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Around the NFC North

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Around the NFC North

Chicago Bears:  Who would have thought it?  The surprising Bears boast the leading offense in the NFC North and used it to crush the Rams 37 – 13 in St Louis.

Contemplate this.  Jay Cutler is averaging more passing yards per game than reigning league MVP Aaron Rodgers (255 vs. 252).  Their offense however is averaging only 20.2 per game good for only twentieth in the league.  Still Jay Cutler has lead the Bears to respectability.

The Bears are two-point favorites at home against which could be a Peyton-less Broncos team.  The Broncos have not looked good since advancing to a 7 – 0 mark by defeating the Packers at home.

Last Week:   Beat the Rams

This Week:   At home vs. Broncos.

Season Record:  4 - 4

Place in NFC North:    Third

Detroit Lions:  A team which finished with an 11-win season a year ago but in free-fall so far this season turned out to be the most desperate team on Sunday.  In the process they accomplished something that hadn’t been done by a Detroit Lions team in 24 years – defeat the Green Bay Packers on their home field.

The Lions were far from polished, but they did what they had to do against a suddenly impotent Packers team.  The Lions are going nowhere this season and there is a good chance that at season’s end the team will be “blown up” by their owner Martha Ford.  But for this one day at Lambeau Field the Lions had to feel like Super Bowl Champions.

The Lions are two-point underdogs at home this week against the Raiders.

Last Week:   Won at Green Bay

This Week:   At home vs. Raiders

Season Record:    2- 7

Place in NFC North:  Last

Minnesota Vikings:  The Vikings dominated an improving Raiders team in Oakland 30 – 14.  Running back Adrian Peterson rushed for 203 yards and a touchdown in his record-tying sixth career 200-yard game.  Kick returner Cordarrelle Patterson returned a kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown as the Vikings assumed sole possession of first place in the NFC North.

The Vikings play their most important game to date when they host division rival Packers at home this weekend.  Win and they would increase their lead in the NFC North to two games with the tie breaker in their back pocket should they need it late in the season.

The Vikings offense leads the league in rushing with an average of 147.2 yards per game.  However their passing game borders on being the league’s worst (31st) averaging only 181.4 yards per game. Their total offense comes in at number 29 – worst in the division.  They will challenge the Packers who are the league’s tenth-worst defense (371.4 YPG average).

The Vikings defense is ninth-ranked allowing 336.4 YPG average.  The Vikes defense is the second stingiest in the league allowing an average of only 17.1 points per game.

Late Tuesday the Vegas betting line had moved to a “pick-em” after the Vikes opened as one point favorites.

Last Week:   Won at Oakland

This Week:   Home vs. Packers

Season Record:   7 - 2

Place in NFC North:   First

Green Bay Packers:   The quarterback’s observation was spot on after Sunday’s Lions – Packers tilt at Lambeau Field.  “We had communication errors, we had physical errors, we had all sorts of errors on all three phases.  And that's the way football is, an imperfect game, but you've got to make the plays to win.”  After watching the game you might expect the quote to be attributed to the Packers Aaron Rodgers instead of victorious Lions QB Matthew Stafford.  But it wasn’t.  It came from Stafford. 

This is just how far the Packers have fallen after a 6 – 0 start – shockingly losing to the worst team in the league at home, a place the Lions hadn’t tasted victory in some 24 years.  The owners of a three-straight-game losing streak.  A team in tatters and seemingly short on confidence.

Trying to explain the painful loss Head Coach Mike McCarthy was not pushing the panic button.  “Everything we need to do, we have the people in the locker room to do it. We left big opportunities on the field. We have to win those one-on-ones at a higher efficiency. Coaching wise, we have to get it out of our players.  We need to be better in our fundamentals. That’s what we’re lacking. We’re not doing it enough to win games,” McCarthy told reporters Monday after reviewing the game tape.

The Packers must now travel to Minnesota to take on the rejuvenated and confident first place Minnesota Vikings team.  If it is not a must game for the Packers, it is a close to it as can possibly be. 

The Packers however control their own destiny.  With a win against the Vikings they would again regain a share of the NFC North lead with the tie breaker in hand.  A fourth straight loss and they will have a steep climb to claim their fifth straight NFC title and perhaps might even be looking at the start of something unimaginable - elimination from the playoff picture entirely.

A mostly shocked crowd of 78,526 watched the Lions game at Lambeau Field — a new regular season record.

