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Notes From The North: Week 13




A look at how the rest of the NFC North fared in Week 13 action.

Detroit Lions:
* Detroit 34, Chicago 17*
* Record: 8-4*

It hasn't been Calvin Johnson's best season, as injuries and a new offensive system have limited the Detroit receiver's productivity thus far in 2014. However, on Thanksgiving, Johnson showed he is still among the league's top receivers and a dangerous downfield weapon. The Lions receiver had a season-high 11 receptions, going for 148 yards and two touchdowns, as Detroit rallied to a win on their annual holiday game.

The big performance from Johnson also allowed quarterback Matthew Stafford to put up impressive numbers. After Detroit had gone two straight games without scoring a touchdown, Stafford was sharp and efficient under center against the Bears. He finished withpassed for 390 passing yards and the two TDs passes, while completing 76 percent of his throws.

Green Bay Packers
Green Bay 26, New England 21
* Record: 9-3

In what many considered a potential Super Bowl preview, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers got the best of Tom Brady's Patriots, defending their home field and coming away with the win. Rodgers threw for 368 yards and two touchdowns – including a 45-yard scoring pass to Jordy Nelson in the final seconds of the first half – as Green Bay won for the seventh time in its last eight games.

The Packers defense also came up with some big plays. Though Brady threw for 246 yards and two scores of his own, Green Bay clamped down at the end of the game, pushing the Patriots offense back before a missed field goal with 2:40 remaining in the fourth quarter. New England never had the ball again, as Rodgers and running back Eddie Lacy (98 rushing yards) ran out the clock and secured the Packers victory.

Minnesota Vikings:
Minnesota 31, Carolina 13
* Record: 5-7*

Rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater completed 15 -of -21 throws for 158 yards and two touchdowns, but it was the Minnesota special teams that played the largest role in the its big home win. The unit blocked a pair of punts – both of which were returned for touchdowns – as the Vikings pulled away to blow out the Panthers

Adam Thielen set the tone early, returning a blocked punt 30 yards for a score in the first quarter. Everson Griffen matched him in the second quarter, going 43 yards for the score. It marked just the fifth time that an NFL team has blocked returned two punts blocked returns punts for touchdowns in the same game.

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