Tracking the NFC North

PackAttack12

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Updated as of Week 13:

Lions - 8-4
Vikings - 6-6
Packers - 6-6


Remaining schedules:

Green Bay:

Seahawks 8-3-1
@Bears 3-9
Vikings 6-6
@Lions 8-4

Minnesota:

@Jaguars 2-10
Colts 6-6
@Packers 6-6
Bears 3-9

Detroit:

Bears 3-9
@Giants 8-4
@Cowboys 11-1
Packers 6-6

We might as well track the wild card as well now that it's looking more doable:

5. Giants (Cowboys, Lions, @Eagles, @Redskins remaining)
6. Bucs (Saints, @Cowboys, @Saints, Panthers remaining)
7. Redskins (@Eagles, Panthers, @Bears, Giants remaining)
8. Vikings (@Jags, Colts, @Packers, Bears remaining)
9. Packers (Seahawks, @Bears, Vikings, @Lions remaining)

Tough stretch for the Giants. I'm hoping the Panthers find a way to catch fire down the stretch. No cakewalk for the Bucs in their middle two games.

Key Week 14 Matchups:

Redskins at Eagles -
Philly has imploded lately, having lost three in a row after sitting at 5-4 after 9 games. Not a lot f hope that the Eagles can help us here, however Philly has made every quarterback not named Aaron Rodgers look silly at home, beating two premiere quarterbacks in Matt Ryan and Big Ben. Hopefully Carson Wentz can snap out of his funk and Kirk Cousins can crumble in a hostile environment in Philly. This could be one of those games where every one says that a team doesn't have a chance in hell, and then they pull off the upset. Washington is a bit banged up upfront, and Philly has some weapons back healthy
Prediction: Eagles in the upset

Cardinals at Dolphins -
Just can't seem to trust the Cardinals. They have all of the talent in the world, but just haven't been able to put it all together consistently to string some wins together. Miami very well could have gotten exposed against the Ravens, but man that's a good defense in Baltimore. I don't see Miami's offense struggling quite like that against this Cardinals team at home. This is a tough game to call, the Dolphins are terrible against the run, and David Johnson is a stud, but there is something to be said for Miami being a really good home team, and Arizona being an awful road team. Having to travel cross country for a 1pm kickoff...
Prediction: Dolphins in a close one, but not saying this with much conviction.

Bears at Lions -
What can I say. I have no faith in the Bears, but if this game were gonna be played in Chicago, I would give them a puncher's chance. But the Lions are on a roll right now, and I think that at home they will take care of business against the Bears, although I hope like hell that I am wrong. This would be a huge upset for the Packer's playoff chances, but I just can't make the argument.
Prediction - Lions rather easily

Vikings at Jaguars -
The Vikings have been almost as big of a joke as the Packers were during their 4 game losing streak, however they did play the Cowboys very tough without Zimmer. The only hope in this one is that the trip down south distracts them, and Bortles just has a crazy hot hand and lights them up. Unfortunately, I don't foresee that happening. The Vikings are great when they are forcing turnovers and making life uncomfortable for quarterbacks, and that's exactly what I see happening here. The Jags have mailed it in. Vikes at least have hope.
Prediction: Vikings, but closer than one would think

Falcons at Rams -
The Bucs have been depressing me lately with their good play, but the only upside is that they are playing so well that maybe they play into the division lead. Matt Ryan's passer rating has been way down the past three games (right on cue with past seasons). But to be fair, he has gone up against some pretty good defenses. After this one, the Falcons have a pretty friendly schedule unfortunately against 49ers, Panthers, and Saints. Maybe Cam will play with nothing to lose and the Saints get an insane day from Drew Brees. One thing is for certain, a loss by the Falcons here spells BIG trouble for the Falcons, here's to hoping Jeff Fisher pulls out one of those "where did that come from" games.
Prediction: Falcons

Saints at Buccaneers -
The Saints disappointed us big time last week in not taking care of the Lions at home. This week they are tasked with taking on one of the hottest teams in football right now. Winston is balling, but his team is inexplicably bad at home this season, though they beat the Seahawks a couple weeks ago and beat the Bears before that. They struggled a bit with the Chargers last week, and I think this will be a come back down to Earth game. Winston has had a QBR of 80 or higher his past 4 games, and I think he's due for a clunker here. Probably a heart pick, but Brees had an awful game last week, don't see that happening twice in a row.
Prediction: Saints in the upset

