Around the NFC North - Week 6

Know your enemy - that old phrase is especially true for the rough and tumble NFC North. Andrew Garda keeps you up to date with the matchups around the division.

Around the NFC North

The Green Bay Packers have a tough game this week against the Dallas Cowboys, but also have the chance to close the gap a little with the NFC North leading Minnesota Vikings, who are on their bye this week.

The Packers have a tough matchup with Ezekiel Elliot and the Dallas Cowboys coming to town, which Michelle Bruton wrote up today.  Still it’s a winnable game, and the run defense has been playing very well.

What about the rest of the NFC North?

Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings enter the bye at 5-0, coming off a 31-13 thumping of the Houston Texans. While they still have some offensive line issues and the run game is virtually invisible, Sam Bradford is playing better than we’ve seen him play in a long time and the defense is one of the best in the NFL, if not the best.

We don’t expect them to run the table, and everyone outside of Minnesota is shocked at their overall play, but they aren’t likely to fall apart anytime soon. A week off shouldn’t change that.

Detroit Lions

Coming off a genuinely surprising win over the Philadelphia Eagles, the Lions welcome the impossible-to-figure-out  Los Angeles Rams to Detroit. The Rams just got blown out, at home, by the equally hard to figure out Buffalo Bills.

Featuring a middle-of-the-road defense, the Rams could be vulnerable both to the ground attack and, perhaps a little less easily, the air. Of course, Matt Stafford and the passing attack has mostly been a hot mess, though it did wake up last week against what appeared to be a great Eagles defense.

In reality, the defense choked in the first quarter and played much better the rest of the way and the Lions managed to barely hang on.  If the Rams can play four quarters of decent defense, we’re not sold the Lions can pull another win out here.

This is a tough one to pick, though. Currently Las Vegas has the Lions favored by just under a field goal and the “public” money is following that. Something about it just doesn’t work for me though, and if the Rams had a better quarterback I would definitely pick the Rams to win. As it stands, though, the Rams don’t have that guy and their defense isn’t quite as good as advertised. I think the Lions build a little momentum here, and find a way to win.

Prediction: It will be ugly, but Lions 27, Rams 14

Chicago Bears

Watching the Bears is like watching the saddest circus in the world. The animals are all mistreated and run down, the rides are death traps and the clowns are the creepy ones which haunt the country right now because people are really weird.

This is a bad team, albeit one that managed to beat the Lions a few weeks back so what do any of us know aside from “don’t approach that clown?”

They welcome another confusing team to Chicago this weekend, and the Jacksonville Jaguars might be the only circus sadder than the Bears (I count the Browns circus as condemned and burned to the ground so they don’t count).

The Jaguars circus has many talented performers but the worst ringmaster and some terrible scheduling of performances. If they had a coach who knew how to use talent, this team could be winning their division. Instead Gus Bradley continues to run this operation into the ground and if the Lions can lose to the Bears, so can the Jaguars.

This kills me because they really shouldn’t. The Bears are awful. Their defense is awful. Their quarterback situation is awful. The offensive line is – you guessed it – awful.  They have one good receiver.

The Jaguars should win this game. Vegas has this as a virtual toss-up (1.5 points, in the Bears favor), so I’m going with my heart.

Prediction: It will ALSO be ugly, but Jaguars 17, Bears 10

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Comments (7)

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MarkinMadison's picture

October 12, 2016 at 03:41 pm

I don't know how Chicago beats anyone right now. Anywhere. Anytime. The bright spot for the Bears was when Cutler was unavailable. Jaguars by 10.

Not sure how you pick the Lions by almost two touchdowns but call it an ugly win. Lions by 6.

Last week showed the Packers have a real long-term problem: even when the OL is playing lights out #12 is still a little skittish. The truth probably is that he just doesn't like getting hit. Teams that can get to him will be able to derail the Pack attack. I don't think Dallas is the team to do it. Packers by 7.

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Bohj's picture

October 12, 2016 at 04:39 pm

It kinda saddens me. The trajectory of Cutler. I want same ole Jay twice a year. As long as we don't have to play neck beard again. God that guy kills us.

Sometimes a team needs a marquee win to jump start their season. Beating the Eagles might just do it for the kitties. Not to mention Forsett could give them another back option. Rams are confusing for sure. I would guess the Lions somewhat functional offense would be able to do more than the Ram's nonexistent one.

Rodgers is skittish. You would be correct. But I think the zero sack game last week is a step in the right direction for number 12 not having to look over his shoulder nearly as much. Especially with a weaker pass rush coming to town. Protect Lambeau. Pack by three tuddies (one pick 6). Lacy, if healthy, goes off.

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Lphill's picture

October 12, 2016 at 04:32 pm

Maybe the Cowboys should be concerned about the Packers offense and Rodgers having a good game and let's hope less drops which made all the difference against the Giants.
Let the Cowboys run the clock out on the ground as long as the Packers keep scoring .

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J0hn Denver's Gavel's picture

October 12, 2016 at 05:19 pm

I so wish this statement was founded in any sort of reality. I don't think Rodgers scares any NFL defense right now. He sure seems scared, tho.

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Icebowler's picture

October 12, 2016 at 05:31 pm

We'll definitely find out this week whether our run defense, and to a lesser extent our pass rush, is legit.

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ray nichkee's picture

October 12, 2016 at 11:02 pm

Congradulations cow, your mom gave you back your internet privileges. I also see you're still butt hurt that rodgers ruined your fantasy league.

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mrtundra's picture

October 13, 2016 at 06:56 pm

I see the Packers released Callahan today. Presumably to make room for Pennel....

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