NFC North Week 13 power rankings: The division remains status quo

Another week is in the books for the NFC North and like many times before, the only victor in the division was the Minnesota Vikings. The Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, and Chicago Bears all lost at different points throughout Week 13, meaning the Vikings are on the doorstep of clinching the division.

The standings didn’t change this week and neither did the power rankings. But let’s still see where each team is at entering the final full month of the regular season.

Minnesota Vikings (9-2)

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  • Last week’s ranking: No. 1

  • Week 12 result: 33-26 win vs. New England Patriots

The Vikings had a quick turnaround following their embarrassing beatdown by the Dallas Cowboys in Week 11 and ensured a performance like that wasn’t going to happen two weeks in a row, especially on Thanksgiving. Minnesota went back and forth with the New England Patriots all night, but Justin Jefferson did his best to replicate Randy Moss’ legendary Thanksgiving performance from 1998 to keep the Vikings alive.

Jefferson caught nine passes for 139 yards and a touchdown. Kirk Cousins, meanwhile, vanquished his primetime demons with a masterful three-touchdown performance to lead the Vikings to a win. They rebounded nicely and now have a chance to clinch the division this weekend if they beat the New York Jets and the Lions fall to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Detroit Lions (4-7)

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  • Last week’s ranking: No. 2

  • Week 12 result: 28-25 loss vs. Buffalo Bills

The Lions once again kicked off the Thanksgiving festivities but unlike the last few years, they played a fun and competitive game. Detroit did have its three-game winning streak snapped with a close loss to the Buffalo Bills, but they were in the game all the way to the end. Neither team trailed by more than one score and each had momentum at different times during the game.

An early fumble by Detroit gave the Bills a prime scoring opportunity that they took advantage of, but the game came down to the final minute. Lions kicker Michael Badgley knotted things up at 25 a piece with just 23 seconds left. But anyone who saw the Bills in the playoffs knows that’s too much time for Josh Allen. He marched the Bills down the field in 20 seconds, setting up the game-winning field goal. The Lions may have lost but they’re playing competitive football right now and have an outside shot at the postseason. They’ll face the Jaguars next week.

Green Bay Packers (4-8)

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  • Last week’s ranking: No. 3

  • Week 12 result: 40-33 loss at Philadelphia Eagles

The Packers were coming off extended rest following their Thursday night loss to the Tennessee Titans and were hoping to keep their season alive in another primetime game. That didn’t end up happening as they fell behind early to the Philadelphia Eagles and couldn’t recover. The bigger story than the actual loss, however, is the status of quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The 39-year old reigning MVP left the game in the second half due to a rib injury, giving way to third-year pro Jordan Love.

Things went well for Love in his limited playing time, throwing for a touchdown late in the game to keep things somewhat close. The damage had already been done though as the Eagles rushed for a whopping 363 yards and totaled 500 yards of offense. Green Bay had no answer for them, but still were able to put up over 30 points on offense. They will try to bounce back against the Bears.

Chicago Bears (3-9)

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  • Last week’s ranking: No. 4

  • Week 12 result: 31-10 loss at New York Jets

Over the last few weeks, the Bears were losing close games thanks to strong outings by their offense, led by Justin Fields. So what happens when Fields can’t go due to an injured shoulder? Those strong performances get sidelined as well. The Bears had their worst offensive output in a month and a half, managing just 10 points against the New York Jets.

Trevor Siemian struggled to keep things afloat after a decent couple of drives to open the game. The Jets offense also made things difficult, moving the ball at will against the Bears defense in Mike White’s first start of the season after Zach Wilson was benched. The Bears will try and rebound against the rival Packers in Week 13.

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Story originally appeared on Bears Wire