Thursday Night Football Returns With NFC North Battle

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 25: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers talks with Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears after a game at Soldier Field on September 25, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Packers defeated the Bears 27-17. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Usually NFL fans have to wait until much later in the season to have Thursday night games every week. This year, that is not the case. NFL Network has games on Thursday nights starting in Week 2, and things kick off with the Green Bay Packers hosting the Chicago Bears.

This is a very, very intriguing matchup for Detroit Lions fans because of the division implications the game could have. While it is extremely early in the season, this game could really set the tone for the division moving forward. If the Bears go into Lambeau Field and knock off the Packers, for example, Green Bay will suddenly be 0-2. Again, it's still early, but the odds of the Packers winning the NFC North again should drop a bit if they get off to a 0-2 start.

At the same time, a Packers win would get them up to 1-1 and drop the Bears to the same record. If that happens and the Lions somehow go into San Francisco and upset the 49ers, then they would have the advantage (possibly with the Minnesota Vikings) going into Week 3.

It's tough to root for either side in this game. In fact, a tie would probably be the best-case scenario for the Lions. If I had to pick one side, though, I'd probably go with the Packers. As much as I'd like to see them start 0-2, I still think the Lions will ultimately be competing with Chicago for a playoff spot rather than Green Bay.

Who are you going to root for, if anybody, on Thursday night?

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