Lions beat Packers, elevate Bears in NFC North

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The Bears slightly increased their lead in the NFC North on Sunday. And they didn’t even have to suit up and play a game to do it.

The Detroit Lions knocked off the Green Bay Packers, 31-23, in Week 5. The upset moved the Bears to a full game up in the loss column over the Cheeseheads.

How did the Lions beat the Packers? A simple scan through the box score will leave you scratching your head.

The Packers nearly doubled the Lions’ total yards for the game, 521-264. Aaron Rodgers threw for 442 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. The Packers defense stifled the Lions’ passing attack, allowing just 183 passing yards to Matthew Stafford. And the Lions’ run game managed just 94 yards on the ground.

But, as former Bears head coach Lovie Smith relentlessly preached, turnovers matter.

The Packers lost three fumbles — including two by Rodgers — and kicker Mason Crosby missed four field goals and his only extra point attempt in the loss.

The Packers presently hold the tiebreaker over the Bears thanks to their Week 1 comeback victory. But there are a lot of games remaining and much can happen in the standings between now and the end of the season.

Former high school and college kicker. Lifelong Chicago Bears fan. I've been writing about the navy blue and burnt orange since 2007. You can follow on Twitter, like it on Facebook, or email me.