Packers move closer to NFC North title without even playing

Green Bay Packers (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

The Packers moved closer to winning the NFC North in Week 13, and they didn’t even play a game.

The Green Bay Packers entered the weekend with a comfortable lead in the NFC North. That lead was extended without even needing to play.

While Green Bay enjoyed its bye week, it got to enjoy watching the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears both lose.

It now means that with just five games to play, the Packers have a four-game lead over the Vikings and a five-game lead over the Bears. If Green Bay wins two more games, it will be crowned NFC North champions for the third season in a row.

The Vikings were in another close game, losing in the final seconds against the then-winless Detroit Lions. The Lions’ first victory of the season had to come at some point, and on Sunday it happened with a walk-off win over the Vikings. Oh what a shame.

The Packers probably would’ve preferred a Bears victory on Sunday as they hosted the NFC-leading Arizona Cardinals. But the Cardinals, with Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins back from injury, were 33-22 winners at Soldier Field.

The Packers have far bigger ambitions this season than just winning the NFC North, but being crowned division champs is the first step.

When can Green Bay win the division?

The answer is as soon as next week.

Should the Packers defeat the Bears next Sunday night and the Vikings lose to the Pittsburgh Steelers, it will be all over. Matt LaFleur will make it three straight NFC North titles since becoming head coach in 2019.

At 9-3, Green Bay may already have enough wins for the division title.

Step one is almost complete. But the Packers still have a lot of work ahead of them if they plan to bring home the Lombardi Trophy.