The NFC North had seven weeks without Aaron Rodgers. After 10 weeks, it was the Lions and their 6-3 record that looked primed to take advantage. The Bears had plenty of their own opportunities to take control of the division, most notably in Week 16 in Philadelphia, when the Chicago defense gave up 54 points and got laughed off the field.
Eventually it came down to a Week 17 game in Chicago to decide the division that the Packers eventually won, because nothing else would really make sense. The Packers did everything they could to make it easy on the rest of the division and they refused to take it. The presence of Aaron Rodgers didh’t make it as much of a blowout as it might have seemed. In fact, the Bears intercepted him twice in the first half, but there was Rodgers to launch the winning touchdown on a fourth down with less than a minute to go. And the circle is complete.