This has to be precedent. For what might be the first time in league history, an entire division (all four teams) has something to play for on the final day of the regular season. Each NFC North team finds itself in a must win situation. The stakes for each are drastically different, but all have there price.
It is amazing that an entire division, even those whose playoff dreams have ended in weeks past will leave every bit of the football remaining in their collective souls on the field this Sunday.
The Chicago Bears should be in position to, well, go golfing. However, the Minnesota Vikings, by characteristically making their own path more difficult, have left the door cracked for the Windy City club to possibly blow in. For Chicago to have any chance at the post season, the Bears must win at the Houston Texans and pray for a Minnesota Vikings season ending collapse.
The Detroit Lions are on the verge of setting the most notorious record in all of professional sports: A completely defeated season! The organization's problems have been well chronicled, but prior to now, few took the time to ponder this reality. Sunday's game at the Green Bay Packers is a must win for this shameful franchise hoping to avoid the shame of all shames.
Green Bay Packers
The Packers' early season success seems a distant memory. Losers of seven of their last eight including five in a row, this team should be preparing (at least mentally) for a long off-season. However, this weekend, division cellar rival Detroit and their giant Goose Egg come to town to force Green Bay to compete in what would otherwise be a meaningless contest. Green Bay must win this game; not as some sign of 'righting the ship', but to avoid being the one team Detroit was able to best in its record setting season of futility.
In control of their own playoff fate for a second consecutive week, the Minnesota Vikings and their fans would want it no other way. The organization is haunted by the a historical inability to finish strong, the proverbial "closing of the deal," on its way into the playoffs. The Vikings must win to prove that their season had more ups than downs, and that they are on the right track.