Seahawks at Packers -
All of this won't mean much if the Packers don't keep winning. Earl Thomas is a huge loss for Seattle's defense, and they just aren't that good of a road team. I don't know if they "get up" for this game like they did the New England game. The snow will play a factor, and I think that will compromise their pass rush and zone concepts enough to where Rodgers and the offense will be able to make just enough plays to squeeze by. Rodgers loves these "back against the wall" propositions, and he knows that winning this game would change everything as far as the outlook in the playoff race. Hopefully Starks gets minimal snaps, he was the only GB running back that wasn't effective running the ball last week against Houston, so I see a lot of Ty and Michael, and RIP situationally.
Prediction: Green Bay 27-20

Cowboys at Giants -
At what point do the Cowboys have a bad game? Jerry Jones has open his big fat stupid mouth like he always does singing the praises of Tony Romo. Does that create enough of a distraction? I think the primetime nature of this game, Sunday Night, potential cold weather game could rattle Dak a little bit. I mean, he's still a rookie right? On the other hand, if the Giants lose this game, they aren't a shoe in to make the playoffs. They have to finish with the Lions, and then two road games at Philly and at Washington. And we have the tie breaker on them. My emotions are extremely mixed on this game, maybe someone can help me out. On the one hand, the Giants losing helps us in the wild card race, but at the same time, if they do indeed lose, Dallas all but sews up home field advantage. What incentive then does Dallas have to play all of their horses against the Lions the day after Christmas in what could be a meaningless game? All things being equal, I think the Cowboys let down here and the Giants find a way to get it done.
Prediction: Giants in a close one

All and all, I'm starting to have a little bit of doubt that the Lions will lose again after the way they looked last week. So the wild card might be the more realistic path if indeed the Lions keep playing the way they have played lately. Of course we would need for one of the NFC South teams to implode. Either that, or the Giants need to go on a big skid. It's encouraging that we have essentially three cracks at this thing, but the Giants beating the Cowboys would all but lock them in, and the Bucs and Falcons both currently have tie breaker advantages on us.

So much can happen in four games. I just hope that we take care of our business against the Seahawks tomorrow, and that we get some help from at least the Saints in beating Tampa.
 
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adambr2

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With the most recent results, there are now 3 teams separated by just 1.5 games in the North.

Minny - 5-1
GB - 4-2
Det - 4-3

Philly really did us a big favor today. I don't see many losses on the horizon for Minny this season, making that Christmas Eve showdown that much bigger. We need to make sure that we go into that game with at least a shot at winning the division.

Two questions: Has Minnesota been exposed by the Eagles? And do you think that Detroit poses any sort of threat moving forward? And I suppose a third question is understood based off of the first 2, how will this effect Green Bay?

Discuss.

I wouldn't say exposed, but I don't think Minnesota was ever quite as good as their undefeated record suggested.

That defense is for real, but their offense is pretty void of any real weapons outside of Patterson, and that offensive line is brutal. Bradford already has a lengthy injury history and won't survive the season if he continues to take as many hits as he did today.
 

Arthur Squires

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I wouldn't say exposed, but I don't think Minnesota was ever quite as good as their undefeated record suggested.

That defense is for real, but their offense is pretty void of any real weapons outside of Patterson, and that offensive line is brutal. Bradford already has a lengthy injury history and won't survive the season if he continues to take as many hits as he did today.
Can't agree their only weapon is Patterson. Diggs is an explosive receiver who is young and just coming in to his own. Also the TE Rudolph is one of the most underrated tighend in the game. His main issue are injuries. But when he's healthy no doubt he's a baller.
 

Raptorman

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With the most recent results, there are now 3 teams separated by just 1.5 games in the North.

Minny - 5-1
GB - 4-2
Det - 4-3

Philly really did us a big favor today. I don't see many losses on the horizon for Minny this season, making that Christmas Eve showdown that much bigger. We need to make sure that we go into that game with at least a shot at winning the division.

Two questions: Has Minnesota been exposed by the Eagles? And do you think that Detroit poses any sort of threat moving forward? And I suppose a third question is understood based off of the first 2, how will this effect Green Bay?

Discuss.
Philly has the 6th best pass defense in league. MN has one of the worst O-lines in the league at the moment. Have then been exposed? No, we all knew about it.

