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Around the NFC North - Week 14

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Around the NFC North - Week 14

The Packers, along with NFC North frenemy Lions, are just about done. Well, at least mathmatically. They may already be as good as eliminated, though Playoff Projections still give them a puncher's chance. Two games back with four to go is a tough nut to crack, though, even when you kick things off by facing the pathetic 0-12 Cleveland Browns. 

Still, there's a shot and, believe it or not, still an outside chance to win the division, assuming everyone else loses and the Packers win out.

So let's take a look at what the rest of the NFC North is up against this week.

Vikings at Panthers

Minnesota probably has the toughest hill to climb this week as they head to Carolina to face the 8-4 Panthers, who are fighting to hold on to their playoff spot, just ahead of the Atlanta Falcons, Lions and Packers (the Panthers and Packers play next week). The Vikings are pretty healthy right now, which should work in their favor, though the Panthers should have tight end Greg Olsen back this week. According to the Charlotte Observer, the Panthers were worried about the artificial surface in New Orleans, and are more comfortable with him playing on their home field, which is grass. 

How rusty Olsen is will be a question, though we would assume quarterback Cam Newton will be ecstatic to get his favorite target back. Add in the dynamic Christian McCaffrey and a solid offensive line, and the offense could be a handful for Minnesota's defense. 

When on offense, Case Keenum and company is going to get a real test against a Panthers defense which is stout against both the run and pass games. The Vikings have looked good on offense, and did OK against Atlanta last week, but the Panthers, at home, will be a difficult opponant to beat.

Bears at Bengals

The Cincinnati Bengals choked away a win against their own rival, the Pittsburgh Steelers, but should have a much easier time against the Chicago Bears. The Bears have lost Kyle Long to injured reserve, which doesn't help rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky improve week to week. Trubisky is very limited right now — or should we say, the offense is limited —  and will not have an easy time producing against the Bengals defense, even as shaky as it has been this year. Still the Bears have surprised us a few times this year, and the Bengals have  played very badly for most of it as well. 

Also in play: will Joe Mixon be active or will his concussion keep him out? Dre Kirkpatrick also suffered a concussion, but he was not playing well anyway. On the bright side for the Bengals, Greg IIloka's suspension has been reduced to a fine. 

This one really feels like it could go any number of ways, and if we were gamblers, we'd avoid this game like the plague it likely will be.

Lions at Buccaneers

The Buccaneers are not good, something Packers fans witnessed last weekend. Of course, Detroit is on it's own two-loss express elevator to hell, going down. The Vikings game is one thing, but they were also blown up by the Baltimore Ravens and even if the Ravens are playing better football, that's still ugly.

Oh and in case that wasn't enough to worry about, Matt Stafford is dealing with a hand injury which head coach Jm Caldwell has said while he didn't break his hand against Baltimore (when it was stepped on), it's not in great shape.

If Jake Rudock is under center, call this one a wrap. The Lions run-game is pretty weak, and while Marvin Jones and Golden Tate are great options at receiver, Rudock isn't one under center. 

Even if Stafford plays, he's having issues gripping the ball so this could be ugly.

On the other hand. Jameis Winston was terrible last week, so this could be ugly on both sides.

If the Packers can beat the Browns, they might be able to crawl over the corpse of Detroit's season this week.

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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.

croatpackfan's picture

One message from Davante Adams to Packers fans;
"A quick message to Packers fans.

I know it’s been a rough year, an up-and-down year. Losing number 12 was obviously really, really tough. But believe me when I say — I’m confident we can still continue to improve, adjust, grind and win games.

So I wanted to take a second to just say thank you — thank you for continuing to show up for us. Thank you for forgiving us on bad days and supporting us through tough spots. It’s not in the DNA of this team to give up. You’ve always had our back, and it’s one of the things that makes me proudest to be a Green Bay Packer.

Now it’s time to get back to work."

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

This is a really good article. Lots of good videos about playing CBs.

croatpackfan's picture

I especially like the part how he learned that there is no no-play behaviour when you have Aaron Rodgers as your leader. And I like his attitude not to be mad on Aaron, but on himself.

Respect he has for his opponents also tells you how grown person he is...

dobber's picture

First injury report of the week...

Doug Niemczynski's picture

As if our pass defense couldnt get any worse now we have players going on injured reserve and more concussion protocols now we have to start Demetrius Goodson and Josh Hawkins . way to go Packers way to go.
I mean how are we supposed to play we always get depleted if it's not the wide receivers it's the secondary if it's not the secondary its theoffense of line if it's not then it's the running backs and if it's not that we lose our best quarterback Aaron Rodgers to a broken shoulder .oh man. And then when we have a year where we don't have people hurt then we have to deal with bonehead Dom Capers stupid plays or bad special team coaching. We just keep fighting against ourselves constantly

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"The Bears still suck!"
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