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NFC North Divisional Race: It’s Still Wide Open

Week 11’s NFC North matchup between the Chicago Bears and the Minnesota Vikings was for the division lead. The Bears pulled through and are now a game and a half ahead of the second-place Vikings. The Packers are only two and a half games behind, while the Lions are only three games out. The division is one of the closest left to determine.

Although it seems that the Bears are beginning to pull ahead, anything can happen with six weeks left in the season. The Detroit Lions have taken down two of the best teams in the league so far this season (Patriots and Panthers) and the Green Bay Packers are unbeaten at home.

The Packers were thought to be a team to beat before the season began with the return of Aaron Rodgers and although he has put up amazing numbers, his team sits at 4-5-1 and in the hunt for a playoff berth. While the Vikings were expected to have one of the top defense and the Bears and Lions weren’t thought of very much at all. Everything has switched since the beginning.

NFC North Breakdown

Bears

Chicago looks like the strongest team in the North right now. Khalil Mack wreaks havoc on any offense. While Michell Trubisky and his offense are on fire, only taking four sacks total in the last four games. He’s thrown seven touchdown passes and has led his team to a four-game winning streak.

The Bears are in the middle when it comes to remaining schedule strength. They still need to face the Rams and their inner division rivals the Lions and Vikings again.

Lions

The Lions are at 4-6 right now only half a game behind the third place Packers. With only three games separating the first and last place, there is no way to know the possible winner of the division. Mathew Stafford has lost some of his weapons and his defense hasn’t helped him much this season. He has also thrown eight interceptions. Yet he is still able to complete fourth-quarter comebacks and game-winning drives.

Although the Lions have taken down the Panthers and Patriots they still have to face the Rams and each one of the division opponents again.

Packers

Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers tries to get out of the grasp of Minnesota Vikings’ Anthony Barr

The Packers have the easiest remaining schedule left. They face the Cardinals, Jets and Falcons.

No one should ever count out Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. Rodgers has been known this time of year to put his team on his back and making a playoff run. In 2016, Rodgers took Green Bay from 4-6 to 10-6 winning six games straight earning a wildcard spot. With the easiest schedule remaining in the NFL, Green Bay can sneak up on the Vikings and Bears as well as leaving the Lions in the dust.

Vikings

The strong defense of the Vikings make it possible to leave their opponents in the dust, yet the Vikings have had some offensive struggles lately. Against the Bears Sunday night, Minnesota had three turnovers. They have lost two of their last three and although he is able to connect with his receivers, Kirk Cousins showed he is unable to escape from pressure.

The Vikings have one of the hardest remains schedules, facing the Patriots, Seahawks and their inner division rivals the Lions, as well as the Bears again.

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