NFC North

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NFC North
Conference National Football Conference
League National Football League
Sport American Football
Founded

1967 (As NFL Western Conference Central Division)

1970 (As NFC Central Division)

2002 (As NFC North Division)
No. of teams
Most recent champion(s) Green Bay Packers (13th Title)
Most titles Minnesota Vikings (18 Titles)

The NFC North is a division of the National Football League's National Football Conference, based in the Upper Midwest region of the United States. It currently has four members: the Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, and Minnesota Vikings. The NFC North was previously called the NFC Central from 1970-2001 (the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were members from 1977 until 2002 due to the expansion of the Houston Texans, which moved them to the NFC South).[1]

The division was created in 1967 as the Central Division of the NFL's Western Conference and existed for three seasons before the AFL–NFL merger. After the merger, it was renamed the NFC Central and retained that name until the NFL split into eight divisions in 2002. The four teams have been together in the same division or conference since the Vikings joined the league in 1961. The Bears, Lions and Packers have been in the same division or conference since the NFL began a conference format in 1933.

Based on the ages of its teams, the NFC North is the oldest division in the NFL, at a combined 324 years old. The Bears are 95 years old (founded in 1919 in Decatur, Illinois; moved to Chicago in 1921), the Packers are also 95 years old (founded in 1919, but turned professional in 1921), the Lions are 85 years old (founded 1929 in Portsmouth, Ohio; moved to Detroit in 1934), and the Vikings are 53 years old (founded 1961). The division has a total of 11 Super Bowl appearances. The Packers have the most appearances in the Super Bowl with 5, the most recent happening in 2011. The Bears and the Packers have the only Super Bowl wins of this division, a total of 5 (4 for the Packers and 1 for the Bears). Of the top 10 NFL teams with the highest winning percentage throughout its franchise history, three of them are in the NFC North (the Bears, the Packers and the Vikings). The Lions however, have one of the lowest winning percentages in the NFL, including the only winless 16-game season in NFL history.[2]

Entering 2013 the Bears lead the division with an overall record of 722-526-42, victory in Super Bowl XX[3] and eight pre-Super Bowl league titles; Chicago's overall playoff record is 17-18. The Packers hold an overall record of 690-530-36 with an overall playoff record of 30-18, four Super Bowl titles, and nine pre-Super Bowl league titles - bringing the Packers to a total of 13 World Championships, an NFL record. The Lions hold a record of 510-613-32, four league championships, and a 7-11 playoff record. As the youngest (in terms of existence) team in the division, the Vikings hold a record of 426-355-9, a playoff record of 19-27, and had won a league title the season before the merger (although they lost Super Bowl IV).

This division earned the moniker "Black and Blue Division" due to its intense rivalries and physical style of play, and this nickname is still used regularly today. It is also known as the "Frostbite Division" as all teams played home games in late season winter cold until the mid-1970s. The division is also humorously called the "Frozen North", although two of its teams, Detroit and Minnesota, have played their home games indoors since 1975 and 1982 respectively. ESPN sportscaster Chris Berman often refers to this division as the "NFC Norris" because of its geographical similarity to the National Hockey League's old Norris Division. Also, three of the division's teams are located in metro areas which also have members of the Big Ten Conference; the Packers, being the odd one out, are not in the same immediate city as their state's Big Ten member.

Division lineups[edit]

Place cursor over year for division champ or Super Bowl team.

Years
NFL Western Conference
Central Division
NFC Central Division[B]
67[A] 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 00 01
66 [A] Green Bay Packers0 0
Chicago Bears
Detroit Lions
Minnesota Vikings
  Tampa Bay Buccaneers[C]
NFC North Division[D]
02[D] 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36
Green Bay Packers
Chicago Bears
Detroit Lions
Minnesota Vikings
     Team not in division      Division Won Super Bowl      Division Won NFC Championship      Division won NFL Championship, Lost Super Bowl
A The NFL Western Conference was divided into the Coastal and Central divisions. The Packers had won Super Bowl I in 1966 in the NFL Western Conference.
B Starting the 1970 season, this division became the National Football Conference Central division (or NFC Central for short), due to the AFL–NFL merger.
C Tampa Bay moved from the AFC West in 1977
D For the 2002 season, the league realigns to have 8 four team divisions. Division renamed the NFC North. Tampa Bay moves to the NFC South.

