Detroit's easy schedule is a big threat to the Vikings

They're two games behind the Vikings but have a much easier final eight games.
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A two-game lead in the NFC North is great for the Vikings, but that cushion doesn't look so comfortable when you take a look at the eight remaining games on the Lions' schedule. 

  • Sunday, Nov. 12: vs. Cleveland (0-8)
  • Sunday, Nov. 19: at Chicago (3-5)
  • Thursday, Nov. 23: vs. Minnesota (6-2)
  • Sunday, Dec. 3: at Baltimore (4-5)
  • Sunday, Dec. 10: at Tampa Bay (2-6)
  • Saturday, Dec. 16: vs. Chicago (3-5)
  • Sunday, Dec. 24: at Cincinnati (3-5)
  • Sunday, Dec. 31: vs. Green Bay (4-4)

The Vikings are the only team with a winning record left on Detroit's schedule, which is far and away the easiest remaining schedule among NFC teams, according to PlayoffStatus.com. 

Let's go game-by-game. 

  • Detroit should roll over the Browns no problem. 
  • Winning at Chicago won't be easy, but they'll likely be favored. 
  • Then they host the Vikings on Thanksgiving Day. Detroit has had Minnesota's number the last two seasons, including a win in Minneapolis already this season. 
  • Baltimore's offense is horrible but their defense will challenge Detroit's passing game. 
  • Tampa Bay is falling apart and now quarterback Jameis Winston is injured and out for at least a couple of weeks. 
  • The last three weeks look like cakewalks at home against the Bears and Packers and a road contest against a Bengals team that's already fired its offensive coordinator.

Detroit could easily go from 4-4 to 10-6 or better without shocking anyone. 

Minnesota's schedule, meanwhile, is the 14th hardest in the NFL and it includes four of the next five on the road. Their lone home game over the next month is against the Los Angeles Rams, who might be 7-2 when they arrive at U.S. Bank Stadium a week from Sunday. 

The NFC North is still very much up for grabs. 

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