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Around the NFC North - Week 11

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Around the NFC North - Week 11

The Green Bay Packers have a tough trip to Washington this week, and could fall even further behind the NFC North leading Detroit Lions—and I did not expect to be typing that this year.

The division is a bit of a wreck right now, with both the Packers and Vikings are on terrible losing streaks (three in a row for the Packers, four in a row for Minnesota) and Detroit clinging to the lead.

Let’s take a look at what’s on the docket for the other teams this week.

Arizona Cardinals at Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings lost yet another offensive linemen in Jake Long, though to be honest, Long was worse than a traffic cone out there. That’s going to continue the trend of no run game and a quarterback under duress for the foreseeable future.

The bigger problem is the defense, which has mostly been playing awful. They bounced back a little last week against Washington, but that offensive line fell apart and the team couldn’t pull out a win. That’s the issue, and one we always wondered whether it could creep in. The Vikings were surviving on the backs of the defense and now, when the defense is struggling or even when it is able to turn things around like it did last week, the offense cannot pick up the slack.

They face a Cardinals team which is a bit of a mess itself. A record of 3-1-1 in its last five games has mostly come on the backs of bad teams like the 49ers and Jets, and they were only able to eek out a tie against Seattle, while they lost to the Panthers.

Unlike what the Vikings are dealing with, the Cardinals have one of the best defenses in the NFL right now. While the Vikings still rate up there in Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric, they are paper tigers right now. The Cardinals are the real deal.

 Prediction: Cardinals 24, Vikings 10

Chicago Bears at New York Giants

Let’s make this short and sweet: The Bears are bad, Jay Cutler is bad, the receivers are all hurt or, in the case of Alshon Jeffery, suspended. Everything is bad, save maybe Jeremy Langford.

But he’s probably bad too.

The Giants aren’t a great team, but Eli Manning and his receivers (including a dude maned Odell Beckham Jr) will carve up this laughable defense and the front seven of the Giants are going to destroy Cutler until he Cutlers himself a few interceptions.

Prediction: Giants 35, Bears 14 (that 14 might be generous)

Jacksonville Jaguars at Detroit Lions

This should also be an easy call for most people, as the Jaguars have one of the most inept coaches in the NFL and a quarterback who is regressing so hard he’ll be playing like he did in Pop Warner by next week.

Nothing has worked for the Jaguars, save the occasional run game. While the Lions have one of the worst defenses in the NFL, both statistically and according to DVOA, the Jaguars are just unable to get going before the fourth quarter.

When it’s the fourth quarter, if it’s close, you might see some fireworks from Jacksonville. However, if the Lions get going early, it’s going to be too little, too late.

Jacksonville does have a good defense, statistically speaking, but they have been waning the last few games. That’s on the offense to a large extent, as the unit is just unable to stay on the field long enough to give the defense a breather.

That’s resulted in a 1-4 record in their last five games.

We’re pretty confident that record will be 1-5 in their last six by the end of the weekend.

Prediction: Lions 24, Jaguars 17

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (7) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

pacman's picture

Does anyone remember such a poor division anywhere?

I guess we will see if MM wants to win or wants to stay with his game plan. Always seems like the latter.

Some nice AR throws to Adams on display on WYMM.

While i'm here - maybe someone can answer this - why do the Packers seem to try to tackle by wrapping the runners body rather than grabbing a leg?

Packer_Pete's picture

AFC North is actually even worse.... And NFC South may be as bad...

EdsLaces's picture

Christian Michael anyone ?

EdsLaces's picture

Totally butchered his name haha.

TXCHEESE's picture

I like that signing. Hopefully he's healthy. Guys like that will play with an attitude, especially when Seattle comes calling.

Lphill's picture

Finally a running back , thank God

dobber's picture

Could legitimately be an 0-fer for the NFC Norris this week. Detroit, coming off their bye, is your most likely winner, and the Packers have a chance if they can get out of the first quarter with a lead. I wouldn't take any of these teams in an eliminator pool this week...

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"A school without football is in danger of deteriorating into a medieval study hall. "
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