The NFC North: Somebody’s Gotta Win the Thing, Right?

November 17, 2008 – 1:02 pm by admin

One look at the standings in the NFC North will tell you a lot. There’s a three-way tie between the Packers, Bears and Vikings atop the division at a very mediocre 5-5. Oh, and then there’s the Lions in the cellar at 0-10. Let’s not forget about our friends from Michigan.

On Sunday the Vikings lost to the Buccaneers in Tampa Bay 19-13 just when they seemed poised to stake out some space on top.

Meanwhile, up at Lambeau Field, the Packers absolutely thrashed the Bears by a 37-3 score. Without getting into the stats, which are mostly boring, it was a complete domination. Ryan Grant ran for 145 yards and a touchdown.

So with everybody jumbled up at the top, are the Packers the favorite down the stetch after drubbing the Bears? Maybe.

If Sunday is any indication, they’ll be able to run the ball better and take some pressure off Aaron Rodgers. Sure, outstanding middle linebacker Nick Barnett is out of the season, but the defense is still pretty good. Hey, it’s at least good enough to win the North.

The Bears, on the other hand, not so much. Their defense is old now and may have the same bark but doesn’t have the same bite as it used to. If you can’t stop the run, you can’t win in the NFL. It’s really that simple.

Now, the Vikings do have Adrian Peterson. That in itself is enough to make you wonder whether they can’t sneak out a division title. But the quarterback position is pretty shaky (ahhh! It’s Gus Frerotte!). That doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.

So what do we have? A muddle mess. But with six games left we’re thinking it’s the Packers. Then again, we could be totally wrong. In fact, we probably are.

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