In the NFL, the winter season is NFC North season.
The Detroit Lions have their annual Thanksgiving home game. (They lost, again, this year.) The Green Bay Packers have the famously frozen tundra of Lambeau Field. The Chicago Bears have memories of Walter Payton and Dick Butkus breathing plumes of visible air into the cold at Soldier Field. And the Minnesota Vikings ... well, they're Vikings. They're made for winter.
As the NFL calendar approaches mid-December and the playoff picture takes shape, the NFC North might only provide one playoff team, but they'll provide plenty of classic visions of what football in the winter is supposed to look like.
Entering Week 14 of the NFL schedule, here's how the NFC North teams rank.
4. Chicago Bears (5-7)
Once upon a time not long ago, the Bears were 5-1 and their only loss was a close contest in a defensive battle against a good Indianapolis Colts team.
Since then, the Bears have lost six in a row -- their last three losses coming to each of their NFC North rivals. Last week, the Bears fell 34-30 to the Lions at home. Chicago led by double-digits in the fourth quarter before allowing Detroit to rally and score the winning touchdown in the final two minutes.
One bright spot is that the Bears are getting some improvement from their run game. Last week, David Montgomery rushed for 72 yards and two touchdowns, while Cordarrelle Patterson added 59 yards and a score on the ground.
The Bears host the Houston Texans in Week 14.
3. Detroit Lions (5-7)
After firing head coach Matt Patricia on Nov. 28, the Lions won their first game with interim coach Darrell Bevell, beating the Bears 34-30 last Sunday. After the victory, veteran running back said football was "back to being fun," a clear jab at Patricia and endorsement for Bevell.
We'll see if football is still fun for the Lions when they face the NFC North-leading Packers on Sunday.
Usually it's a positive for an NFL team to be playing a tougher opponent at home, but the Lions are just 1-4 at Ford Field this season.
2. Minnesota Vikings (6-6)
The Vikings have won five of their last six games, but they did need overtime to squeeze by the 1-11 Jacksonville Jaguars last week, who are arguably the worst team in the NFL. (Or maybe not. The New York Jets seem pretty clearly the worst team in the NFL.)
Minnesota did get another 300-yard, 3-touchdown stat line from quarterback Kirk Cousins -- his third straight outing with such numbers -- and a 120-yard day from star running back Dalvin Cook against the Jaguars.
The Vikings go from facing Florida's worst to Florida's finest NFL franchise when the Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers come to Minnesota in Week 14.
1. Green Bay Packers (9-3)
The Packers have the NFL's highest-scoring offense (31.6 points per game) and have scored at least 30 in their last three games. Odds are they'll extend that streak to four games this week against the Lions, who have allowed the Texans and Bears to crack 30 in the last two weeks.
Aaron Rodgers keeps breaking barriers, as last week he became the fastest quarterback in NFL history to throw for 400 touchdowns in his career.
Whenever Rodgers, running back Aaron Jones, and wide receiver Davante Adams all have a big day on the same day -- which happened against the Eagles last week -- the Packers seem almost impossible to beat.