Green Bay Packers take control of NFC North after win
- By Dan Hanzus
- Around the League Writer
- Updated: Dec. 10, 2012 at 12:26 a.m.
The Green Bay Packers did more than eliminate the Detroit Lions from postseason contention on Sunday night. They took control of the NFC North.
A 27-20 win coupled with a loss by the Chicago Bears gives the Packers sole possession of first place in the division with three games to play. The 9-4 Packers can clinch their second straight NFC North title with a win at Soldier Field next Sunday.
The Packers overcame a slow start against the Lions, falling behind 14-0 before getting to work. Green Bay rushed for 140 yards and two scores, including a statement go-ahead drive in the fourth quarter that included seven straight runs for 59 yards. DuJuan Harris -- making his Packers debut -- capped it with 14-yard touchdown run. "Ground and pound" in Green Bay.
The rushing game took the pressure off Aaron Rodgers, who failed to throw a touchdown pass for the second time this season. He did score on 27-yard scramble in the second quarter, capped by a Lambeau Leap he'd like to hide from any intrepid "60 Minutes" producers.
The Packers remain in the hunt for a first-round playoff bye. A win against the Bears coupled with a San Francisco 49ers loss to the New England Patriots next week would move the Packers into the No. 2 spot in the conference.
Are the Packers developing the same mojo that carried them to a Super Bowl title two seasons ago? We'll have a better idea after next week, but we saw some promising signs Sunday night.