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Around the NFC North

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Around the NFC North

Chicago Bears:   The Bears surprising win over the Packers on Thanksgiving Night has the City of Chicago thinking playoffs.  Playoffs?!!!  Playoffs???!!!  You talk about playoffs??!!!!

After their latest victory the Bears now stand at 5-6 on the season and just on the outside looking in for a playoff berth. With what might be considered a favorable or at least manageable schedule to finish the season, it is not inconceivable (although unlikely) that the Bears may be able to reach the playoffs.   Dreams do live on however. 

Even if the Bears do not make the playoffs there is no doubt that they are a rejuvenated team with a positive direction under new General Manager Ryan Pace and Head Coach John Fox.

The Bears are 5.5- point favorites to defeat the Niners at home.

Last Week:   Beat the Packers in Green Bay

This Week:   49’ers at Chicago

Season Record:  5 - 6

Place in NFC North:    3rd

Detroit LionsThe Lions are certainly not going to the playoffs this season but what looked like the league’s worst train wreck just a few weeks ago has quietly put together a three game winning streak.  One of those victories was a shocking win in Green Bay where they hadn’t won in 23 years.  They will try to sweep the 2015 season series this Thursday Night.

Notable injury updates:  Ten players showed up on the most recent Lions injury report.  WR Lance Moore (ankle) did not practice on Monday, Calvin Johnson (ankle), S James Ihedigbo (hamstring) and Grover Quinn (ankle) were limited.

The Lions are 3-point underdogs to the Packers at home.

Last Week:   Won at home vs. Eagles

This Week:   At home vs. Green Bay

Season Record:    4 - 7

Place in NFC North:  4th

Minnesota Vikings:  A week after suffering a disappointing loss to rival Green Bay the Vikings stormed back against a quality opponent and beat the Falcons on the road. 

For the Vikings the task now gets harder.

Some critics of the Minnesota Vikings were quick to point out the lack of quality opponents that they faced early on in 2015 as a reason for their success. After their much-needed 20-10 victory against the Atlanta Falcons the talk has reverted to sealing up the NFC North and a home playoff game.  Their latest challenge comes this week as they face-off against Russell Wilson and the NFC defending champion Seattle Seahawks who have suddenly found a resurgence of their own.

The odds makers have the game as a ‘pick-em’.  This one should be a fun game to watch.

Last Week:   Won at Atlanta

This Week:   Seahawks at Minnesota

Season Record:   8- 3

Place in NFC North:    1st

Green Bay Packers:   Two burning Green Bay Packers questions:  What has happened to the offense, in particular the passing offense, and will they be able to fix it before it is too late?  No easy answers even for the Packers players and coaching staff.

There is no way to know which team will show up on Thursday night with the season on the line.  Will it be the once promising team that rattled off six-consecutive wins to start the season or the one that has dropped 4 of 5 and lost at home to NFL weaklings Detroit and Chicago?

If the playoffs were to start today, the Packers would be the first wildcard – 5th seed and traveling to play Washington Redskins on the road.

Notable injury updates:  Eleven Packers were listed on the most recent injury report including Julius Peppers who sat out with what was reported as a “non-injury”.   OT Bryan Bulaga (ankle), CB Demetri Goodson (illness) and WR Ty Montgomery (ankle) did not practice.  OG T.J. Lang, C Corey Linsley, ILB Nate Palmer and OG Josh Sitton practiced but were limited.  Returning to full participation were WR Jared Abbrederis, CB-S Micah Hyde and CB Damarious Randall.

The Packers are three-point betting favorites to win the game – a testament to the odds makers belief that the Packers are the better team but also that the Lions are capable of beating the Packers once again.

Last Week:   Lost at home to the Bears

This Week:   At Detroit

Season Record:    7 - 4

Place in NFC North:    2nd

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (18) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Packer_Pete's picture

Both Vikings and Packers in 2nd? Well I guess testament that the NFC North is bad this year. We'll maybe mediocre...

croatpackfan's picture

I noticed the same. But for me it is testimony of what author wish for the Vikings, not how bad NFC is. I think it is still elite division. Who else? NFC South? NFC East? NFC West? All NFC divisions are in strange shape and tricky!

Tundraboy's picture

Unrelated but I read that the Ravens have blocked a punt or kick in 5 straight games. Nice to have good STs Can not remember the last time that Packers blocked a punt or kick.

RCPackerFan's picture

Very true.

But its been nice having Janis on KR the last few games. He has added a spark there.

Spud Rapids's picture

Datone Jones blocked one earlier this year vs. St. Louis

Tundraboy's picture

That's right. Forgot that. Wonder how many over last few years.

Mebrooks5291's picture

same old plays from packers on offense. stale play calling leads to way to many 3 and outs.

Spud Rapids's picture

Yeah those stale play calls result in all those WR drops because the play was boring... If you want reverses and trick plays go watch arena league

4thand1's picture

Best news I've seen so far, Nate Palmer on the injury report. Maybe the Packers will be forced to play Ryan.

TommyG's picture

I was thinking the same thing. A bit of addition by subtraction. Take away MM's under and poor performing toys and perhaps he too will see the light.

Tundraboy's picture

Best news all Week!

RCPackerFan's picture

It seems like that is the only way they play some players (that should already be playing), is if there is an injury to the starter.

Ryan, Rollins should both be playing more then they are. Ryan should be ahead of Palmer by now, and Rollins should be ahead of Hyde.

Hopefully both of them start seeing more playing time.

4thand10's picture

Well since our punting has been absolutely horrible this year....maybe the ginger wolverine can pull off the ol' fake :-)

sirlen's picture

I'm not suggesting anything with this comment, but has anyone thought with all the injuries Rogers must have how much pain meds must he take to play? This could have the effect we are seeing on the field!

4thand1's picture

Is this team going to follow the Favre led team of the 90's? One SB, then slowly fade away until the next great QB comes along.

Doug_In_Sandpoint's picture

Nope.

NewNikeShoes's picture

GTFO son, you made a promise

egbertsouse's picture

I've been wondering if Rodgers has the yips, like pro golfers get sometimes. You get out of your natural rhythm and start over- thinking everything. It eems like something is messing with his head...

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