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2012 NFL schedule: Vikings visit banged up Bears

The Vikings head to Soldier Field to face a Bears team that could be without Jay Cutler.

Bruce Kluckhohn-US PRESSWIRE

The Minnesota Vikings put themselves back in the hunt for the NFC North title last week with a win two weeks ago over the Detroit Lions, and they can continue to make headway with a road victory over the Chicago Bears on Sunday. The good news for the Vikings is that they could be catching Chicago in a perilous position, with Jay Cutler potentially missing his second straight game and receiver Alshon Jeffery out after arthroscopic knee surgery.

Chicago still boasts one of the best defenses in the league, and its offense has looked ineffective against two of the league's best defenses in Houston and San Francisco. That said, they are entering the game on shaky ground. Kick off is at noon CT on FOX.

The Green Bay Packers, who have surged to the top of the division after their own defeat of the Lions, will visit the New York Giants on Sunday night. The Giants themselves have struggled of late, losing their last two games, but they will enter the game coming off a bye. That game begins at 7:20 p.m. CT on NBC.

The Lions, meanwhile, will host their customary Thanksgiving Day game in what looks like a must-win for the 4-6 team. They will welcome the Houston Texans, who looked vulnerable in an overtime win over the Jacksonville Jaguars last week but remain one of the best teams in the NFL. That is an 11:30 a.m. kickoff on CBS.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.