Injury report:  Left Tackle David Bakhtiari left the game early with a knee injury and did not return. Early word is that the Packers’ starter avoided serious injury and should not be out long and may have a shot to play in Minnesota.  Safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix left the game with a head injury and was being evaluated for a concussion.  On Monday McCarthy reported that Clinton-Dix “looked good”.

The Packers are one point underdogs to the Vikings in Minnesota (since moved to a “pick-em”).  This would mark the first time all season that the Packer will enter a game without being the favorites.

Last Week:   Lost at home to Lions           

This Week:   At Minnesota Vikings

Season Record:    2 - 7

Place in NFC North:    Second


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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (26) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

croatpackfan's picture

How it looks now, Packers are underdog more than 1 point against Vikings. But, I believe Packers will win this game. It will not be easy win, but at the end result will shows differently... I say, expect AP to have huge day 130-150 yards 1 or 2 TD and that is all... I say 24-17 for Packers!

mnklitzke's picture

What have you seen that makes you think we are going to win in Min? MM has not given me anything to be optimistic about.

D Ernesto's picture

If they run the same pass patterns they have for the last five years, no reason to think they won't because MM hates to practice, hates to make any changes, then the Packers slow ass receivers included Cobb will be covered tighter than a blanket of wet snow.
The running game. Starks gets open maybe twice a game. Otherwise he is tripped up or caught behind our pouros line.
Rogers. Who is he going to pass to, the other team. He may be looking at his worst day ever. I see him on his butt looking skyward a lot and shaking his head like its someone elses fault.

WKUPackFan's picture

Oakland laid an egg after I had hyped them up, let the child beater run all over them. Hope Dom has the guys ready to put some good hits in him.

WKUPackFan's picture

*on* him.

croatpackfan's picture

I would suggest to change the quote that running on the side of the site - "Mike McCarthy: "The Bears still sucks!".
It looks now "Packers sucks!" so it would be wise to remove that quote for a while...

murphy's picture

The Bears still suck, independent of how the Packers are doing. I think it's safe to leave it.

Nick Perry's picture

Even after the Denver and Carolina game I was optimistic this team could turn it around. After that debacle against Detroit, their 3rd straight loss, I have a hard time being optimistic about the Packers right now. Aaron Rodgers hasn't beat a top ten defense on the road in what, the last 7 attempts? Now I still hold out hope that Montgomery will play, McCarthy starts to change somethings, at least a little where his "Slower" WR have a shot against CB's that are going to MUG the Packers WR at the LOS.

Offense, Defense, ST, none of these units have played very well. The Minnesota Defense allows 17.1 points a game and is playing REALLY well. This team isn't a "Dome Team" anymore so weather isn't a factor. and there's also the AP factor. Damn that AP.

To top it off the O-Line stinks, Sitton is speaking out when his own backyard is dirty. 2 weeks ago the defense was so bad the Packers were fighting on the sideline. Passion? A positive sign they have heart? Well maybe but they have to show me. I'm actually begging they show me because so far prayer, positive thinking, and trust in the coaching staff hasn't done a thing.

A win here is vital to the Packers season. Another loss could be what sends the team in a downward spiral that they might not recover from this season. If they have heart, the talent we all believed they had, and has a coaching stafff that can ACTUALLY adapt to what the hell is going on out there, well as Keven Greene once said, "It's Time".

RCPackerFan's picture

With Sitton speaking out it tells me a couple of things.

It says that he doesn't buy into what the coaches are doing offensively scheme or play calling. With him not buying into it, he is losing his ability to focus 100% on the task at hand. Which to me could be a reason why they haven't played as well.

If your boss wants you to do something at work his way, which you don't like his way because its not the way you know will work the best, doesn't your performance go down?
It feels like that is what is happening here. I could be way off, but its what I take from it.

7th Rounder's picture

Since Zimmer has taken over as HC, Rodgers has struggled against the Vikings. If the Packers are going to win this game they need a good running game. Lacy has had a couple weeks to straighten out his issues and has had good games against the Vikings in the past. If the Pack is going to win this game they need Lacy and/or Starks to have a big game!

Point Packer's picture

Agreed, but it also means that those over-paid and highly over-rated meat-heads on the O-line need do their job, for once. Something they rarely have done all season. And that ain't going to happen. I'd expect more of the same for our running game in MN.

