?

Three quick takes on Matt Nagy’s spirit and playcalling begin this piece before it explores an unexpected secondary performance and Robert Quinn’s possibility of breaking the team’s single-season sack record.