An NFL season plagued by season-ending injuries and unpredictability continues.
State of the Division
Week six saw the end of Aaron Rodgers’ 2017-18 season. Rodgers becomes the latest NFL star to have his season end prematurely due to injury. With no clear-cut powerhouse in either the NFC or AFC, it will be interesting to see how the rest of the season unfolds.
Who will emerge as the leader of the NFC North?
Green Bay Packers (4-2) – Quarterback Brett Hundley has some enormous shoes to fill. With Rodgers likely done for the year, the Packers have to hope Hundley absorbed some tips and tricks from number 12. Green Bay’s roster may not be strong enough to make a playoff push. If the Packers can somehow find a way to pile up wins and earn a playoff berth, maybe Rodgers will be healthy enough to return just in time.
Next four games: New Orleans, Detroit, @Chicago and Baltimore.
Minnesota Vikings (4-2)– The Vikings, tied with the Packers at 4-2 for the division lead, have arguably the best defense in the division. Anthony Barr’s sack on Rodgers may have been the nail in Green Bay’s coffin. Teddy Bridgewater will be returning, but in what capacity? If Minnesota can get solid quarterback play, the Vikings could be in business. A division crown and playoff push will hinge on the performance and consistency of the defense.
Next four games: Baltimore, @Cleveland, @Washington and Los Angeles (Rams).
Detroit Lions (3-3)– With Rodgers done for the season, Matt Stafford is now the best quarterback in the division. The Lions are winless against the NFC South, losing close contests to Atlanta and Carolina. New Orleans piled up 52 points last week. Fortunately, Detroit defeated division foe Minnesota. Division wins will be key in a Rodger-less division.
Next four games: Pittsburgh, @Green Bay, Cleveland and @Chicago.
Chicago Bears (2-4)– With Mike Glennon finally out of the starting lineup, Chicago has a new lease on life. Rookie Mitchell Trubisky will continue to ascend and progress from week to week. He nearly defeated the Vikings in his primetime debut. Trubisky’s athletic ability will help take the Bears offense to the next level, with no standout receivers available. Defensively, Chicago has solid pieces that can keep games competitive.
Next four games: Carolina, @New Orleans, Green Bay and Detroit.
Next Four Weeks Predicted Standings
The Minnesota Vikings will be in sole possession of first place in the NFC North. The Vikings defense will continue to be one of the leagues best. Detroit is in the hunt and will earn a pair of division wins, putting them in a great position. Green Bay will lose four straight and may have to look outside for a quarterback if Hundley cannot get the job done. Chicago has the toughest schedule of the four teams over the next four weeks. Trubisky will earn his first victory over a Rodgers-less Packers team.
Minnesota – 6-4
Detroit – 5-5
Green Bay – 4-6
Chicago – 3-7