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Cheese Curds, 11/9: Packers sit in third place in NFC at halfway point

Based on Sunday’s results, the Packers sit in third place despite a head-to-head win over the current top-seeded team.

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Green Bay Packers v New Orleans Saints Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

In 2019, the Green Bay Packers sat at 7-1 through eight games played, but the team was in the third position in the NFC playoff picture. With the San Francisco 49ers sitting undefeated and the New Orleans Saints holding a tiebreaker, Green Bay was in a good spot but was not in position for a playoff bye.

Fast-forward to the end of week 9 in 2020 and Green Bay finds itself in a familiar position. While the Packers’ record is one game worse than last year’s at 6-2, they hold the same spot in the NFC standings. The Seattle Seahawks’ 44-34 loss to the Buffalo Bills dropped them down to 6-2 as well, while the New Orleans’ drubbing of Tampa Bay pushed the Saints into the lead in the NFC South — also with a 6-2 lead. Based on the three-way tie, New Orleans holds the tiebreaker, with Seattle in second and the Packers in the three-spot despite a head-to-head win over the Saints.

(Oddly, if Seattle had won on Sunday to move to 7-1, Green Bay would be in the #2 spot with New Orleans down at #3 due to the Packers’ win in week 3.)

Still, the Packers are sitting pretty here, coming off a Thursday night win over last year’s nemesis in San Francisco. With a mini-bye this weekend, the Packers should be able to get back closer to full strength for next Sunday, when they host the Jacksonville Jaguars and backup quarterback Jake Luton as they look to continue in their quest for an NFC North title and home-field advantage in the conference playoffs.

Packers in good shape at halfway point of very strange season |
Mark Murphy's mailbag addresses the team's progress through eight games as well as the trade deadline, explaining a bit about the latter and why the team elected not to add any players.

Green Bay Packers taking a different path in this Super Bowl journey | (subscription)
If the defense plays more like it did through three quarters on Thursday, this team has a chance to be special. But for now, it looks like it will require the offense to continue overcoming the defense's major issues, which isn't usually a recipe for success.

Packers’ top 15 players by PFF grade at halfway point of 2020 | Packers Wire
To wit, only one of the team's top five players and just four of the top 15 are on the defensive side of the football.

Elgton Jenkins, Billy Turner step up in Packers' win – The Athletic (subscription)
Ben Fennell's breakdown looks at some adjustments to the defensive scheme, the red zone offense, and more.

Green Bay Packers' Davante Adams -- 'Fair to say' I'm best receiver in NFL | ESPN
He's not wrong.

Arsenal star Mesut Ozil caught speeding at 97mph | Evening Standard
The German-born midfielder's excuse was that he thought all speedometers read in kilometers per hour instead of miles per hour. In his defense, 97 mph is a normal speed in the slow lane back in his home country.