BBAO: Packers bring down penalties

We're Black and Blue All Over:

Lost amid all of the news around the NFC North this season has been this development: The Green Bay Packers have reined in their penalty problems in a big way.

As Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com points out, the Packers have had eight penalties enforced against them during their four-game winning streak. Through Week 11, they have committed the NFL's sixth-fewest number of penalties and have the third-fewest total of penalty yards.

Those figures are a far cry from their 18-flag performance in a Week 3 loss to the Chicago Bears, a game that coach Mike McCarthy considered a watershed event.

McCarthy: "The 18-penalty game clearly factored in the outcome of that game. Because it was a game when you look at it, [and ask]. 'How the hell did we lose that game?' That was the key in that loss, because of all the productivity and the other positive plays that went on in that game. We emphasize it every week, just like every team in this league does."

If you're interested, the Detroit Lions are now tied for the most penalties in the NFL with 98 penalties. The Minnesota Vikings are tied for the 10th-most with 68, and the Bears have the 13th-fewest at 60.

Continuing around the NFC North: