Week 7 NFC North Preview: With Packers and Bears Idle, Vikings-Lions Square Off

Week 7 NFC North Preview: With Packers and Bears Idle, Vikings-Lions Square Off
Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings carries the ball against the Detroit Lions during the game on September 20, 2015 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings defeated the Lions 26-16. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

The Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears are off this week, so it's fitting that the two other teams from the NFC North will play against one another on Sunday. The Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions will battle at Ford Field.

Green Bay (6-0) is enjoying their off week while the Bears (2-4) have plenty of soul searching to do as they look to turn things around starting with a Week 8 home meeting with the Vikings.

Both, the Vikings (3-2) and Lions (1-5) won last week. Minnesota defeated a weak Kansas City offense, 16-10 while Detroit took down the visiting Bears in a whacky game in overtime, 37-34.

This is the second matchup already this season between the two divisional rivals. Minnesota beat the Lions at home 26-16 in Week 2 as running back Adrian Peterson amassed 192 total yards on 31 touches and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater had an efficient afternoon.

Behind the New York Jets, the Vikings rank second in the league in the fewest points per game allowed (16.6). They also rank 13th in total yards allowed (351.8) and 18th in rushing yards allowed (111.6) per game. In total, Mike Zimmer's unit has only surrendered two run plays of 20 yards or more and two pass plays of 40 yards or more.

It's a juicy matchup for Peterson, who comes into Sunday with 432 rushing yards and three touchdowns. The Lions defense allows the fourth most points (28.7) and seventh most rushing yards per game (120.7).

Minnesota's offense has shined with Peterson back in the mix in terms of rushing as they rank sixth in yards per game on the ground (126). Detroit's starting defensive tackle Haloti Ngata returns from injury this week, but he isn't enough to slow down Peterson's efforts.

Neither team has been potent offensively. The Vikings score the fourth-fewest points (19.2) per game. Detroit isn't much better coming in 26th with 20 points per game. Both teams have topped 30 points only once this season.

Expect this to be a defensive battle and a hard-nosed game with Peterson and Calvin Johnson the feature offensive pieces.

With the Bears sitting at home this week, this is a game worth watching. It certainly makes sense since it's a divisional matchup.

What will you be watching this Sunday with the Bears idle? Make sure to comment below.

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