Division champions[edit]

Season Team Record Playoff Results
NFL Central (pre-merger)
1967 Green Bay Packers 9-4-1 Won 1967 NFL Championship Game and Super Bowl II
1968 Minnesota Vikings 8-6-0 Lost NFL Divisional Playoffs
1969 Minnesota Vikings 12-2-0 Won 1969 NFL Championship Game; lost Super Bowl IV
NFC Central (post merger)
1970 Minnesota Vikings 12-2-0 Lost NFC Divisional Playoffs
1971 Minnesota Vikings 11-3-0 Lost NFC Divisional Playoffs
1972 Green Bay Packers 10-4-0 Lost NFC Divisional Playoffs
1973 Minnesota Vikings 12-2-0 Lost Super Bowl VIII
1974 Minnesota Vikings 10-4-0 Lost Super Bowl IX
1975 Minnesota Vikings 12-2-0 Lost NFC Divisional Playoffs
1976 Minnesota Vikings 11-2-1 Lost Super Bowl XI
1977 Minnesota Vikings 9-5-0 Lost NFC Championship Game
1978 Minnesota Vikings 8-7-1 Lost NFC Divisional Playoffs
1979 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10-6-0 Lost NFC Championship Game
1980 Minnesota Vikings 9-7-0 Lost NFC Divisional Playoffs
1981 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 9-7-0 Lost NFC Divisional Playoffs
1982+ Green Bay Packers 5-3-1 Lost NFC Second Round
1983 Detroit Lions 9-7-0 Lost NFC Divisional Playoffs
1984 Chicago Bears 10-6-0 Lost NFC Championship Game
1985 Chicago Bears 15-1-0 Won Super Bowl XX
1986 Chicago Bears 14-2-0 Lost NFC Divisional Playoffs
1987 Chicago Bears 11-4-0 Lost NFC Divisional Playoffs
1988 Chicago Bears 12-4-0 Lost NFC Championship Game
1989 Minnesota Vikings 10-6-0 Lost NFC Divisional Playoffs
1990 Chicago Bears 11-5-0 Lost NFC Divisional Playoffs
1991 Detroit Lions 12-4-0 Lost NFC Championship Game
1992 Minnesota Vikings 11-5-0 Lost NFC Wild Card Playoffs
1993 Detroit Lions 10-6-0 Lost NFC Wild Card Playoffs
1994 Minnesota Vikings 10-6-0 Lost NFC Wild Card Playoffs
1995 Green Bay Packers 11-5-0 Lost NFC Championship Game
1996 Green Bay Packers 13-3-0 Won Super Bowl XXXI
1997 Green Bay Packers 13-3-0 Lost Super Bowl XXXII
1998 Minnesota Vikings 15-1-0 Lost NFC Championship Game
1999 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 11-5-0 Lost NFC Championship Game
2000 Minnesota Vikings 11-5-0 Lost NFC Championship Game
2001 Chicago Bears 13-3-0 Lost NFC Divisional Playoffs
NFC North
2002 Green Bay Packers 12-4-0 Lost NFC Wild Card Playoffs
2003 Green Bay Packers 10-6-0 Lost NFC Divisional Playoffs
2004 Green Bay Packers 10-6-0 Lost NFC Wild Card Playoffs
2005 Chicago Bears 11-5-0 Lost NFC Divisional Playoffs
2006 Chicago Bears 13-3-0 Lost Super Bowl XLI
2007 Green Bay Packers 13-3-0 Lost NFC Championship Game
2008 Minnesota Vikings 10-6-0 Lost NFC Wild Card Playoffs
2009 Minnesota Vikings 12-4-0 Lost NFC Championship Game
2010 Chicago Bears 11-5-0 Lost NFC Championship Game
2011 Green Bay Packers 15-1-0 Lost NFC Divisional Playoffs
2012 Green Bay Packers 11-5-0 Lost NFC Divisional Playoffs
2013 Green Bay Packers 8-7-1 Lost NFC Wild Card Playoffs

+ A players' strike in 1982 reduced the regular season to nine games, so the league used a special 16-team playoff tournament just for this year. Division standings were ignored, Green Bay had the best record of the division teams.