Anyone who thinks that Patterson or Diggs are the only offensive weapons really haven't been paying attention. Up until this week, someone was always able to step up an make plays. This week, the Philly defense was just to fast at getting to Bradford. Not every team can do it. They did. Unless MN shores up it O-line I expect several more losses.
I also want to hear the NFL excuse for picking up the flag on the PI call on Diggs in the First quarter.
 

adambr2

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Philly has the 6th best pass defense in league. MN has one of the worst O-lines in the league at the moment. Have then been exposed? No, we all knew about it.

Anyone who thinks that Patterson or Diggs are the only offensive weapons really haven't been paying attention. Up until this week, someone was always able to step up an make plays.


Just because someone has been able to step up every week doesn't qualify them as a 'weapon.' Davante Adams had 13 catches and a ton of yards and 2 TDs on Thursday, that doesn't make him a 'weapon'. Not yet, anyway.

Perhaps saying Patterson is the only weapon is selling their offense short, but I don't see much in terms of offensive arsenal as far as an explosive player, especially if McKinnon's injury slows him down for awhile.

Rudolph and Diggs are good players, but they're certainly not in the top tier of players at their respective positions.
 

Mondio

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I'm glad they picked it up. Qb under pressure, throws up a duck that under thrown, meanwhile Diggs has his arm barred and then grabs a fist full of jersey and tries pulling the defender on by. I'm glad offenses are no longer bailed out on that play, especially when the receiver is as responsible for the contact as the defender

Oh and whoever 85 is, he's a punk.
 

Shawnsta3

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Diggs and Rudolph looked like weapons against Green Bay. You don't have to be elite at your position to be a weapon and help your team win games.
 

adambr2

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We are really splitting hairs on the definition of 'weapon.'

I mean, yes, if we are going to call it football players who have a chance to score touchdowns, them yes, they have a lot of weapons.

Minnesota has the worst ranked offense in the NFL, 29th ranked passing game and worst overall running the ball. I didn't think saying they lack weapons on offense would be that controversial of a statement.
 
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I was interested in seeing what happens once the Vikings don't win the turnover battle and not surprisingly they lost for the first time. There's no doubt their defense is for real but to beat them teams have to force turnovers of their own.
 

bigbubbatd

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I was interested in seeing what happens once the Vikings don't win the turnover battle and not surprisingly they lost for the first time. There's no doubt their defense is for real but to beat them teams have to force turnovers of their own.

The crazy thing is they didn't even lose the turnover battle. It was even. Their offense struggles when it doesn't get great field position. They also lost the return game battle for the first time.

Their offensive line is brutal. Their running backs are not good. They have a good tight end and OK wrs. They have been riding an elite defense and return game.
 
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PackAttack12

PackAttack12

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The crazy thing is they didn't even lose the turnover battle. It was even. Their offense struggles when it doesn't get great field position. They also lost the return game battle for the first time.

Their offensive line is brutal. Their running backs are not good. They have a good tight end and OK wrs. They have been riding an elite defense and return game.
Yeah and we had 2 uncharacteristic turnovers, plus should have went for the field goal on 4th and 1, and still lost by just 3 points. Hopefully a blueprint has been developed for beating them.
 

Robert Mason

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The crazy thing is they didn't even lose the turnover battle. It was even. Their offense struggles when it doesn't get great field position. They also lost the return game battle for the first time.

Their offensive line is brutal. Their running backs are not good. They have a good tight end and OK wrs. They have been riding an elite defense and return game.



Vikings have $ 50,000 in cap space to patch up their O line. They say they will not trade any more draft picks.
 

AmishMafia

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Reality may be setting in. Bradford has played very well dor stretches but can't keep it going all season. He has been brutalized by the Packers and Eagles, those are the only games I have watched. With that horrid O Line, it is only going to get worse for him.
 

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Vikings have $ 50,000 in cap space to patch up their O line. They say they will not trade any more draft picks.
Means they don't have room to send Cordarelle to Cleveland for Joe Thomas.

**sidenote ** Cleveland has $48m in cap space plus is charged $32m in dead money? That's $80m in salary they are NOT paying this season. No wonder they suck. Get what you pay for.
 

Robert Mason

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Reality may be setting in. Bradford has played very well dor stretches but can't keep it going all season. He has been brutalized by the Packers and Eagles, those are the only games I have watched. With that horrid O Line, it is only going to get worse for him.


There had to be some weakness in the Vikings, but watch out for the Lions, they are right on the Packers heels.
 

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