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Around the NFC North - Week 13

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Around the NFC North - Week 13

Since we’re back to me picking against the Packers and them winning, I open by saying—you’re welcome.

The Packers are still nominally alive in the playoff hunt, and theoretically if the Vikings and Lions collapse they can win the division. They can still sneak into the Wild Card as well.

They need some help though, so let’s see if they can get some from the opponents of their NFCN rivals.

Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings

This is going to be a tough game for the Vikings to come away with, unless they have a Herculean game defensively. The Cowboys have a tremendous offense—Ezekiel Elliott is nearly unstoppable and Dak Prescott has come into his own—and the defense has been playing very well.

As much as the Vikings defense seems back on track, it’s going to be sorely tested by one of the better offenses in the NFL.

The Vikings defense isn’t the problem, though. It’s the offense.

We’ve now watched Sam Bradford melt down three games in a row during the fourth quarter, and against the Lions it cost the Vikings the game.

It’s hard to imagine that not being replicated against a team like the Cowboys, even at home.

Prediction: Cowboys 24, Vikings 14

San Francisco 49ers at Chicago Bears

This one is a bit hard to call. The Niners aren’t all that great, but the Bears are even less great.

The one thing the Bears are going to have to deal with that could trip them up is how good Colin Kaepernick has played the last two games. The Bears defense has been nominally effective at times the last few weeks, but certainly not consistent.

If Kaepernick can play as well as he did last week, the Bears could be in some big trouble going into this game.  The Bears have allowed 28.3 points per game the last three weeks—if Kaepernick can produce those points, the Bears will lose.

Prediction: 49ers 27, Bears 10

Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints

The most interesting game on the docket for the NFCN teams, the Lions are a team which is tough to figure out. One week they play good defense, the next they fall apart. One week the offense is solid and productive, the next it’s ineffective.

This week should be good for both sides of the Lions. The Saints' pass defense is in the ranks 27th in the NFL, averaging 271.4 net yards allowed per game, allowing 17 passing touchdowns with 22 sacks (tied for 20th) so far. It’s hard to say how good the run defense is, since teams are dumping the rushing attack because they have to pass to keep up with the Saints offense.

The problem is, Detroit is 14th in the NFL averaging 250.9 net passing yards allowed per game this season, and has allowed 20 touchdowns this season. So it’s going to be awful tough for the Lions to slow the Saints down, in which case it’s a shootout.

The question is, can the middling at times defense the Lions trots out slow down Drew Brees and the high-powered offense?

I don’t think they can.

Prediction: Saints 31, Lions 21

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

Amanofthenorth's picture

I appreciate these predictions. Didnt this column used to give a summary of the news Surrounding these teams? . I understand the hot seat is on for the Vikings GM. Curious about John Fox as well.

croatpackfan's picture

Well, I predicted as you... I think SF will get another point in their win column...

Rossonero's picture

Saints are extremely tough at home. That'll be a bonanza (high scoring game) vs. Detroit. Dak Prescott looks like the second coming of Russell Wilson. Cowboys should win easily. Bears are a hot mess. Perhaps all 3 lose and we take care of the woeful Brock Osweiler are home, we can continue our March forward to win out. One game at a time. Go Pack.

dobber's picture

Detroit has three road games left against decent teams...they'll lose all three.

The door is open, Packer fans, the door is open.

pacman's picture

Jumping way ahead here and not yet a believer the D can turn around or that the O will continue to roll - but 2010 was exciting and 2011 (15-1) was less so. But I'm not really interested in getting into the playoffs and losing badly.

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