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Looking at the NFC North the Rest of the Way

Well, folks, with 6 games left in the 2008 NFL season, there are three teams at the top of the division with identical 5-5 records.  It should make for an interesting rest of the regular season, but what are all three of these teams looking at during the rest of the year?  Let's take a closer look at the schedules for each of these three teams, as well as what they've done to this point in the year.

Here's how each of the three teams involved in the NFC North race have gotten to their current 5-5 record.

Vikings wins - vs. Carolina, @ New Orleans, vs. Detroit, vs. Houston, vs. Green Bay
Vikings losses - @ Green Bay, vs. Indianapolis, @ Tennessee, @ Chicago, @ Tampa Bay
Vikings current divisional record - 2-2
Vikings current conference record - 4-3

Bears wins - @ Indianapolis, vs. Philadelphia, @ Detroit, vs. Minnesota, vs. Detroit
Bears losses - @ Carolina, vs. Tampa Bay, @ Atlanta, vs. Tennessee, @ Green Bay
Bears current divisional record - 3-1
Bears current conference record - 4-4

Packers wins - vs. Minnesota, @ Detroit, @ Seattle, vs. Indianapolis, vs. Chicago
Packers losses - vs. Dallas, @ Tampa Bay, vs. Atlanta, @ Tennessee, @ Minnesota
Packers current divisional record - 3-1
Packers current conference record - 4-4

That's how we've gotten here. . .now, let's take a look at where we're going.

Chicago Green Bay Minnesota
Week 12 @ St. Louis (2-8)
@ New Orleans (5-5)
@ Jacksonville (4-6)
Week 13 @ Minnesota (5-5)
vs. Carolina (8-2)
vs. Chicago (5-5)
Week 14 vs. Jacksonville (4-6)
vs. Houston (3-7)
@ Detroit (0-10)
Week 15 vs. New Orleans (5-5)
@ Jacksonville (4-6)
@ Arizona (7-3)
Week 16 vs. Green Bay (5-5)
@ Chicago (5-5)
vs. Atlanta (6-4)
Week 17 @ Houston (3-7)
vs. Detroit (0-10)
vs. New York Giants (9-1)

So, there you go.  Minnesota has one more conference game remaining than either Chicago or Green Bay does, but it appears that the Vikings the toughest remaining schedule at this point by a fairly significant margin.  The last three weeks of the season for the Beloved Purple look fairly brutal, as they have to face three consecutive teams with records of .500 or better. . .Chicago has NO teams on their schedule with records better than .500, and Green Bay only has one at this point.  Green Bay and Minnesota also each have the added advantage of another game against the Lions, whereas the Bears have already played both of their games against Detroit.

That SHOULD be an advantage, anyway.  The Lions have a chance to be 0-12 when the Vikings travel to Ford Field in December. . .and everyone remembers what happened the last time the Vikings travelled to Detroit to take on an 0-12 Detroit team. . .don't they?

In any event, it should be an interesting final six weeks.  Unless the Williams Wall gets suspended for any length of time.  If that happens, well, just pretend that this entire post never happened.

What do you folks out there see happening the rest of the way?  Can the Vikings pull this thing out, or should we start looking forward to 2009?

Hopefully you're enjoying your Monday thus far. . .we'll see you back here later on for more!