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Around the NFC North - Week 5

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Around the NFC North - Week 5

A millenia from now, when alien archeologists sift through the ruins of a long departed for the stars race on Earth, they will likely find record of the 2017 NFL season.

They will understand it no better than we do, for it is a dark and confusing place. 

The Buffalo Bills are atop the AFC East. Preseason darling New York Giants have yet to win a game. The Los Angles Rams are good.

Sure, the Bears are still awful, the AFC South is still a mess and the Colts still can't get out of their own way, but there's something off about this year.

Yes, indeed. The 2017 NFL Season is dark and full of terrors.

It has leaked into the NFC North, which has the Lions technically in first over the Packers. This is, however, something Packers fans have seen before and, assuming the Green Bay offensive line and backfield don't have more injuries, thereby neccesitating a water boy from taking up one of the positions, it's easy to believe they can overcome the situation.

Part of that comes down to this week's matchups though, and the state of the other teams in the NFC North.

Panthers at Lions

As it did last year, the division could come down to head to head play, and so until the Lions face the Packers, everything is mutable. Let's be honest though—the Lions look pretty solid and wins over the Falcons and Vikings (even a weakened Vikings) are legit. 

Matt Stafford and the offense are rolling along just fine and the defense has, for the most part, been very good. 

The Panthers offense—especially Cam Newton—began to look like themselves in their surprising win this week over the Patriots and could be a challenge for the Lions defense, but the offensive line and general playcalling don't make me confident. Defensively, the Panthers allowed 30 points and a 4th quarter comeback—that doesn't bode well for them considering it was the second game in a row 30-plus points.

It's hard to see the Lions losing this game even if the Panthers offense does well, unless the Panthers defense does its part.

Vikings at Bears

And so begins the era of Mitch Trubisky,

This is not an ideal pool to dip your feet into, but it was silly to keep plugging along with Mike Glennon. Let Trubisky take his lumps and learn. Really, it would be better if the Bears had some more playmakers for him to throw to, but he has to start playing some time and they have a solid backfield.

The big question is whether the Vikings can keep their offense going without Dalvin Cook. We were all fine letting him carry the water for Case Keenum and pretend things were OK, but Keenum is not a great quarterback. Can Latavious Murray carry the offense for the Vikings? It seems we will find out. 

Against a better team, it would be a problem. Against the hapless Bears?

I'm not sold.

Still, long term this really hurts Minnesota and I think will put them out of the race for the North. Stranger things have happened, but it seems unlikely they can overcome two (three if you count Teddy Bridgewater) major injuries.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (14) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

dobber's picture

I think the Bears nip the Vikes this weekend. They're better at home and the Vikes are wounded.

I hate to admit it, but the Lions might actually be good. I'm not sure Carolina is, yet.

Qoojo's picture

I have a hard time seeing the bears beating anyone but other basement dwellers. No idea how the bears beat the steelers.

dobber's picture

The Steelers spotted them 17 points...and they're not nearly as good on the road as they are at the Big Ketchup Bottle.

I think the Vikes will be reeling this week.

Hoyt Harper's picture

The Lions did not beat the Falcons. Come on man!

Finwiz's picture

I'd say he's right, the Lions are very good. Stafford's the 2nd best QB in the NFC central, and top 5 in the NFC.

4thand1's picture

If the Packers are 6-1 or 5-2 after the buy, it's a huge feather in their cap. They will roll after the buy and cruise to the NFCN title.

Christopher Gennaro's picture

Shh that pokes holes in the pats fans defense of how Brady is so much better than Rodgers. Wait wait I remember, 5 titles 5 titles!!

Qoojo's picture

Until the OL gets back to starters or at least Bak back, any win is a bonus, and any game where Rodgers walks away healthy is a bonus. The most amazing thing about 3-1 for me is that it was with only 2 or 3 OL guys from last year. Also, they are doing it with zero to little RB experience in pass pro.

The funniest thing about all that is I am still more concerned about the defense, because Rodgers is just that good.

dobber's picture

I don't like the word "measuring stick" when it comes to teams because so much depends on circumstances and venue on a week to week basis, but beating Dallas this week could help to validate this defense. Dallas isn't the offensive machine they were a year ago (the OL took a step back in losing Leary and Free) and I think Zeke is a little distracted. Their secondary is poor. I think this is a week where we want to see #12 throwing downfield.

croatpackfan's picture

I learned here that in first 4 weeks of this season Falcons are at 2-2. They lost against Lions and Bills and win over Bears and Packers. Also, we learned that Lions are 4-0. I think Andrew Garda should send e-mail to NFL, warning them to correct standing. They have both teams at 3-1...

Don Hutson's picture

in what universe did the Lions beat the Falcons?

canadapacker's picture

Actually the Bears played the Packers tough - even without Cutler passing it to us, they managed to find another QB to do that - but other than that they played the ground game well and of course Rogers is Rogers and will pick apart a team even if he had to use the short stuff. The Bears also could have beaten Atlanta except the stupid sack at the end of the game when they were driving for the win. So I think they will knock off the Vikes and give the new guy his first win in his first start. Until they get some better tape on him he is an unknown and sometimes that helps the Offense.

HankScorpio's picture

"It has leaked into the NFC North, which has the Lions technically in first over the Packers."

Well, no. "Technically", tie-breakers are not applied until the end of the season. Which leaves us with the first place Lions AND the first-place Packers on Oct 4. Neither team leads the other, they are tied.

Get back to us after 12 more games if they are still tied.

HankScorpio's picture

At the risk of talking to myself...

I would add that it is the Lions. I have to believe they will start aiming their bullets at their own feet sometime during the course of those 12 games.

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