Wild Card qualifiers[edit]

Season Team Record Playoff Results
NFC Central
1970 Detroit Lions 10-4-0 Lost Divisional Playoffs
1977 Chicago Bears 9-5-0 Lost Divisional Playoffs
1979 Chicago Bears 10-6-0 Lost Wild Card Playoffs
1982+ Minnesota Vikings
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Detroit Lions
5-4-0
5-4-0
4-5-0
Lost NFC Second Round
Lost NFC First Round
Lost NFC First Round
1987 Minnesota Vikings 8-7-0 Lost NFC Championship Game
1988 Minnesota Vikings 11-5-0 Lost Divisional Playoffs
1991 Chicago Bears 11-5-0 Lost Wild Card Playoffs
1993 Minnesota Vikings
Green Bay Packers
9-7-0
9-7-0
Lost Wild Card Playoffs
Lost Divisional Playoffs
1994 Detroit Lions
Chicago Bears
Green Bay Packers
9-7-0
9-7-0
9-7-0
Lost Wild Card Playoffs
Lost Divisional Playoffs
Lost Divisional Playoffs
1995 Detroit Lions 10-6-0 Lost Wild Card Playoffs
1996 Minnesota Vikings 9-7-0 Lost Wild Card Playoffs
1997 Detroit Lions
Minnesota Vikings
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
9-7-0
9-7-0
10-6-0
Lost Wild Card Playoffs
Lost Divisional Playoffs
Lost Divisional Playoffs
1998 Green Bay Packers 11-5-0 Lost Wild Card Playoffs
1999 Detroit Lions
Minnesota Vikings
8-8-0
10-6-0
Lost Wild Card Playoffs
Lost Divisional Playoffs
2000 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10-6-0 Lost Wild Card Playoffs
2001 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Green Bay Packers
9-7-0
12-4-0
Lost Wild Card Playoffs
Lost Divisional Playoffs
NFC North
2004 Minnesota Vikings 8-8-0 Lost Divisional Playoffs
2009 Green Bay Packers 11-5-0 Lost Wild Card Playoffs
2010 Green Bay Packers 10-6-0 Won Super Bowl XLV
2011 Detroit Lions 10-6-0 Lost Wild Card Playoffs
2012 Minnesota Vikings 10-6-0 Lost Wild Card Playoffs

+ A players' strike in 1982 reduced the regular season to nine games, so the league used a special 16-team playoff tournament just for this year.

Total playoff berths[edit]

(NFC North records 1966-2013 seasons)

Team Division
Championships
Playoff
Berths
NFL League
Title
Conference
Wins
Super Bowl
Wins
Minnesota Vikings 18 27 1 4 0
Green Bay Packers 13 20 1 5 4
Chicago Bears 10 14 0 2 1
Detroit Lions 3 10 0 0 0

To sort table above, click button to right of heading.


Total playoff berths in Team History[edit]

(NFC North records 1920-2013 seasons)

Team Division
Championships
Playoff
Berths
NFL League
Title
(pre-merger)
Conference
Wins
Super Bowl
Wins
Total (1)
Championships
Minnesota Vikings 18 27 1 4 0 1
Green Bay Packers 17 29 11 9 4 15
Chicago Bears 18 25 8 4 1 9
Detroit Lions 4 15 4 4 0 4

To sort table above, click button to right of heading.

1 From 1966 to 1969, this means winning both the NFL Championship game AND the Super Bowl. Hence, the Vikings' NFL Championship victory in 1969 isn't counted.

Schedule assignments[edit]

Year Opponents
Interconf. Intraconf.
2013 AFC North NFC East
2014 AFC East NFC South
2015 AFC West NFC West
2016 AFC South NFC East
2017 AFC North NFC South
2018 AFC East NFC West
2019 AFC West NFC East
2020 AFC South NFC South
2021 AFC North NFC West
2022 AFC East NFC East
2023 AFC West NFC South
2024 AFC South NFC West
2025 AFC North NFC East

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "NFC Central Teams". Thefootballportal.com. Retrieved 2012-09-08. 
  2. ^ "Lions complete 1st 0-16 season in league history - NFL- NBC Sports". Nbcsports.msnbc.com. 2008-12-28. Retrieved 2012-09-08. 
  3. ^ "Super Bowl XX Game Recap". Nfl.com. 1986-01-27. Retrieved 2012-09-08.