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Around the NFC North - Week 9

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Around the NFC North - Week 9

While the Green Bay Packers lost a close one last week to the Atlanta Falcons, that they managed to make it close minus an entire backfield, Randall Cobb and Ty Montgomery is a good sign that the offense might be trending back up.

Other good news? The Minnesota Vikings lost to the lowly Chicago Bears and looked inept doing it.

The Packers are one game behind the Vikings, who just fired/retired/escorted off the property their offensive coordinator after some awful offensive plays.

It’s all coming together folks, which is why you have to keep on top of the rest of the NFC North.

Chicago Bears – Bye Week

The Bears deserve a week off as they must be exhausted after somehow following up weeks of bad football with one of the better games they’ve played since the 1985 Super Bowl.

Or at least a game they were less than horrible during.

Jay Cutler is back, which should cloud things at the end of the season if he stays healthy and does well. We’re pretty sure head coach John Fox is over Cutler, but what’s the alternative? The real question is, for a team which has talent on both sides of the ball, do you cut bait with a franchise quarterback who you know for a rookie you don’t? And if you miss on the rookie, how many years are you set back.

The Bears continue to look like there is no master plan and until that changes, Chicago is going to struggle.

They beat the Vikings last week, though, so there’s that.

Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings

The top team in the AFC jettisoned one of its better linebackers for a compensatory pick and not to be outdone, one of the top two teams in the NFC lost their offensive coordinator.

To be honest, I am not a fan of Norv Turner. He gets too focused on running the ball and doesn’t do much for his quarterbacks. And that’s exactly how this played out. So when Adrian Peterson went down, and the offensive line completely came apart, he couldn’t adjust. How else can you explain using Cordarrelle Patterson a ton when the line is good, and not taking advantage of him when your line is a disaster?

Turner has always been overrated in my book, so this was three years in coming as far as I am concerned. Pat Shurmur will take over and he’s the one who pounded the table to bring Sam Bradford in, which you can thank him for or hate him for depending on which Bradford shows up. If he’s smart, Shurmur uses a lot of short, sharp passes to overcome having a bunch of turnstiles on the line.

Or he can replace Jake Long with a traffic cone, in which case at least you know the defender won’t be blocked into another offensive lineman.

What was really interesting about the loss to the Chicago Bears this past Monday was how unprepared the defense looked. For a team which is only hanging onto first place in the division because of the defense, they looked like the worst defense in the NFL.

There’s no excuse for it and if they repeat the performance against Detroit, Matt Stafford and friends will slice them up.

The Lions, by the way, were their own brand of uninspiring last week in their loss to the Houston Texans. Offensively, the Lions had looked really good the previous few weeks but it was all a mess against Houston.  And defensively, the Lions are still terribly shaky. Once the defense collapsed and allowed 14 points in the second quarter, the offense went mostly one dimensional and abandoned the run.

One thing which was working, and continues to work for the Lions is the distribution of targets. Without Calvin Johnson, Stafford has to look for other receivers and has done a good job distributing the ball.

The Vikings have a great defense, but last Monday was a shock. We know the offensive line is going to make moving the ball tough, so to me the whole game rests on the defense.

Which one shows up? That’s the million dollar question.

Prediction: Vikings 21, Lions 17:  The defense bounces back and Shurmur finds Sam Bradford’s happy spot, resulting in a Vikings win and the continued hold on first place in the division.


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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (20) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

WKUPackFan's picture

Where are those brilliant people who were telling us that the Vikings are a better organization than the Packers? Where are the people who were washing Zimmer's nether regions?

You want to get rid of TT and MM? Just please don't get some coach who behaves like he originated from a trailer park.

Samson's picture

The Pack are 4-3 coming off a loss. Three of their next 4 are on the road. Injuries continue to pile up. --You might want to wait awhile before claiming the North Division crown. --- The season is a long one.

murphy's picture

And it's almost half over for the team that just lost badly to the Bears.

Bearmeat's picture

I TOLD you guys what would happen with the Vikings. Their "hot" start WAS unsustainable after all. NO ONE goes 11-0 in turnover differential AND scores 5 D/STs TDs in just 4 games and doesn't win all of those games.

There was some talent there. But much of it was just dumb luck.

They have a talented defense. I expect them to remain top 10, but with the AWFUL offense they have, I don't think the defense will be able to continue its elite play.

10-6 or 9-7 for them. Miss the playoffs.

Lions are bad on defense.
Bears just suck.

GBs division to win once again. Get healthy in the secondary and (hopefully) get Phat Ed rollin by playoff time.

Things are looking up.

Samson's picture

The Vikes probably win the North with a 10-6 record.

Bearmeat's picture

What on earth makes you think that? What do they have on offense? Nothing.

If/when GB gets healthy, they'll run away with it.

Samson's picture

Packer fans are so comical. --- Bearmeat has been ripping on the Pack all season. --- Now after one weekend of games, he suddenly has everything all figured out. == Hey, sorry but, some of us actually know a little about a loooong NFL season. --- Try reality.

