Detroit advanced its lead in the NFC North to two games and Green Bay improved to 6-6 Sunday. The Vikings dropped to 6-6 after Thursday’s loss to Dallas.
The race for the division championship will leave little room for error in the final four weeks of the regular season.
The Vikings and Packers will most likely have to win their final four games and the division to claim a playoff berth. The Lions have a difficult final stretch, but own the head-to-head tiebreaker against the Vikings. Detroit lost its first meeting with Green Bay and they won't meet again until the season finale.
The Vikings have 1-in-3 odds of making the playoffs and 1-in-6 odds of winning the division according to makeNFLplayoffs.com, arguing the likely path to the postseason would be through the wild card. The Lions are currently the No. 3 seed in the NFC, the Vikings are No. 8 and the Packers No. 9.
Here is a look at the three team’s remaining schedules:
The Vikings arguably have the least-difficult schedule of the three teams.
Away: Jacksonville, Dec. 11, noon
The Jaguars are 2-10 and the second-worst team in the AFC. They have lost seven straight games.
Home: Indianapolis, Dec. 18, noon
The Colts are 5-6, but won two of their last three games.
Away: Green Bay, Dec. 24, noon
The Packers have won their last two games to put themselves back in the race for a postseason berth.
Home: Chicago, Jan. 1, noon
The Bears are one of the worst teams in the league, but have wins against the Lions and Vikings.
The Lions have the toughest remaining schedule of the three NFC North contenders.
Home: Chicago, Dec. 11, noon
The Bears’ first win, and only one of three this season, was against the Lions.
Away: New York Giants, Dec. 18, noon
The Giants are 8-4 and in the playoff hunt, however, two of their four losses have come against the NFC North.
Away: Dallas, Dec. 26, 7:30 p.m.
The Cowboys are 11-1 and the best team in the NFL.
Home: Green Bay, Jan. 1, noon
The Packers are 2-1 in the division and already have a win against the Lions.
The Packers will have to get past all three division rivals if they hope to rally for the NFC North title.
Home: Seattle, Dec. 11, 3:25 p.m.
The Seahawks are 8-3-1 and have won four of their last five games. They have yet to face an NFC North opponent this season.
Away: Chicago, Dec. 18, noon
The Bears will try to play the upset role in the NFC North in the final month of the season. Though they are 3-9 overall, they are 2-1 in the division.
Home: Vikings, Dec. 24, noon
The Vikings beat the Packers in primetime on Monday Night Football in Week 2, but the stakes will be much higher for the rematch.
Away: Detroit, Jan. 1 noon
The Lions will look to avenge an early loss to Green Bay with potentially a division title and playoff berth on the line.