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Notes From The North: Week 15

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A look at how the rest of the NFC North fared in Week 15 action.

Detroit Lions:
* Detroit 16, Minnesota 14*
* Record: 10-4*

A strong second-half performance from their defense allowed the Lions to rally past the Vikings and re-gain first place in the division. Detroit didn't allow Minnesota to score after the halftime break, as the Lions came back after trailing 14-0 early in the second quarter. Kicker Matt Prater was the difference, as he scored the game's final nine points, including the go-ahead field goal with 3:38 left in the fourth quarter.

Though quarterback Matthew Stafford had just 153 yards passing, the Lions offense did enough to put points on the board. That's all the team's defense needed, as Detroit had four sacks and two interceptions in the victory. If the Lions win their final two games, they will be NFC North champions and host a playoff game for the first time since January 8, 1994.

Green Bay Packers
Buffalo 21, Green Bay 13
* Record: 10-4
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The Bills completed their sweep of the NFC North in shocking fashion, as their defense halted Aaron Rodgers in his tracks and took down Green Bay. Rodgers threw for just 185 yards, with no touchdowns and two interceptions, as the Bills did not let the Packers offense find their groove. Green Bay had a chance to take the lead late in the fourth quarter until Bills defensive end Mario Williams stripped the ball from Rodgers. With the ball rolling into the end zone, the resulting safety sealed a Buffalo victory.

Running back Eddie Lacy had 97 yards and a touchdown for the Packers, but he was a lone bright spot on the Green Bay offense. Star wide receiver Jordy Nelson had just five receptions, as he – along with other Packers receivers – struggled against the physical Buffalo defense. Nelson dropped what would have been a long touchdown pass from Rodgers, a rare blunder from a typically smooth Green Bay attack.

Minnesota Vikings:
Detroit 16, Minnesota 14
* Record: 6-8*

Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater threw for 315 yards, but the Vikings were unable to turn that yardage into points as they gave up a late lead and fell to the Lions. Minnesota's offense found the end zone twice in the first half, but it had just four drives in the second half – two of which ended with missed field goals, along with a punt and a turnover on downs. Kicker Blair Walsh missed all three of his field goal attempts, including a last-grasp 68-yarder he attempted in the game's final seconds.

Bridgewater, the rookie signal caller taken with the final selection in the first round of the 2014 draft, has been impressive the last two weeks. He has surpassed 300 passing yards in both games while completing more than 70 percent of his passes. Against the Lions, Bridgewater was 31-of-41, as the 75.6 completion percentage marked a career high.

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