As far as DesertPunkFan (or whatever) -- You're a clown from way back using your latest ID. --- Very few care what you have to say. - Capisce? - Stroh or is it Strohman again? --- Now go back in the corner and lay down.

WKUPackFan's picture

Your boy Zimmer just insultingly fired one of the game's most respected offensive coaches mid season. That's after Zimmer lost his mind screaming at his offensive line and has generally acted like a donkey's backside. He's not a coach, he's just a bully, attempting to blame others for his own inadequacies.

Like I told your buddy Cow, there is a reason that Zimmer was an assistant for so long. Can you imagine that man in a job interview? He'd be screaming at the interviewer within two minutes. MM is far superior as a coach and, more importantly, as a person.

Nick Perry's picture

Hey WKU... I believe Turner resigned. Either way I agree with you about Zimmer. Mike Zimmer is dealing with what McCarthy has dealt with for years and years...INJURIES. From what I understand he's still going crazy out the O-Line! (LOL)

I wonder what McCarthy could do with years of Top 15 draft picks and a GM willing to sign FA and make a trades. My guess is at least another Lombardi Trophy.

It appears Zimmer is reading Elliot Harrisons "Power Rankings" instead of coaching. Keep reading Zim!

mrtundra's picture

Yes, Turner resigned. Turner leaving came as a total shock to Zimmer, according to Zimmer on a interview from the Mpls, Fox affiliate. Also worth mentioning in regards to the viking is the the trade deadline came and went and they did not make a move there, at all. The TV reporter said the vikes O Line coach will have to teach the players he has how to block. After hearing that, I say Detroit will hand the vikes their third straight loss and the Detroit Defense will get their turn at the Bradford punching bag and at what passes for the Minnesota offensive line.

WKUPackFan's picture

Hey Nick! Apologize for the late reply. Yes, I knew the official stance was that Norv resigned, i was having a little fun with Samson.

Hope all is well out in Cali. I'm still listening to Petros and Money via IHeart or their podcast. Apparently USC has some assistants that were previously associated with the Hilltoppers. Petros wasn't too happy about their offensive philosophy at the beginning of the season but things are working better now.

Meanwhile WKU absolutely blew the game against Vandy after putting up a decent fight against Lord Sabin. The Tops are still playing exciting football, QB Mike White is 5th overall in passing yards. Coach Jeff Brohm is going to be moving to a Power 5 school soon.

Bearmeat's picture


I'm going to say this once and once only: I call it like I see it. Always have and always will. I do believe that TT/MM/AR is a very successful marriage. I do also believe they have underachieved in the postseason. While I do believe the three are very good at what they do, I do not believe that sunshine pours out their every orifice.

When the team sucks and loses winnable games, I reserve the right to go berserk on them. Wanna know why? BECAUSE I'M A FAN. Not a professional football coach. Not a professional football player. I'm a plebe. A layman. JUST LIKE YOU.

Now go back to your hole.

Nick Perry's picture

Actually that's not true, several people "Care what he has to Say" (DPF) simply because he DOES know Football. He can be rude, mean, narcissistic. pompous, and arrogant but he DOES know what he's talking about for the most part 98% of the time. He's just not good with others when they don't agree.

Packers fans are PASSIONATE Samson, we're winners that are used to winning. We know about winning because we've won 13 World Championships. We LOVE our Football Team and some idiots like myself love them so much it fucks me up for the week when they lose. I go through a period of withdrawal at the end of the season Vikings Fans haven't a clue what it's like to win because you NEVER HAVE. I can't be mad at you for not knowing because if you don't know winning, THEN YOU JUST DON'T KNOW!!

mrtundra's picture

If it weren't for ST's and Defensive scoring, the vikings wouldn't have won anything with that offense this season.

Bearmeat's picture


jeremyjjbrown's picture

"The Packers are one game behind the Vikings, who just fired/retired/escorted off the property their offensive coordinator after some awful offensive plays."

I wonder if COW would still trade the Packers personnel for the VIkings?

RCPackerFan's picture

Packers really have no RB's right now. The only true RB that is available to play is Don Jackson (Whom I like) who is a Rookie Free agent that wasn't with them in camp due to injury. Still not sure how a GM allows a team to have no one at the position.

That being said, maybe its a blessing in disguise. We have seen McCarthy finally stop being predictable. We have seen Rodgers finally look like the All Pro QB we have known and seems to be coming out of his funk he has been in.
The fact that they are having to go into each game changing their game plans around the players they have, and taking advantage of their strengths is something that probably wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for the injuries they have suffered. Like I said, could be a blessing in disguise.

Bearmeat's picture

Yes, but they are going to need their CBs and Lacy back healthy by the end of the year.

I'm assuming Shields is done. Wish they'd have looked into Haden seriously.

fthisJack's picture

MM wants to pound the ball, so when fat Eddie and starks got hurt, he had to unleash rodgers which is the best thing that could have happened to this team. i think Rodgers was getting frustrated with the lame offensive game plan that they put on the field week after week.
Now MM has been spreading the field and Rodgers is looking like his old self. it took losing all the running backs for MM to figure it out. now stick with it.

RCPackerFan's picture

Like I posted to Cow, it could very well end up being a blessing in disguise.

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