The Green Bay Packers are back at work on Monday
, but not back to practice until Wednesday. They won't all be coming back healthy, in fact RT Mark Tauscher was placed on I.R. so he's not coming back at all. My hope is that WR Donald Driver and DE Ryan Pickett come back ready to play. As for the rest of the NFC North, one team is flying high and two teams are down in the dumpster after their games on Sunday.
The Bears are riding high after winning their sixth game and taking back first place due to the tiebreaker. Lovie Smith was all smiles after the win over the Vikings. It looked like this was going to be a tough week because now they've got to travel to Miami for a Thursday night game against the Dolphins, but it was a horrible Sunday for the Fins. They lost their top 2 QBs to injury and might be rolling with QB Tyler Thigpen for the rest of the season. The previous link also mentioned six other players who were hurt during the game. And that didn't even include Pro Bowl LT Jake Long who might be done for the season with a bad shoulder.
While it's still possible to dream about a late season run, the Vikings still haven't managed to win a road game this season (0-5 so far) and the best they can hope for is 8-8. The stats look bad for QB Brett Favre, but he had a lot of "help" from his teammates. Their defense has been slipping in recent weeks, and they're only ranked 18th overall by Football Outsiders. They're certain to drop a little more after allowing the toothless Bears offense to convert 11 of 19 on 3rd downs and win the time of possession battle by almost 10 minutes. On offense, the release of WR Randy Moss looked even worse as WR Sidney Rice and WR Bernard Berrian both sat out, while WR Percy Harvin was knocked out in the 4th quarter by an ankle injury. Not even Chilly's favorite reality TV star could save them. On Favre's last two INTs (post-Harvin injury), the first one was intended for RB Adrian Peterson, but he slipped and the pass was easily intercepted, while TE Visanthe Shiancoe fell down on the second one too (which again was easily intercepted). Favre wasn't throwing to his wide receivers anymore because the remaining ones had only caught 2 of the 7 passes thrown their way. Oh, and Favre has another injury.
The Lions just lost their 25th straight road game, and it happened against the previously winless Bills. The Lions have shown some signs of life this year, but this loss was a major setback. From Pride of Detroit:
Every year there is a certain point when fans start to give up on the Lions. This is when the draft becomes a hot topic and the phrase "wait until next year" becomes a common theme to discussions. Well, I think we've officially hit that point. Last week's game was disappointing, but at least the Lions played well. Today, the game was disappointing and the Lions looked awful. With Matthew Stafford unlikely to return again this season, I'm officially at the point where I just don't care anymore. Bring on the draft talk and bring on being hopeful about 2011, because the Lions looked like they packed it in today.