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2011 NFL Standings: Packers Atop NFC North, But Lions Within Striking Distance

For more on the Detroit Lions, head over to Pride Of Detroit.

The Detroit Lions are coming off a bye week after getting a dominating win over the Denver Broncos a week ago. Detroit snapped a two-game losing streak after starting the season. They're within striking distance of first place in the NFC North, but how is the rest of the division looking at this point following week nine? Let's take a look.

Green Bay Packers

They're currently undefeated and have already guaranteed a .500 season, but the safe bet is on them, you know, doing just a bit better than settling for 8-8. Atop the NFC North at 8-0, the Packers could be unseated by the Lions following a couple bad games, but they don't look to be slowing down with the on-the-field product whatsoever. They just pasted the San Diego Chargers in a highly competitive game, but nothing seems to be able to stop that offense. They're well on their way to a number one seed in the NFC and a seemingly easy game against Minnesota looms on Monday Night Football next week.

Chicago Bears

While they're not out of the picture yet, that defense needs to tighten up and someone other than Matt Forte needs to handle the load on offense for at least a game or two. Chicago is at 4-3, but still have their week nine matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles to play on Monday Night Football, so they could very well be 5-3 after Monday .. or perhaps .500 at 4-4.  If they lose, that puts MInnesota in a position to try and slot into third in the division.

Minnesota Vikings

A change to Christian Ponder at quarterback in lieu of Donovan McNabb has done wonders for a stagnant offense. Ponder has provided a spark in two starts, and though he lost his first one, it was to the defending champion Packers, and he beat the hot Carolina Panthers a week ago. The Vikings are coming off of a bye week and have their sights set on the Packers for Monday Night Football. They're at 2-6 on the season, the bottom of the NFC North.

For a full list of division standings, go here.