The Green Bay Packers have owned the NFC North over the last four years, having won 47 games, the last two division titles and a Super Bowl in 2010.
A rough loss at San Francisco in the Wild Card round of the playoffs ended the 2012 season, and that's who they get to open the 2013 season against, for the second year in a row.
The 49ers have been the Packers' nemesis more than any NFC North team, having beaten them twice in 2012. Starting the season against the defending NFC Champions is a tall task.
It won't just be the 49ers, though. The Vikings are an up-and-coming team with two first-round draft picks to use to compliment one of the game's best rushing and special teams units. The Vikings were a surprising 10-6 in 2012 and start the 2013 season with three very winnable games - at Detroit, at Chicago and at home vs. Cleveland before traveling to London to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 4.
The Lions were a downtrodden team in 2012, but their fourth-place schedule could help their talented roster rebound. Despite four of their first six games being on the road, three of their first four games are against non-playoff teams from 2012. Along with that, they get the top two teams in the AFC North - Baltimore and Cincinnati - at home. They end their season against the team they play in Week 1, the Vikings.
Chicago will open the season with their new head coach, Marc Trestman, and two consecutive home games, against Cincinnati and Minnesota before traveling to Pittsburgh for a Sunday Night Football game against the Steelers. Chicago is looking to rebound from two-straight non-playoff seasons, largely caused by injuries. They lost out on the playoffs on a tiebreaker to the Vikings in 2012, but that third-place schedule could help a talented team get back to the postseason. They lost to Green Bay in the NFC Championship game in 2010.
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