November has finally arrived. Thanksgiving is only a few weeks ago, and just as soon the real playoff contenders will distinguish themselves from the rest of the league. As such, the Green Bay Packers' schedule during that stretch will make a tremendous impact on their ability to compete for a playoff spot, the NFC North, and perhaps even a title.
While Green Bay plays each of the other members of the NFC North during the second half of the season, only the Minnesota Vikings played this weekend. Facing Washington and newly returned quarterback Robert Griffin III, the Vikings endured a back-and-forth struggled before sealing the win via a late fourth-quarter touchdown. Running back Matt Asiata recorded his second three-touchdown game of the season while the defense registered five sacks, giving them a league-leading 30 on the year. Still, the Vikings gave up 26 points to a Washington team averaging just over 21. Minnesota remains a team stuck in neutral.
Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Eagles won 31-21 over the struggling Houston Texans. That Philadelphia won isn't really the story of this game. Rather, reports of a broken collarbone for starting quarterback Nick Foles dominated the post-game narrative. If MRIs confirm the injury, it will be Mark Sanchez under center when the Packers take on the Eagles in Week 14.
Lastly, the New England Patriots may have ripped away the mantel of best team in the AFC via a convincing 43-21 victory over the Denver Broncos. Tom Brady tossed four touchdowns as the Patriots toyed with Denver's defense, one of the best units in the league. Of all the team's remaining on Green Bay's schedule, New England appears to present the greatest challenge, a stark change from just a few weeks ago.