NFC North Front-Runners Stagger to Finish Line

Detroit and Minnesota lead the way at 5-4 and Green Bay is 4-5. How do the schedules shake out among the division's mediocre leaders?

The good news for the Green Bay Packers is the NFC North remains up for grabs.

The Packers have lost three consecutive games and four of their last five to fall to 4-5. The Vikings, however, have dropped four consecutive games after a 5-0 start. The Lions are 5-4, as well, with all five wins requiring late-game comebacks.

“I don’t think anyone envisioned this, but we’ve got everything in front of us still,” left tackle David Bakhtiari said. “I believe we’re a game back in our division, so it could be worse. I think in 2013, no team in our division wanted to take it when Aaron (Rodgers) went down. We were just trying to find a way to get a win, so this just kind of parallels that.”

The bad news for the Packers is they’ve got the toughest remaining schedule in the three-horse race.

The combined record of their final seven opponents is 34-27-2, a winning percentage of .556. The Packers play six games against winning records. The Lions and Vikings play a combined five games against teams with winning records.

Making Green Bay’s chase more difficult, the Vikings and Lions have four home games apiece. The Packers have only three home games and they’re all against division leaders (Houston, Seattle and Minnesota).

“We’re going to get it done,” veteran Packers linebacker Julius Peppers said. “There’s no reason to believe anything other than that. In this locker room, we know where we stand. We don’t necessarily want to get caught up watching other teams and what they’re doing. We’re focusing on us, and we’ve just got to get a win. That’s the bottom line.”

Green Bay  
at Washington 5-3-1
at Philadelphia 5-4
Houston 6-3
Seattle 6-2-1
at Chicago 2-7
Minnesota 5-4
at Detroit 5-4
Total 34-27-2 (.556)
Jacksonville 2-7
Minnesota 5-4
at New Orleans 4-5
Chicago 2-7
at N.Y. Giants 6-3
at Dallas 8-1
Green Bay 4-5
Total 31-32 (.492)
Arizona 4-4-1
at Detroit 5-4
Dallas 8-1
at Jacksonville 2-7
Indianapolis 4-5
at Green Bay 4-5
Chicago 2-7
Total 29-33-1 (.468)

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