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NFL schedule 2012: Bears face 49ers on Monday night, Packers visit Lions in Detroit

The Packers visit the Lions on Sunday before the Bears take on the 49ers on Monday night in a week that could have major implications for the NFC North standings.


Coming off a disappointing defeat at home against the Houston Texans, the Chicago Bears may need a victory over the San Francisco 49ers on the road Monday night to keep their status as the lone team atop the NFC North standings. With the Green Bay Packers closing in, another Bears defeat could potentially put the division into a three-team race.

On Sunday afternoon, the Packers are visiting the Detroit Lions at Ford Field, a game that Green Bay should ultimately be able to win. While Detroit has played somewhat better of late, the Packers have been on an absolute roll lately, winning four straight games by at least nine points.

In addition to the surging Packers, the Minnesota Vikings are still hanging around at 6-4 entering this week, which is a bye for them. They enter the gauntlet after that, though, taking on the Bears twice, Packers twice, Texans on the road and Rams on the road over the final six weeks of the season.

If the Bears can win on Monday, there is a possibility that they could be tied for the best record in the NFL going into next week's games. If the Falcons lose at home to the Cardinals and the Texans lose at home to the Jaguars, both admittedly highly unlikely events, all three teams would be staring at 8-2 records going into Week 12.