The Green Bay Packers defeated the Chicago Bears 21-13 on Sunday to clinch the NFC North. That win put Chicago’s playoff status in serious jeopardy and solidified the Packers as the team to beat in the division.
Green Bay has now won 12 games in a row against divisional opponents, which is an NFL high. The Packers have dominated their divisional opponents in recent years and the Bears are certainly no exception. Chicago has lost six straight games against the Packers to assist them in asserting their will over the division. The recent swoon against the Packers has many calling for Coach Lovie Smith’s job and leaves the Bears season in doubt.
Chicago has lost five of its last six games after starting the season 7-1. Green Bay is 8-1 over its last 9 and has the potential to secure a home field (with some assistance from the 49ers). Despite a poor start, Green Bay is a notch ahead of their divisional foes. The Packers continue to dominate NFC North teams head to head and with common opponents, all in spite of a bevy of injuries and offensive struggles.
The Packers demonstrate the qualities of a great team and exposes their divisional opponents. Every team NFL franchise is subject to injuries but the Packers have truly been decimated. The Packers receivers and offensive line have both seen a number of starters fall, while the defense has seen stars such as Charles Woodson and Clay Matthews miss significant time with injuries. Green Bay has risen above the carnage and put together a great run, which is more than a lot of other teams can say. Teams like Detroit have to find excuses for continually losing with a talent-heavy roster, but the Packers simply go to work.
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The NFC North has the potential to be a powerful force from top to bottom. The Bears, Lions, and Vikings are all a few players away from being elite teams but they don’t have the winning quality that the Packers keep exemplifying. Green Bay just finds ways to win, and with their twelfth division victory in a row they keep showing their divisional opponents what separates the good teams from the great ones.