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Six games, three teams, half on the road and half at home.
The ‘Norris’ division matchups are some of the most memorable in all of football, and as of late, they have been the most intense out of any other division in the NFL.
Well that’s simply due to the parity level continuing to rise in the NFC North.
The Lions are getting better, the Bears are perpetually on the cusp of getting to the big show and the Packers are…well they’re the Packers.
So how will the Vikings fare?
Vikings vs. Bears
Series Record: Vikings lead 52-45-2.
2011 Prediction: Vikings sweep Bears…again.
The Vikings have owned the last three out of four meetings against the Bears dating back to 2009, and with a veteran acquisition like McNabb and a full complement of veteran offensive weapons, the Vikings move ahead and make it five in a row against the Monsters of the Midway.
Vikings vs. Lions
Series Record: Vikings lead 66-31-2.
2011 Prediction: Vikings split series 1-1.
The Vikings are 6-2 against the Lions dating back to 2007, but this season, the Lions will show themselves to be a vastly-improved team across the board.
The Vikings will wind up having a host of problems with Calvin Johnson’s newly—and creatively—designed plays, but the Lions will have their hands full with Peterson and company as well.
Vikings vs. Packers
Series Record: Packers lead 47-51-1.
2011 Prediction: Packers sweep Vikings.
The problem here is the new "anti-West Coast" offense that will be deployed in Minny thanks to Mike Mularkey's teachings and Bill Musgrave's implementation of a new style.
"It will have its roots in language, I'm sure, from my history with coach (Mike) Shanahan and most recently from my experience with (Falcons offensive coordinator) Mike Mularkey. There will be some language that our guys will recognize off the bat, because it will have some West Coast roots, and it will have some formations and protections that are more along the Pittsburgh Steelers' offense, which we ran down here in Atlanta with Coach Mularkey." - Bill Musgrave, Offensive Coordinator.
Yes, the team is getting away from the WCO, and they will be implementing a more run-first oriented approach with additional double TE sets. It’s an interesting way of approaching the 2011 season, but in order to stick with the Packers, a team must be able to handle a shootout, and the Vikings are simply outmatched there.
Final Division Record: 3-3