NFC North Midseason: Green Bay Packers Surging, Minnesota Vikings Struggling

Patrick Clarke@@_Pat_ClarkeCorrespondent INovember 21, 2010

Jay Cutler and the Bears surprisingly sit atop the division after a 16-0 win over the Dolphins Thursday night in Miami.
Jay Cutler and the Bears surprisingly sit atop the division after a 16-0 win over the Dolphins Thursday night in Miami.Marc Serota/Getty Images

It's Week 11 and the NFC North is anything but decided. Currently the Chicago Bears sit atop the division, a half game ahead of the Green Bay Packers, both winners of three straight.

Perhaps the biggest story so far though is the Minnesota Vikings. The disappointment of a 1-3 start quickly swelled into a mound of drama that has surrounded the franchise for the past few weeks.

Quarterback Brett Favre was called out by head coach Brad Childress, and players have since gone public with their opinions of the Vikings shot-caller.

Shifting gears now, the woeful Detroit Lions continue to flirt with mediocrity at 2-7, and are sole owners of the division's basement.

Here is a quick breakdown of the division and how things will pan out the rest of the way.


Chicago Bears (7-3)

The Bears asserted NFC North dominance right out of the gate this season with a 3-0 start. However, a 1-3 stretch soon followed and many thought we had seen the last of Chicago in 2010.

But, in the spirit of a wild season full of parity, the Bears bounced back and are currently riding a three-game winning streak into Week 12.

Chicago is undefeated in the division (3-0), but has an anything but easy schedule remaining the rest of the way, including games against the Eagles, Patriots, Jets and Packers.

Projected Record: 9-7


Green Bay Packers (6-3)

Green Bay has been crippled by injuries all season, including season-ending knocks to middle linebacker Nick Barnett and running back Ryan Grant.

Still though, the Packers have pushed on and now find themselves riding a tidal wave of success in the form of three straight wins, the last being a 45-7 throttling of the Dallas Cowboys at Lambeau Field.

The Packers aren't out of the woods yet, however; they still must play the Falcons, Patriots and Giants before finishing the season against rival Chicago at home, a game that could likely decide the division winner.

Projected Record: 10-6


Minnesota Vikings (3-6)

The Vikings have been a constant story, whether it's their play on the field or their actions and the drama that surrounds them off of it.

There is the Brett Favre scandal off the field and the Brett Favre interceptions on the field, not to mention an extremely dysfunctional locker room atmosphere that is fueled by the presence of an unwanted coach.

The Vikings have had ups, downs and Randy Moss, but 2010 looks all but over for the guys in purple.

Projected Record: 6-10


Detroit Lions (2-7)

Though their record doesn't show it, the Lions have fought hard all season and lost more than a fair share of heartbreakers.

Perhaps a Week 1 loss at Chicago set the tone for the rest of the season after what looked to be the game-winning TD catch by Calvin Johnson was called back because he didn't maintain possession through the ground, but that's neither here nor there.

Detroit is playing for respect at this point, but an improving defense and quality offense show promise for the future. Maybe they finish strong.

Projected Record: 4-12


Patrick Clarke is a student at Towson University and a writing intern for Bleacher Report.

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