NFC North

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 also 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.)

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 316 years old. The Bears are 93 years old (founded in 1919 in Decatur, Illinois; moved to Chicago in 1921), the Packers are also 93 years old (founded in 1919, but turned professional in 1921), the Lions are 83 years old (founded 1929 in Portsmouth, Ohio; moved to Detroit in 1934), and the Vikings are 51 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.

Entering 2012 the Bears lead the division with an overall record of 712-520-42, victory in Super Bowl XX and eight pre-Super Bowl league titles; Chicago's overall playoff record is 17-18. The Packers hold an overall record of 679-525-36 with an overall playoff record of 29-17, four Super Bowl titles, and nine pre-Super Bowl league titles. The Lions hold a record of 506-599-32, 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 416-349-9 and a playoff record of 19-26.

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. The NFC North's geography has been compared to that of a college conference since all four of its home cities lie within the territorial boundaries of the NCAA's Big Ten Conference.

Read more about NFC North:  Division Lineups, Division Champions, Wild Card Qualifiers, See Also, Total Playoff Berths, Total Playoff Berths in Team History, Schedule Assignments

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