Green Bay Packers clinch NFC North title with win over Detroit Lions

From the beginning of the 2020 season, it was apparent the Green Bay Packers were the runaway best team in the NFC North. That’s just wha...

From the beginning of the 2020 season, it was apparent the Green Bay Packers were the runaway best team in the NFC North.

That’s just what the Packers did Sunday, completing their runaway NFC North title with a 31-24 win at the Detroit Lions. The victory, coupled with Minnesota’s loss earlier Sunday at Tampa Bay, clinched a second straight division title in as many seasons for the Packers (10-3) under coach Matt LaFleur.  

Kicker Mason Crosby, who had the worst game of his career at Ford Field in 2018, continued exacting his revenge on the Lions with a clutch 57-yard field goal to give the Packers a 10-point lead with 3:30 left. Crosby had a pair of game-winning kicks against the Lions in 2019. On Sunday, his kick sealed the victory, giving the Packers a 10-3 record. 

Here are five observations on the game: 

Packers pull into NFC’s top seed

The win had bigger ramifications than the NFC North. With a loss in Philadelphia, the New Orleans Saints slipped to 10-3, tied with Green Bay. Because the Packers defeated the Saints in New Orleans in Week 3, they own the head-to-head tiebreaker. The Packers moved into the NFC’s No. 1 seed with their win coupled with the Saints’ loss, especially important because along with home-field advantage, the top seed also gets the conference’s lone first-round bye in the playoffs. The loss was especially damaging for the Saints because they also host the Kansas City Chiefs next week. 

NFL PLAYOFF PICTURE:Packers wrap up NFC North, overtake Saints for No. 1 seed in conference

Davante Adams celebrates and Aaron Rodgers celebrate a touchdown in Sunday's win over the Lions.

Aaron Rodgers hunts third MVP

The Chiefs won again Sunday, but quarterback Patrick Mahomes showed some cracks in his MVP candidacy. Mahomes threw for 393 yards and three touchdowns, but he also had two interceptions. His four this season are now tied with Aaron Rodgers, who had another masterful performance against the Lions. Rodgers finished 26-of-33 for 290 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions, a 133.6 rating and a rushing touchdown. This MVP race is going to be a photo finish. Both Rodgers and Mahomes have had marvelous seasons. In Rodgers’ favor, he now has five more touchdown passes than Mahomes with a higher passer rating. 

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Newsrust: Green Bay Packers clinch NFC North title with win over Detroit Lions
Green Bay Packers clinch NFC North title with win over Detroit Lions
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