The Minnesota Vikings have solidified themselves as NFC North favorites, which seemed like a reach at the start of the season and still felt two weeks ago when there were still power rankings saying the Green Bay Packers were one of the top four teams in the NFL. .
But it’s at the time of the season that reality sets in and the real-life Packers struggle to keep their heads above water as the Vikings continue to pick up wins. It’s not pretty, but there’s not much in the NFL.
Going into Week 7, the Vikings 5-1 lead the division by two games over the Packers (3-3) while the Bears (2-4) and Lions (1-4) are stuck in a football black hole . Can the Vikings take the wire-to-wire division?
Attention buyer: The road to the title of the North is full of tricky pitfalls and trials. The remaining strength of Minnesota’s schedule is the tenth toughest in the league, according to Tankathon.
Minnesota’s remaining opponents are a combined 34-30-1 entering Week 7.
- Week 8: vs. Arizona Cardinals (2-4)
- Week 9: Washington Commanders (2-4)
- Week 10: at the Buffalo Bills (5-1)
- Week 11; against the Dallas Cowboys (4-2)
- Week 12: against the New England Patriots (3-3)
- Week 13: against the New York Jets (4-2)
- Week 14: at the Detroit Lions (1-4)
- Week 15: against the Indianapolis Colts (3-2-1)
- Week 16: against the New York Giants (5-1)
- Week 17: at Green Bay Packers (3-3)
- Week 18: at the Chicago Bears (2-4)
Arizona and Washington should be winners to take the Vikings to 7-1. This is when the rubber hits the road against the Bills, Cowboys, Patriots and Jets. The jury is still out on the Patriots, but the Jets look like a formidable foe at worst, while the Bills and Cowboys are barometer games for the Vikings.
Detroit is a guaranteed fight for the Purple. The Colts may have stank, but they were a preseason darling. Like their AFC brethren, the Giants are seemingly good. Schedulers were cruel in giving away the Vikings indoor games at Lambeau Field and Soldier Field in January to end the season.
Green Bay’s remaining schedule strength is the seventh-toughest in the NFL, with their opponents posting a combined 35-28 record.
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- Week 7: Washington Commanders (2-4)
- Week 8: at the Buffalo Bills (5-1)
- Week 9: at the Detroit Lions (1-4)
- Week 10: against the Dallas Cowboys (4-2)
- Week 11: against the Tennessee Titans (3-2)
- Week 12: at the Philadelphia Eagles (6-0)
- Week 13: at the Chicago Bears (2-4)
- Week 15: against the Los Angeles Rams (3-3)
- Week 16: at the Miami Dolphins (3-3)
- Week 17: against the Minnesota Vikings (5-1)
- Week 18: vs. Detroit Lions (1-4)
Green Bay could be on the verge of a tailspin given they are set to play three straight road games before hosting two contenders in the Cowboys and Titans. Then they go to Philadelphia and Chicago.
Lose in Washington on Sunday and Green Bay’s 104,500 people will press the panic button as the Bills in Buffalo are essentially a guaranteed loss in Week 8, followed by a trip to Detroit, then three straight against the Cowboys , the Titans and the Eagles.
Seven or eight losses for the Packers by December are possible.
And there are still two months to go, but the Packers would certainly rather face the Rams and Dolphins in their weakened conditions now than in December, when they could be firing on all cylinders.
Neither the Vikings nor the Packers have an easy road, but the Packers got themselves in a hole and the Vikings could very well bury them.
Related: Consistency eludes Vikings as 5-1 starts raise aspirations
Related: Brian Murphy: Who Said Winners Have To Be Beautiful?