Bears, Packers headed in different directions before Sunday showdown

Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE

The Chicago Bears won seven of their first eight, while the Green Bay Packers have won seven of their last eight while Chicago has fallen off. The Bears don't need a win Sunday, but a loss could hurt their playoff hopes and eliminate them from a division title.

The Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears' seasons are almost mirror images of each other, but the Chicago Bears can put an end to their late season slide and hold on to playoff positioning Sunday when they host their NFC North rivals.

The Bears looked like the team to beat in the Black and Blue Division after starting the year 7-1, with their lone loss in the first half of the season coming against Green Bay. But they've been 1-4 since, with the offense only hitting 20 points in a game once in their last five outings. Meanwhile, the Packers seemed primed to disappoint after only losing one regular season game last year with a 2-3 start, but Aaron Rodgers' offense is as good as ever, and now they've won seven of eight.

A win Sunday would seal the division for Green Bay, as they'd go up two games on Chicago with only two weeks remaining and both head-to-head wins. It could also drop the Bears out of the NFC Wild Card spot they currently hold. A win, on the other hand, would reverse Chicago's slide and tie the two teams in first. Minnesota still has an outside chance of getting the division title, as they're two games back with three to go, but its more likely that one of the teams playing Sunday at Soldier Field will take the crown.

Here's a look at the divisional standings entering Week 15:


NFC North Standings

W L T PF PA
Green Bay 9 4 0 323 279
Chicago 8 5 0 308 219
Minnesota 7 6 0 283 286
Detroit 4 9 0 320 342

(updated 12.10.2012 at 3:00 AM CST)



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