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Starter Pack: Division run begins

A roundup of what's happening on the Green Bay Packers beat.

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Packers haven't had a run of this many division games this early in the season since the old NFC Central days.

Back in 1999, they played consecutive games against the Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in games two through four. The Packers went 2-1 in that stretch, beating both the Vikings and Bucs at home.

Fifteen years later, they are about to embark on perhaps a more difficult stretch -- three straight NFC North games in a span of less than three weeks. And two of those are on the road.

It starts Sunday at Detroit and continues on Sept. 28 at the Chicago Bears before wrapping up with a Thursday night game at home against the Vikings on Oct. 2.

"That's a good stretch," McCarthy said Monday. "It will complete our first quarter of the season. That's the big picture view. This is the Detroit Lions. It's always a tough game, especially up there. It's a difficult place to play."

Perhaps adding to the intrigue is that after two weeks, all four NFC North teams have 1-1 records.

The Packers last played three straight division games in 2012, but they came much later in the season. They played the Vikings, Lions and Bears in Weeks 13-15. They won all three, only one of which was on the road. They finished that season at the Vikings, giving them four division games over the final five weeks.

In case you missed it on ESPN.com:

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