MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 23: Christian Ponder #7 of the Minnesota Vikings shakes hands after the game with Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on October 23, 2011 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Adam Bettcher /Getty Images)
Suddenly, the NFC North is where the best football is being played, and where wildcards live or die. With three out of the four teams still in running for the playoffs, ESPN even asked if the NFC North is the "center of the universe." (Obviously, the answer to that is yes because Chicago is the center of the NFC North and Chicago is the center of the universe.)
What's the story of the other teams from cities that can appreciate cold weather and a great lake?
Green Bay Packers (7-0): Sheesh. They're still really good. Aaron Rodgers is so good that's it's obnoxious. His QB rating is an unbelievable 125.7, and he's on pace to have the best QB rating of all time. It's hard to find any games in their schedule that could be losses. They're so good that it's hard to even hate them. But it's OK. It's Green Bay. You can still hate them.
Detroit Lions (6-2): Hard-hitting Ndamukong Suh had a meeting with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell about the legality of those hard hits, and now Suh has a better idea of how to take people out legally. The bigger concern in Detroit is when they'll get Jahvid Best back on the field after a concussion. They get the bye week to rest before coming to Chicago, which should help Best get back into shape.
Minnesota Vikings (2-6): Like Detroit, Minnesota has a bye week, and their coaches want to figure out a way to better utilize Adrian Peterson. Y'know, the same Peterson who leads the league in yardage and touchdowns. The bye week also gives them more time to mold Christian Ponder into a starting QB. They don't have much of a chance at the postseason, but Ponder's play has many a Minnesotan excited for next season.