To say the NFC North is tight after six weeks would be an understatement. All four teams have at least two wins and two losses. One game separates first place from last place. No team has more than one win in the division or more than one loss. Heck, two of the teams have even tied each other, and the other two in-division games were both decided by one score. On average, divisional games have a 3.0 point differential this year.
While the Green Bay Packers still have a game to play on Monday night, it’s not going to change how tight the division is. Check it out:
NFC North standings (through Week 6)
- Chicago Bears: 3-2
- Minnesota Vikings: 3-2-1
- Green Bay Packers: 2-2-1*
- Detroit Lions: 2-3
It’s a little confusing—and it doesn’t really matter—but the Bears hold the top spot due to winning percentage, even though the Vikings have more “wins” (a tie counts as a half-win in the final NFL standings).
So that means regardless of what happens between the Packers and 49ers on Monday night, the Lions will be just a single game behind first place in the division after Week 6 is complete. Even better, the Lions are the only team besides Green Bay with a divisional win in the North, and the Packers have already played half of their division games (1-1-1).
Things are so tight right now that divisional games are almost certainly going to decide who wins the North this year. That’s good news for the Lions, because they not only hold the best record in the division thus far (1-0), but they have been absolutely dominant against the Packers, Vikings and Bears over the past five years.
Record vs NFC North last 5 yrs:— Kyle Meinke (@kmeinke) October 7, 2018
* won zero championships
(This was before the Lions beat the Packers in Week 5)
Obviously how the Lions have played the division in the past has no bearing on how they’ll play against them this year, but Detroit is off to a good start against the North, and despite a shaky 2-3 start, they are right in the thick of things after six weeks. It is also true that they remain in last place, so take the half-full glass with the half-empty. Game on, y’all.