The Bears 25-20 win over the Vikings Sunday night reflects a huge shift in the NFL North. For years the Bears have brought up the rear of the division but a revamped offense and the addition of Khalil Mack to an up and coming defense have given the Bears a clear shot at the division title. While the Bears offense and Mitch Trubisky has gotten a lot of attention, the Bears defense is actually the team’s strength.

Bears defense feeding off Big Mack

The Bears defense was front center Sunday night. Khalil Mack had a typical game, recording a sack and forcing a fumble and recovering the said fumble. It’s not just that Mack puts up big stats; it’s the fact he makes the guys around him better. In large part because of Mack and the Bears improved pass rush, the team leads the NFL in interceptions with 18. That’s a huge deal because the team had just eight picks in both 2017 and 2016.

And a few excellent sides

Aikem Hicks should also be recognized as the force he is in the Bears' defensive line. Hicks recorded one sack Sunday night but was a huge factor in holding the Vikings to 22 yards on 14 rushing attempts.

The Bears' defensive backfield has also been stellar. Safety, Eddie Jackson, picked off his third pass of the season and returned it 27 yards for a TD. That was huge because the Bears offense was stymied in the second half.

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Flashbacks of Cutler?

Mitch Trubisky didn’t have one of his best games, throwing two interceptions. The Bears have given Mitch great receivers and running backs, and Mitch has definitely improved but growing pains are still evident. On both of his picks, he threw into a bevy of defenders. That was the same tendency that led to the demise of Jay Cutler. In Mitch’s case, however, it could still be classified as growing pains.

Parker misses the uprights

One final point about the Bears – Vikings game; Bears kicker, Cody Parker, nailed three field goals, including the one that put the game away from 48 yards out. That normally, wouldn’t be a big deal, but Parkey had missed four kicks the previous week, doinking all four off an upright. That means one less worry for the Bears going forward.

Packers and Vikings' slippage is showing

As for the Vikings, they’re still a solid team, but lack of a running game could be telling going forward.

The Vikings are no longer clearly the class of the division.

The Packers took another tough loss Thursday night. In the past, Aaron Rodgers has been able to cover a multitude of the Pack’s sins but that hasn’t been the case lately. The Pack is 2.5 games behind the Bears, but basically, they’ll have to make up three games to win the division.

The Lions are still the Lions, and that's not a good thing

As for the Lions, they continue their love affair with mediocrity.

Still, Sunday’s 20-19 win over the Carolina Panthers means the Lions aren’t dead just yet. The Lions Thanksgiving Day matchup with the Bears could either finish off the Lions and cement the Bears hold on the division, or throw the while division into chaos.

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