Amazing how bad the O-line unit is after being so highly regarded in the pre-season. Of all our problems on the field, O-line play is numero uno in my book. Now whether its execution or direction coming from the sideline, IDK.

Go Pack.

7th Rounder's picture

Bottom line is the O line needs to live up to their potential. If not, I expect this losing streak to continue.

Point Packer's picture

Packers don't have a chance in this one, don't kid yourself.

murphy's picture

Maybe someone can hack the scoreboard in Minnesota so the team thinks they're down by 20 with 8 minutes left in the 4th for the entire game. They'd win 80-3.

Geri's picture

There is clearly something going on with the Packers that we aren't being told about. I believe it has to do with the coaching staff and as much as I love Aaron Rodgers possibly him too. God forbid, he is sitting on the sideline sulking like Jay Cutler. Cutler is doing better with change in coaching staff. I think that is exactly what Packers need. MM, Capers and TT are all so stubborn and unwilling to change. If I have to look at McCarthy whining one more time, I think I'll puke. How long can he use the excuse of getting back to fundamentals? We should have been beyond that after week one. We are wasting Rodgers' prime years but as long as the stadium is filling up and money is being made, I doubt if any changes will be made. Who's going to fire who? Maybe they will decide the next time they all take a vacation together.

D Ernesto's picture

Well said. One thing you kind of hit on about change, funny how MM always likes to bring back guys who know the system. I always felt the reason is he is lazy and doesn't like to train in new people or again like you said, change anything. Its lets try and find excuses as to what we did in the past isn't working right now. Its because of game films.
Other teams know our pass routes better than our receivers do apparently.

Dan Stodola's picture

If you want whining, you should be looking at Davante Adams. Its all he does, other than NOT get open!

Samson's picture

I hate to agree with you, Stroh, but you're correct. --- D. Adams needs to just play football and quit looking for flags. --- Unfortunately, AR is the same. They all need to focus on the next play instead of the last play.

EdsLaces's picture

Damnit ...I hate to have to play the Vikings right now. Then again I can't think of many teams I would wanna play either. .

Spud Rapids's picture

It's like Cow returned as agent Smith and made everyone into clones like in the final Matrix. If they go out and crush the Vikings all you nay sayers will turn around and be like "I knew they'd turn it around." Bunch of flip floppers and negative nancies can handle a few losses. Buck up this could be the 80's when they really sucked.

D Ernesto's picture

Ted T doesn't all of a sudden sound like that genius packer fans have elevated him to.
His receiving core is slow of foot and he picked em.
Pass rush? Does this team have a pass rush? Daton J and Nick Perry, two horrid picks who have done nothing now for four years.
O Line. Can't blame them to hold a pass rush for 4 seconds or longer or open holes for hugely overweight running back and an injury prone running back.
Pass defense? Outside the Lions this is the worst pass defense in the league and again terrible choices by Ted T, but these guys are cheap. He let the better ones leave due to mooney.
No lets call it like it is, this is Ted T's team, the team he built and you can't use injuries again this year as an excuse. He drafts injury prone people is more like it.

Packer_Pete's picture

Got it. The name you posted under in the past was imma fubared...

Samson's picture

You may be right --- but that doesn't make him wrong. --- This is TT's team and once again it lacks veteran leadership. -- A young and inexperienced roster can't win without a dominant QB. -- AR is not playing like an MVP. As a result, GB has lost 3 in a row.

Samson's picture

The Pack have the ability to go into Minnesota and wipe up the floor with the Vikes. --- The NFL is always week to week. --- Believe me, this game is pivotal for the Pack. --- It'll make or break the season.

White92's picture

I'm no coach, but it seems like they have all but completely abandoned Rodgers under center. When they do run out of the shotgun, it's as likely to be a 3 yd loss as it is a 3 yd gain. Seems like D-lines can just pin ears back and penetrate. I'd like to see Rodgers under center more and traditional play action.

4thand1's picture

What I'm seeing is a huge disparity in reffing. Some games I've watched, they flag everything. Others they let them play? The league was supposed to crack down on illegal contact and defensive holding. If teams mug Packers receivers, they have no chance because of the lack of speed. This also hinders the running game with only one safety playing back. Every team is pinning their ears back and attacking. If AR has a bum shoulder, it would be harder to throw on the run I'm assuming. The only chance is a healthy lacy pounding out some tough yards and play action IMO.

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"The Bears still suck!"
"I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious."
"A school without football is in danger of deteriorating into a medieval study hall. "