NFC North Week 12 power rankings: Lions are on the way up

Try not to panic, but we’re entering the final third of the 2022 NFL season. For the first two thirds of the year, the Minnesota Vikings have run the NFC North division and despite them faltering in Week 11, that doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon. What could be changing, however, is the sudden emergence of the Detroit Lions.

The Lions were the only team in the division to get a victory last week when they took down the rested New York Giants. The Vikings, Green Bay Packers, and Chicago Bears all fell, giving the Lions lone possession of second place in the division. Will the power rankings reflect their place in the standings? Here’s how we’re ranking the division heading into Week 12.

Minnesota Vikings (8-2)

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  • Last week’s ranking: No. 1

  • Week 11 result: 40-3 loss vs. Dallas Cowboys

The Vikings followed up one of their biggest wins in recent memory with one of their worst losses in recent memory. They welcomed the Dallas Cowboys to town and were boat raced, scoring just three points and not getting anything going on offense whatsoever. The Dallas offense toyed with the Viking defense and things got so bad, CBS wound up pulling the game off their national feed in favor of another, more competitive matchup. It was easily the worst loss of the season for Minnesota but they’re still one of the better teams in the NFC and clearly on top of the division. They have a short turnaround as they will welcome the New England Patriots to town on Thanksgiving night.

Detroit Lions (4-6)

The Record

  • Last week’s ranking: No. 3

  • Week 11 result: 31-18 win at New York Giants

Don’t look now but the Lions are turning a corner and are one of the hotter teams in the NFC at the moment. Detroit is riding a three-game winning streak after their impressive victory over the New York Giants. The Lions leaned on their strong ground game with Jamaal Williams scoring three touchdowns, and their improving defense to get the job done. The defense forced two interceptions off Daniel Jones and controlled the game for much of the afternoon. After a horrid start to the season, the Lions have a chance to jump into the playoff conversation with a win against the Buffalo Bills to open the Thanksgiving slate of games.

Green Bay Packers (4-7)

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  • Last week’s ranking: No. 2

  • Week 11 result: 27-17 loss vs. Tennessee Titans

Green Bay took one step forward with their win against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 10 and two steps backwards with their Thursday night loss to the Tennessee Titans at home. Tennessee surprisingly relied on quarterback Ryan Tannehill to move the ball and he was effective, throwing for 333 yards and two touchdowns. The Titans held the lead all game long and the Packers couldn’t overcome their long drives, even when they were able to score points. The Packers have another tough test this weekend, playing a primetime game against the Philadelphia Eagles on the road.

Chicago Bears (3-8)

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  • Last week’s ranking: No. 4

  • Week 11 result: 27-24 loss at Atlanta Falcons

If the Bears are anything, at least their consistent. Chicago once again had a solid offensive performance and were in the game almost all afternoon long against the Atlanta Falcons. But a key special teams blunder and some rough moments by the whole team late in the fourth quarter sunk them for their fourth loss in a row. Justin Fields had himself a nice day, albeit while he was dealing with what could be a significant shoulder injury. If he misses time, the Bears might be in the basement for the foreseeable future considering he’s the sole reason they’ve been competitive in all of their games as of late. They take on the New York Jets this Sunday.

Story originally appeared on Bears Wire