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Notes From The North: Week 17

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A look at how the rest of the NFC North fared in Week 16 action.

Detroit Lions:
Green Bay 30, Detroit 20
Record: 11-5

There were some tense moments at Lambeau Field Sunday , as quarterback Aaron Rodgers was carted to the locker room just before halftime. Rodgers injured his left calf while throwing a 4-yard touchdown pass to Randall Cobb late in the second quarter, and it appeared the Green Bay signal-caller could be held out of the game. Instead, Rodgers returned after halftime, finishing with 226 yards and two passing scores to lead the Packers to the victory and a NFC North championship.

With the win, the Packers clinched a first-round bye in the playoffs, as the second seed in the NFC. That will give Rodgers some much needed rest. After the game, the quarterback admitted he was in severe pain when the injury took place, though some halftime aid allowed him to return to form. It helped that the Packers got 100 rushing yards from Eddie Lacy against Detroit.

Green Bay Packers
Green Bay 30, Detroit 20
Record: 12-4

Matthew Stafford threw a pair of touchdowns – both to Calvin Johnson – but the Lions could not do enough to beat the Packers in the NFC North championship game at Lambeau Field. The loss, the 23rd in a row for Detroit in Green Bay, dropped the Lions to the sixth seed in the NFC playoffs. They will travel to Dallas next Sunday in the divisional round, looking to win the franchise's first playoff game since January, 1992 when the Lions defeated the Cowboys.

Minnesota Vikings:
Minnesota 13, Chicago 9
Record: 7-9

The Minnesota defense locked down when it needed to, preventing the Bears from reaching the end zone all game long and finishing Mike Zimmer's debut season as head coach on a high note. The Vikings allowed only 12 first downs, as Chicago was able to convert only 27 percent of their third-down chances. On offense, Teddy Bridgewater threw for 209 yards, including a 44-yard pass to Adam Thielen that was the game's only touchdown.

Matt Asiata added 91 yards rushing in the win for Minnesota, who finished the season ranked 11th in rushing yards per play, despite not having Adrian Peterson for the final 15 games of the season.

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