As Aaron Rodgers mentioned in his post-game presser with the media on Sunday, the magic number is two.
With two more victories, the Green Bay Packers (9-3) can secure the NFC North crown after defeating the Philadelphia Eagles, 30-16. Green Bay is still chasing New Orleans for the conference’s top seed, but moved up to sole possession of the second seed with a Seattle loss. Next up for the Packers is a divisional clash with Detroit next week.
Speaking of those Lions, the team earned an exhilarating win against Chicago one week after firing their head coach. For Wisconsin alum Darrell Bevell, a re-energized coaching approach helped Detroit maintain its focus in the midst of uncertainty. For the Bears, that uncertainty has reached a fever point as the team dropped its sixth consecutive contest.
More on those teams trending in potentially opposite directions, as well as Minnesota’s climb back into the NFC playoff picture, in today’s rundown.
Minnesota Vikings (6-6)
Won 27-24 vs. Jacksonville; Next at Tampa Bay
Minnesota is still very much alive in the postseason hunt, but a big test with the Buccaneers awaits this week as the Vikings cling to a final seed.
The Vikings may have traded away a star in Stefon Diggs, but his replacement has had a special first season of his own.
It is early in his career, but Dantzler has been tasked with opponents’ top receivers the past few weeks and allowed just one catch on 47 targets Sunday while nabbing his first interception.
Chicago Bears (5-7)
Lost 34-30 vs. Detroit; Next vs. Houston
A pair of special teams miscues from Chicago made up a group of dilemmas that ultimately determined the game on Sunday.
Matt Nagy says he hasn’t talked with Chicago Bears ownership about his job status as rumblings about change grow louder
Nagy believes he still has support higher up in the organization, but frustration is mounting after the Bears’ sixth-straight defeat.
The numbers suggest that rookie Cole Kmet is emerging as the team’s go-to tight end.
Detroit Lions (5-7)
Won 34-30 at Chicago; Next vs. Green Bay
The momentum of the game shifted on one big defensive turnover as the Lions came back from a double-digit deficit.
There was more juice at the Lions’ facility this past week, with music, increased competition, and an emphasis placed on pace on both sides of the ball.
The Lions’ president proclaimed himself as “not a football guy,” but here is how he is trying to facilitate group discussions on roster transactions in wake of the front office changes.