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Bears can clinch NFC North against rival Packers

Field Level Media The Chicago Bears have a chance to clinch their first NFC North division title since 2010 when they host the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, Dec. 16, at Soldier Field. To do so against division rival Green Bay (5-7-1) would add an ...

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Field Level Media

 

The Chicago Bears have a chance to clinch their first NFC North division title since 2010 when they host the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, Dec. 16, at Soldier Field.

To do so against division rival Green Bay (5-7-1) would add an extra layer of satisfaction for players and fans alike.Chicago (9-4) has won six of its past seven games thanks to a dominant defense and a rejuvenated offense under first-year head coach Matt Nagy. The Bears can lock up a division crown with a win or a Minnesota Vikings loss.

The Packers have won five straight games against the Bears and commanded the rivalry for more than a decade.

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"It'll mean a lot (if we win)," Bears wide receiver Anthony Miller said to the Chicago Sun-Times. "It's something this city hasn't seen for a while. And we're just bringing that back. We're bringing that winning mentality back. The train's just not going to stop running. ...

"We hate the Packers. I know the fans - they hate them as well. When we go out there, it's going to be like a playoff environment. It doesn't matter what their record is. I think it's just going to be a huge game."

The Bears have not clinched a division title on their home field since 2006, when they reached the Super Bowl.

Green Bay has lost five of its past seven games but is coming off a 14-point win over the Atlanta Falcons. It was the first game as interim head coach for Joe Philbin, who replaced Mike McCarthy earlier this month.

The Packers have not been eliminated from playoff contention and would need to run the table against Chicago, the New York Jets and Detroit Lions to have a shot at sneaking into the postseason.

"It was kind of like we hit the restart button a little bit (last week)," receiver Davante Adams said to the Green Bay Press Gazette. "But nothing drastic happened. It was just more so the mentality."

The quarterback also helps.

Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers has a history of tormenting the Bears. In 20 career games, he has 45 touchdown passes and nine interceptions. He has passed for 10 touchdowns and zero picks in his last four meetings.

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Packers running back Aaron Jones also enters the game on a hot streak. He will seek his sixth game in a row with a rushing touchdown.

The Bears will try to quiet the Packers with a stifling defense that ranks No. 1 in turnover differential (plus-13) and interceptions (25), along with a No. 3 ranking in scoring defense (19.0 points allowed per game).

Linebacker Khalil Mack has led the way throughout the season for Chicago and is tied for the league lead with six forced fumbles.

Green Bay will go for the regular-season sweep after rallying for a 24-23 win over Chicago in Week 1.

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