Tuesday, November 20, 2012

It's A Three Team NFC North Race

I'm reluctant to write off any team after 10 games, a lot came happen over the last couple weeks, but the Lions are in a really deep hole. Their 4-6 record isn't so bad, but that 0-4 record in the division is awful because they'll lose the tiebreaker. Even winning out might not be good enough for them and that might not even be possible. The last time the Lions won at Lambeau, WR Randall Cobb was one year old.

I've been mocking QB Christian Ponder and his 58 and 63 yard passing games, but no defense has slowed RB Adrian Peterson down (even with his recently reconstructed knee) and the defense has been good enough. At 6-4, they seemed poised to remain in the discussion, but their future is in their own hands. With four games remaining against the Bears and Packers, they decide for themselves whether they'll win the NFC North or finish in 3rd place.

The Bears have to feel dejected after getting flattened by the 49ers on Monday Night Football. While technically behind the Packers in the NFC North, they have one more game remaining against them to re-take the lead. The Bears should still be considered no worse than the 4th best team in the NFC and they have three winnable games remaining on their schedule (hosting the Seahawks, who are terrible on the road, at Arizona and at Detroit), in addition to three divisional games against the Vikings and Packers. I'd still make them favorites in all those games, except I'd never pick them over the Packers.

Despite the replacement ref debacle in Seattle and the poor 1-2 start, the Packers find themselves a top the NFC North and in control of the division. A potentially tough game awaits them next week, depending on whether the Giants used the bye week to solve QB Eli Manning's dead arm problems, followed by four divisional games (and a visit from the Titans). I'll pick them to win all those games because I believe in them and I'm a Packers Homer. None of the games are gimmes but they have to be happy with their situation.

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