Playing in the NFC North has its privileges, as we all know. It also can make for a tough schedule as well.
The Elias Sports Bureau has calculated the strength of schedule for each NFL team in the second half of the season. It's based on the combined winning percentage of remaining opponents, and it's no surprise that NFC North teams have three of the five most difficult schedules because we all have to play each other either three or four more times over the final eight games of 2011. Here's how it looks:
1. Minnesota Vikings (.615)
3. Detroit Lions (.600)
5. Green Bay Packers (.578)
16. Chicago Bears (.516)
The Packers and Lions have both of their 2011 matchups in the final five weeks of the season, giving us at least some intrigue for the division title race. On the other hand, it's worth noting that the Bears have three games remaining against teams who currently have winning records -- the Lions, Packers and Oakland Raiders.