On Monday, the Green Bay Packers got a little bit of help from an unlikely source. After the Packers lost to the Falcons on Sunday afternoon, they sat a game and a half back of the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC North, with Minnesota playing the 1-6 Bears on Monday Night Football. Last night, the Bears dominated the line of scrimmage and sacked Sam Bradford five times en route to a 20-10 victory.
That result kept the Packers just one game back of Minnesota in the NFC North race, and helped increase the Packers' odds of winning the division from 21% up to 29%. All told, this week's games dropped the Packers' odds of making the playoffs in any form just 1%, and they're still better than a 50/50 shot to end up in the postseason.
Meanwhile, today marks a major date in the NFL, as 4:00 PM Eastern Time is the trade deadline for this season. Yesterday, we saw a trade between the Browns and Patriots that stunned many who cover the NFL, as linebacker Jamie Collins went to Cleveland for a 2018 compensatory pick. Will we see any other big deals today? Stay tuned to find out.
In today's curds, we look at the Vikings' loss, the Packers' offense and its evolution throughout this season, and much more.
Big game from Aaron Rodgers started in practice | Packers.com
Mike McCarthy said that Rodgers' practice on Thursday was his best of the year, which gave the coach confidence that his quarterback would have a great game on Sunday.
Rodgers may have to make a run for it | Packersnews.com
The Packers carved up the Falcons' zone coverage in the first half, but struggled when Atlanta switched to man coverage after halftime. What's the answer to that? Cut Aaron Rodgers loose and let him take the yardage that the defense gives him on the ground.
Green Bay Packers' offense in the wide receivers' hands - ESPN
The Packers probably didn't keep seven wide receivers on the week 1 roster with the goal of playing two of them as primary tailbacks, but that's how it has worked out. Thankfully, the versatility that the receivers have shown - playing inside, outside, and in the backfield - indeed makes them the offense's focal point, and they have a greater proportion of the team's total yards than that of any other receiving group in the NFL.
The Vikings have gone from unbeaten to getting dominated by the Bears in 2 weeks - SBNation.com
Congrats to Gary, who was the only APC contributor to pick the Bears to win. For some reason, weird things seem to happen to the Vikings at Soldier Field, and last night was no different.
Could Vikings loss be catalyst for trade deadline move? - NFL.com
The Bears wreaked havoc with the Vikings' offensive line last night, continuing the trend that the Eagles started a week ago. Minnesota will keep losing games unless they can keep Sam Bradford upright, so GM Rick Spielman might make a move today to bolster that unit.
Matt Hasselbeck’s Brian Urlacher costume is so accurate it’s scary - SBNation.com
This was pretty great - Hasselbeck nailed it all they way down to the tattoo on the right arm. The only major difference? He probably needed to add a little weight, as he's significantly smaller than Urlacher was in his heyday.