Have the Green Bay Packers hit rock bottom? They will Sunday if they can’t beat the Detroit Lions in the most interesting NFC North game of Week 9. The game will be played in the Lions’ den at Ford Field, but there probably will be more cheeseheads there than Detroit fans.
The Packers have lost four in a row and are 3-5, their worst eight-game start in the Aaron Rodgers era. Before this skid, they hadn’t lost four straight since 2016, and they hadn’t been 3-5 since 2006, when Brett Favre was calling the signals. As for the Lions, they’re bad again. They’ve dropped five in a row. When they score points, their defense can’t get a stop. The Lions led Miami 27-17 at halftime last week, then went scoreless in the second half, and the Dolphins pulled out a 31-27 win. Take everything out of the equation in the Packers-Lions game except the quarterbacks, and it’s Aaron Rodgers vs. Jared Goff. Gotta go with Rodgers.
Vikings should take command again
The NFC North-leading Minnesota Vikings will be on the road Sunday at Washington to face the Commanders, who hopefully will have a new owner soon. The Vikings are so far ahead of the pack (pun intended) in the NFC North that they actually have a magic number to win the division. It’s seven. A combination of seven Minnesota wins, and Green Bay or Chicago losses would give the Vikings the NFC North championship, their first since 2017. Green Bay has won three straight NFC North titles. The Vikings have learned how to win this season. Last year, they lost eight games by eight points or less. All five of their wins in their current winning streak have been by eight points or less. Sunday will mark Minnesota quarterback Kirk Cousins’ first visit to play at Washington since he left D.C. to join the Vikings in 2018.
The other NFC North game Sunday will be at Soldier Field, where the Bears will play host to the Dolphins. Miami’s Tyreek Hill had 12 catches for 188 yards, and Jaylen Waddle had eight catches for 106 yards and two touchdowns last week against the Lions. Look for the same type stats from those two against a so-so Bears secondary.
This week’s NFC North games and picks
— Green Bay (3-5) at Detroit (1-6), 1 p.m. EST Sunday, FOX (Take Green Bay -3.5)
— Minnesota (6-1) at Washington (4-4), 1 p.m. EST Sunday, FOX (Take Minnesota -3.5)
— Miami (5-3) at Chicago (3-5), 1 p.m. EST Sunday, CBS (Take Miami -5)
How I did last week (3-1)
— Miami 31, Detroit 27 (I took Miami -3.5) WON
— Minnesota 34, Arizona 26 (I took Minnesota -3.5) WON
— Dallas 49, Chicago 29 (I took Dallas -9.5) WON
— Buffalo 27, Green Bay 17 (I took Buffalo -11) LOST
— Season record: 4-3
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