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NFC North: Packers Return, Lions Dodge Bullet, Bears in Cave

After the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions entered the season with high expectations, it’s been a bumpy road for them. The Minnesota Vikings were a sleeper and have emerged as a competitor while the Chicago Bears, adding to their talent pool, have a three-game win streak.

When they return from their bye week, they will find themselves at the top of the division at 4-1.

Before looking ahead to Week 7, let’s take a look at some Week 6 highlights.

Rodgers Leads Packers to Win

Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers

With all eyes on the Houston Texans to keep their perfect record, Green Back Packers Aaron Rodgers spoiled the party and threw a career-high six touchdown passes on Sunday, tying a team record set by his former backup quarterback Matt Flynn set last season against the Detroit Lions.

For the game, Rodgers went 24 for 37 passes and 338 yards. He said of Sunday’s win to NFL.com, “This is just a team that has a lot of pride in our locker room. I said it this week, there’s not any quit in that locker room. It’s almost better when people are doubting us a little bit, I think. We kind of band together. People tried to pull us apart this week and we stuck together and found our motivation.”

You can’t help but ask how poorly the Texans played. Running back Arian Foster had 29 yards for two touchdowns while quarterback Matt Schaub had 232 yards, zero touchdowns and two picks.

The Pack is back and the bettors give them 2 to 5 odds to win the division.

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder has improved a lot this season but came up short against the surging Washington Redskins on Sunday. While they grabbed two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III again stole the show with his 76-yard touchdown run with 2:43 remaining.

That was the nail in the coffin.

For the day, Ponder went 35 for 52, 352 yards, two touchdowns, two picks and a lost fumble.

The Vikings are now 4-2 and will play the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.

Then we have the Detroit Lions, who dodged a 26-23 OT loss against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Down 10 points in the fourth quarter, Lions quarterback Matt Stafford rallied his team back after he let the Eagles defense own them in the first three quarters. Lions kicker Jason Hanson came through with a 45-yard OT field goal.

The Eagles were the better team in this matchup but collapsed at the end. They will enter a much-needed bye week while the Lions will travel to the Windy City and play a well-rested, confident Bears team.

They sit at the bottom of the division at 1-3.

Week 7 Game of the Week: Bears vs. Detroit Lions

Bears QB Jay Cutler

In the Bears’ last two games, its defense has shown that they can still win games even with their aging roster.

Linebacker Lance Briggs still has wheels; safety Peanut Tillman can still intercept and diminutive cornerback Tim Jennings is usually wreaking some sort of havoc on the field.

Will they be able to stop Stafford and his talented wide receiver Calvin Johnson this week? The Eagles did last week.

Not helping matters for the Lions was the 13 penalties they accrued against the Eagles. This will need to end.

As for the Bears offense, salty quarterback Jay Cutler is in command and finally has some weapons but you never know which player is going to show up: Good Cutler or Bad Cutler.

He will have to watch out for the Lions defensive tackle, Ndamukong Suh, who has messed with him in their last few meetings.

A hostile environment precedes this game. Last season, the teams split the win with the Bears taking the second one, 37-13 at home.

For this first game of the season, the bettors think the Bears will continue their win streak and give them -5 on 47.5 over/under.



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