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Around the NFC North - Week 12

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Around the NFC North - Week 12

I suppose you could say the one thing Packers fans have to be thankful for is not having to watch the Packers on television Thursday, thereby allowing their stomachs to digest the turkey and mashed potatos and not end up back on your plate. Yup, it's been that kind of season.

Unfortunately, with that stomach-churning loss to Baltimore last week, the Packers are just about done in terms of playoff chances. Sure, technically they are only a couple of games behind the Carolina Panthers and one behind the Detriot Lions and Atlanta Falcons, but two of those teams are trending upwards and Detroit already beat the Packers once — in Lambeau, no less.

It's grimm.

On the plus side, the Lions get the Minnesota Vikings tomorrow, so there's still hope. In the minus column, the Panthers get the New York Jets and the Falcons get a wounded Tampa Bay Buccaneers team.

Let's take a quick look at that first game, and also catch up with the Bears as well.

Vikings at Lions

As painful as it might be for Green Bay fans, you kind of have to pick a side. I think the Packers have a better chance to overtake the Lions than the Vikings but with the Falcons and Panthers the other twp Wild Card hopefuls, the safer bet is to win the division.

The spread, last I looked, is tight, with the Vikings favored by just 2.5 points and I understand Vegas' thought process — Detroit has had three wions in a row (albiet against a Rodgers-less Packers and the Browns and Bears — not exactly elite competition) and scored an average of 31 points a game over the last three games.

In my mind, though, the Vikings defense is a whole new level of competition for Detriot and the last time the two teams met, the Lions won by a score of 14-7. Even on the road ina tough venue, that's not much.

Meanwhile, the Vikings are looking to extend their win streak to 7, and are actually pretty solid on the road — though again, many of the teams they played weren't the cream of the crop. But unlike the Lions, the Vikings are coming off back to back wins against pretty good teams in the form of Washington and, more impressively, the Los Angeles Rams. 

And they didn't just beat the Rams — they shut them down and then scored all over them.

The Vikings won't make a switch to Teddy Bridgewater any time soon, by the way. Case Keanum is actually playing well and, unlike the Buffalo Bills, the Vikings know not to screw up a good thing. Don't rock the boat. Aside from Xavier Rhodes' calf, which coach Mike Zimmer said is not an issue, the Vikings are healthy too.

The Lions are not. Ziggy Ansah didn't play last week due to a back injury, although he might play Thursday. They're a little banged up along the offensive line, though TJ Lang and Taylor Decker are back, and that's a big deal. Despite their return, Matt Stafford was still sacked three times by the Chicago Bears — and yet came within a yard of his fourth 300+ yard passing game in a row.

This is a tough game to pick, and at Minnesota I'd say this is a Vikings win.  In Detroit? I think it can easily go either way.

Bears at Eagles

The Bears heading to Philly on a three-game skid? Against a red-hot Eagles team led by an ascendent Carson Wentz? An Eagles team which has outscored their last three opponants 121-42?
Sorry Bears, but an ice cube in hell in front of a roaring fire surrounded by flame-breathing dragons has a better chance.

I like what I've seen from Mitch Trubisky, but it's a lot to ask him to win this game against the Eagles defense. Jordan Howard will get a lot of carries to keep the weight of the game from falling squarely on the quarterback's shoulders, but I expect the Bears to be down early on Sunday and have to throw.

There's not much else to say here. The Bears did lose linebacker Leonard Floyd to a torn ACL, but they are still waiting on more results before they IR him. They signed Cairo Santos after Connor Barth missed that last second field goal against Detroit. 

It's all re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic in Chicago.

Right, Cam Newton?



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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (4) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Razer's picture

Since the collarbone break, the air has come out of the Packers balloon for fans. Seems that interest has plummeted for both the fans and the media. Not much in the way of articles beyond the "Hundley experiment" that are garnering on-going interest. Kenny Clark's ankle or Aaron Jone's stupidity don't seem to have any legs when fans are struggling to find hope in this season.

Andrews opening line: "I suppose you could say the one thing Packers fans have to be thankful for is not having to watch the Packers on television Thursday"...

This pretty well sums up the sad reality of the Packers without Aaron Rodgers.

TommyG's picture

I’m thankful for any packers game I get to see on tv, even the losses. I currently live in Japan so the only games I get to see are those that are nationally televised. The games in holidays are the best because I can get up at 0300 and watch without having to worry about being rested for work. Anyway... Vikings are going to smash the lions and the bears will be the next win for Philly.

egbertsouse's picture

Minnesota will win the division. Their season MVP? Easy, Anthony Barr. He got them to the playoffs with one play.

Razer's picture

Simple and true

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