Mark Craig's Northern Intelligence

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 1, 2012 - 6:14 PM

When the Packers beat the Lions in Detroit on Nov. 18, it was their ninth consecutive win against an NFC North opponent. That's a team record, breaking streaks of eight in 1996-97 and 2001-02. Coach Mike McCarthy is an NFC-best 29-9 against division foes since 2006. Only New England's Bill Belichick (32-8) has been better during that period.

• • •

The Bears seem committed to Eric Weems as their new kickoff returner even after Devin Hester returns from the concussion he suffered against the Vikings. Weems took over for Hester in practice before the Vikings game and then had 65 yards in three returns. Hester was averaging 25.5 yards, which is about 2 yards more than his career average. But the Bears think Weems, a Pro Bowl returner in 2010, can be more explosive.

• • •

Lions defensive end Cliff Avril turned down a long-term deal from Detroit and accepted the one-year, $10.6 million franchise tag this past offseason. His numbers are down but respectable. He had 11 sacks, six forced fumbles, 29 tackles and two touchdowns a year ago. Through 11 games this year, he has a team-high 7 1/2 sacks, one forced fumble and 25 tackles. "No, I don't really think I'm anywhere near my expectations of how I expect to play," he told reporters. "But I got five games to continue to keep chopping away."

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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

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