NFC North Race Heating Up

By Timothy Holland
Jeff Hanisch- US PRESSWIRE

The NFC North race is heating up. Going into week 10 of the NFL season all of its teams are .500 or better. The Chicago Bears are in first place with the Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions in pursuit.

In 2011, the NFC North boasted two playoff teams in the Packers and Lions. Chicago seemed on its way to the playoffs until quarterback Jay Cutler suffered a season ending thumb injury. This season, all three of these teams were expected to be in the hunt for the division title.

Right now, it is the Bears title to lose. Chicago is sporting a 7-1 record. Their only loss is to Green Bay in week two. Since then the Bears have beaten Detroit at home while winning six straight. Chicago still has a home game against the Packers on December 16. If they can win it the Bears may very well win the North.

Green Bay is not out of it by any means. After a disappointing 2-3 start the Packers have won four straight. One of the wins was a victory over the then undefeated Houston Texans in week six. Green Bay has already beaten Chicago at home. If they can beat them on the road the Packers will likely finish at least tied for first place.

The Vikings started out a surprising 4-1. With halfback Adrian Peterson back from injury and wide receiver Percy Harvin making big plays Minnesota took an early lead in the division. The wheels have fallen off for the Vikings the last four weeks as they have gone 1-3 and dropped to 5-4.

Detroit is just the opposite of Minnesota. They got of to a slow start falling to 1-3. One of the losses was an overtime defeat to the Tennessee Titans in which they were stopped two yards shy of a game winning touchdown. Detroit has won three of their last four and now stands at 4-4. The Lions probably will not win the division, but can still get in as a wildcard.

There are still a lot of games left between these four teams. As mentioned Chicago and Green Bay have to play each other again. The Packers have yet to play the Lions and Vikings. The Bears and Vikings will meet twice. Detroit has one game left to play against Chicago and Minnesota. The Bears and Vikings will meet in the season finale for both.

Though Chicago is in front the NFC North is up for grabs. With a ton of division games left all four teams still have a chance to win it.

It will be interesting to see who does.

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