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NFC North Week 10 recap: Division showdown looming on Sunday night

If the NFC North is a true two-horse race, Sunday night is going to be key.

NFL: Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Bears win without a fight, beat Lions 34-22

It’s late in the week, and we already saw what happened to the Lions this past Sunday. It was ugly and there’s no point in reiterating what’s been said across the site for the past few days. Instead, we focus on the Bears, who had their way with the Lions on all three phases.

It’s pretty simple. The Bears just have more talent than the Lions. They also have a pretty smart head coach who knows how to get the most out of his quarterback. Mitchell Trubisky didn’t have to be good against the Lions. He had wide open receivers all day, but let’s not take too much away from his performance—this was easily one of his best games—even if it came against one of the worst defenses in the NFL.

Trubisky came up huge when it mattered the most, converting on what felt like every third down. Most of his yardage came on big plays where the Lions had some serious breakdowns defensively, but he found the open man, and finished the day with a passer rating of 148.6—a number that doesn’t look all that surprising against the Lions this year.

The Bears’ skill players had an easy time getting open against the porous Lions defense. Without Darius Slay, Allen Robinson II had DeShawn Shead on him instead for an easy touchdown reception on a go-route early in the game. The Bears’ run game was the only phase that couldn’t seem to get the ball rolling for them. They totaled just 54 yards on the ground on 22 carries for 2.5 yards a carry, and that’s including Trubisky’s numbers.

Defensively, the Bears lived up to the hype, shutting Detroit down for most of the game. After getting sacked 10 times last week, the Lions were unable to stop the Bears from adding to the sack party, as they would increase that number to 16 in two weeks. Khalil Mack returned for the Bears and notched himself two of the six sacks. The Lions had no answer for him.

Next game: vs. Vikings (5-3-1)

Bye week for the Vikings

They did not have an opponent last week, but they will have a shot at the division lead if they’re able to pull off a win on the road against the Bears.

Next game: @ Bears (6-3)

Packers obliterate the Dolphins at home, 31-12

Ever since the Dolphins-Lions game, the Lions haven’t come close to performing as well as they did against Miami when running the ball. The Packers ran for 195 yards on 25 carries in their win over Miami. This makes me sad.

Aaron Rodgers really didn’t have to toss the ball around much, but the game was competitive at least for the first half or so. Once Aaron Jones cashed in his second touchdown of the day to put the Packers up 21-12, it was smooth sailing from there. Jones finished with 145 yards on 15 carries and two touchdowns.

Now that Brocktober is over for good, the Dolphins have proven to be complete frauds and no longer hold a winning record. All 12 of their points came from made field goals and they were unable to punch it into the end zone all game.

Green Bay will head to Seattle in search of their first win on the road.

Next game: @ Seattle (4-5)

NFC North Week 10 Standings

1. Chicago Bears (6-3)
2. Minnesota Vikings (5-3-1)
3. Green Bay Packers (4-4-1)
4. Detroit Lions (3-6)

The Lions are essentially out of this race unless they manage to find 53 new players that are a lot better than the ones they have. And despite their beatdown of the Miami Dolphins, I’m still not all that impressed with the Packers. I think this division will come down to the current top two teams, with Minnesota pulling it out in the end and taking the division for a second-straight year.