Time to take a deep breath, Bears fans. Heading into the bye week, Lovie Smith's team is 4-1. That's a far cry from where it felt the Bears might be after the Packers manhandled them in Week 2.
Now they have more than two weeks to heal and game-plan before a Monday night throwdown against Detroit on Oct. 22 at Soldier Field. And now that the dust has settled on the first five weeks of the season, let's see who's trending in the NFC North.
Five defensive touchdowns in the past three games. Brandon Marshall playing like a receiver the Bears have never had before (because he is). The defensive line devouring every quarterback in its path. Jay Cutler even smiling every once in a while. Really, about the only thing not going the Bears' way is Gabe Carimi can't figure out know when the play starts.
Staying power: 9 out of 10
Could it be that Brett Favre was holding the Vikings back? The answer to that question appears to be a resounding yes. Quarterback Christian Ponder has been solid but not spectacular, which is fine for Minnesota because Adrian Peterson looks like, well, Adrian Peterson again. The Bears play Minnesota twice in three games toward the end of the season, at which point the division title could be decided.
Staying power: 6 out of 10
Green Bay (2-3)
Perhaps the Bears—and the rest of the NFC North—owe the replacement refs a gift basket or something. Since the controversial call against Seattle cost Green Bay a win, the Packers scraped by New Orleans in Week 4, then blew a 21-3 lead in a loss to Indianapolis on Sunday. Only a fool would count them out at this point, but no one thought they'd be this far behind, even this early.
Staying power: 7 out of 10
The "up-and-coming" Lions are buried in the cellar of the NFC North, quarterback Matthew Stafford can get hurt any minute, and normally menacing receiver Calvin Johnson has but one touchdown this season. Come to think of it, these look like the Lions of old—a nonfactor from start to finish. All you need to know about Detroit right now is the team lost to the lowly Tennessee Titans.
Staying power: 3 out of 10
Want more? Discuss this article and others on RedEye Sports' Facebook page.