With just five weeks remaining in the 2012 NFL season, we take a look around the NFC North at the matchups and storylines.
In week 13, a bit of Luck visits the Detroit Lions in the form of the Indianapolis Colts while the Seattle Seahawks and Chicago Bears tangle for the third time in as many straight seasons. The Green Bay Packers come home to host their neighbors to the west, the Minnesota Vikings for the first time in 2012.
This divisional race is starting to take shape with the Bears in first place and the Packers breathing down their necks, a close second. The Vikings are still alive, to the surprise of many, while the Detroit Lions have made their road to a repeat playoff appearance very difficult.
Here’s the breakdown:
Indianapolis Colts (7-4) at Detroit Lions (4-7)
The surprising Indianapolis Colts come into Detroit to face the struggling Lions. The Colts find themselves in the thick of the AFC Wild Card race. While many knew Andrew Luck would eventually turn into a solid NFL quarterback, few would have foreseen the success that this team has had so far in 2012.
With that said, let’s also consider that only one of Indianapolis’ wins have come against a team that would currently be in this year’s playoffs (Packers in week 5). But they are taking steps in the right direction after having won only two games last season. At least they’re beating the teams that are struggling (Detroit falls into this category) or just plain bad.
While the Lions took the Houston Texans to overtime last week, they were unable to get the elusive Thanksgiving Day win and fell to 4-7.
Detroit’s biggest advantage in this game is that it’s at home. While much has been made of Detroit’s offensive output this season, Indianapolis isn’t far behind. The Lions rank 2nd in total yards while the Colts are 5th. I expect this game to be a shootout. An indoor game featuring two top offenses and two good quarterbacks.
Each team has had their issues on defense that have prevented them from winning some of their close games. Both teams also have negative give/take ratios heading into this one. Detroit is at (-7) while Indianapolis is at (-14).