In the latest illustration of the parity of unpredictability of the NFL, the Chicago Bears defeated the Green Bay Packers 20-17 on Monday night at Soldier Field to improve to 3-0 and grab the top spot in both the NFC North and the entire NFC. The Bears are the only 3-0 team in the conference and they join the Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers as the only unbeaten squads in the NFL.
Heading into the 2010 season, it was the Packers and Vikings who were considered NFC North favorites, while the Bears were written off by nearly everyone outside of the Chicago area. Yet here we are, 3 weeks into the NFL season, and it’s the Bears who rule the division and the conference after a pair of division wins plus a huge win on the road at Dallas in Week 2.
Chicago’s defense was opportunistic and Devin Hester made his mark with a pair of terrific punt returns, one of which he took to the house for a 62-yard score in the 4th quarter. Green Bay was penalized 18 times on the night and although the passing game was up to snuff, the ground game just wasn’t there on a consistent basis.
Both the Bears and Packers have time to clean things up for their contests against the Vikings. And the same can be said for the Vikings – they have time to clean things up before they face another NFC North foe. The Vikings travel to Lambeau Field in Week 7 and then to Soldier Field 3 weeks later. Green Bay comes to Minnesota on November 21 and Chicago plays here on December 20.
If Monday night’s game between the Bears and Packers is any indication, the NFC North is going to be tightly-contested all the way to the end of the season.
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