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Wisconsin Sports Briefs: Packers move into first place with defeat of Browns…

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The Green Bay Packers moved into first place in the NFC North Division yesterday with a 31-13 home win over Cleveland.

Aaron Rodgers threw for 260 yards and three touchdowns, despite being without receivers Randall Cobb and James Jones due to injuries.

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Second-year pro Jarrett Boykin filled in nicely, with 103 receiving yards and a touchdown.

Tight end Jermichael Finley was sent to a hospital with a neck injury, on a helmet hit to the neck and shoulder area by the Browns' Tashaun Gipson.

He laid motionless on the field for over five minutes before he was hauled away on a stretcher. Preliminary reports said Finley had movement in all his extremities.

The Packers jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter and made it stick.

The Browns got to within 11 on Brandon Weeden's only touchdown pass of the day to Jordan Cameron in the fourth quarter. The Packers drove right back, as Boykin's 20-yard scoring catch put a cap on Green Bay's 10th straight home victory.

Eddie Lacy ran for 82 yards and a touchdown. Finley and Jordy Nelson hauled in Rodgers' other TD passes, as the Pack improved to 4-2 on the year.

Weeden struggled while completing 17 of 42 passes for 149 yards. The Packers outgained the Browns 357 to 216 in total yards, and held the ball seven minutes longer.

Cleveland lost its second straight, and is now 3-4. The Packers will now play two straight division games, starting next Sunday night at Minnesota.

Division lead

The Packers hold the NFC North Division lead for the first time this season - a half-game edge over Chicago and Detroit after both those lost yesterday.

The Bears lost a track meet at Washington 45-41 while Detroit fell at Cincinnati 27-24. Both the Bears and Lions dropped to 4-3, with Green Bay at 4-2.

Minnesota, which is 1-4, plays the Giants at New York tonight.

The Bears lost quarterback Jay Cutler to a groin injury in their loss to the Redskins. His replacement, Josh McCown, threw for 204 yards and a touchdown pass.

Roy Helu had the winning score with a three-yard run with 45 seconds left. Helu ran for three touchdowns.

The Lions fell on a last-second field goal. Cincinnati's Mike Nugent hit a 54-yarder as time expired. Matthew Stafford threw for 357 and three touchdowns. Calvin Johnson caught nine passes, two for touchdowns, in a losing effort.

Badgers aren’t in BCS standings

The Wisconsin football team was not mentioned in the season's first BCS Standings released Sunday night.

The Badgers did move up three places to No. 22 in the Associated Press media poll after crushing Illinois 56-32 on Saturday night at Champaign. Wisconsin also returned to the USA Today coaches poll at No. 24, after improving to 5-2 with their win over the Illini.

Badgers coach Gary Andersen said his team played hard, but it had too many mental breakdowns on defense.

The Badgers gave up five plays of 20 or more yards to Illinois, which had 319 passing yards. The previous week against Northwestern, the Badgers only gave up two plays of 20 yards or longer.

Wisconsin will have two makes to fix their problems. They're off this coming Saturday before returning at Iowa on Nov. 2.

WIAC update

UW-Whitewater moved up three places to No. 7 in the new national Division III poll from D3football.com. The Warhawks crushed Eau Claire 42-0 on Saturday.

UW-Platteville dropped one place to eighth, despite winning at UW-Stevens Point 24-23. UW-Oshkosh also fell one spot to No. 9 in spite of a convincing 41-13 win over River Falls.

All three of Wisconsin's Top 10 teams are at 6-0. Stevens Point again received votes, but not enough to be in the Top 25.

Mount Union of Ohio is still at No. 1.

NASCAR

Wisconsin NASCAR driver Matt Kenseth lost his lead Sunday in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

The Cambridge native placed 20th at the Camping World RV Sales 500 at Talladega, Ala. That dropped Kenseth to second in the Chase standings with 2,250 points, four in back of Jimmie Johnson who moved into first.

Kenseth held the lead for the entire first half of the 10-event Chase, as he tries to win the season championship for the first time since 2003.

Kenseth led for 32 laps early in Sunday's race, but he later experienced handling problems which he normally doesn't get on the Talladega track.

Kenseth won last year's Chase event at Talladega, and then led for 142 laps there in a spring this spring.

Sunday, Kenseth finished third among the four Wisconsin drivers in the race. Paul Menard of Eau Claire placed fourth, and he moved up one place to 16th in the Sprint Cup standings with four races left.

Travis Kvapil of Janesville placed 19th, and he remains 31st for the year.

Beloit-born Danica Patrick was 31st in the race, and she's still 28th in the point standings.

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