Sep 22, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) looks to throw a pass during the fourth quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Welcome to Shack and The Hack’s week six picks for the NFC North. Last week we split the two NFC North games which keeps the Hack firmly in the lead in our predictions with Shack at 5-5 to the Hack’s 8-2 record. However in week six every North team will be playing
Lions vs Browns
Shack: What have we learned about the Lions after five games? If Reggie Bush or Calvin Johnson go down the offense sputters. If both are playing the Lions look like one of the best teams in the NFC North. Bottom line is this game may come down to whether Calvin Johnson plays or not. I’ll say he does.
Prediction: Lions win 27-17
The Hack: So which Detroit Lions are we talking about showing up this weekend in Cleveland? The one with Megatron playing and the field being wide open for other Lions to make plays? Or the one we saw last week with their resident Superstar wide receiver sidelined by a knee injury leaving the Lions to look like just a step above the Jacksonville Jags? We don’t know at this point if Calvin Johnson is playing this week, none the less -this is a game the Lions need to win. The Browns are hard to figure out, they lose their best player in a trade and go on a three week winning streak. The Lions will make this a nail biter, but win in the end.
Prediction: Lions-27, Brownies-24.
Giants vs Bears
Shack: I’ve tried to think of a scenario where the Giants win this one, but based off of what we’ve seen from them to this point I don’t think it will happen against the Bears. Eli Manning has thrown for a league high 12 interceptions in just five games which isn’t good when you consider they are playing one of the best teams in football at creating turnovers. The Giants’ offensive line doesn’t block well, their running back David Wilson has already been ruled out, and this team can’t stop anyone on defense (see 38 points allowed against the Panthers). Even if Cutler turns the ball over at an insanely high rate I don’t think the Giants can win this one unless Eli and company finally take care of the ball, which is going to be extremely difficult against the Bears’ defense.
Prediction: Bears win 35-20
The Hack: The New York football Giants are 0-5 and already are circling the drain. Looks Like the Jags might have a fight on their hands for the first pick in the draft next year. My heart just bleeds for the men in blue and the rest of that sorry ass division they call the NFC East. Like everyone else, Da Bears are tough to beat at home. Nothing is going the Giant’s way, and pretty soon they’ll be 0-6 and the rumors of Tom Coughlin’s inevitable demise will start. Da Bears win a tough one.
Bears-28, Giants 27.
Vikings vs Panthers
Shack: I’m a lot higher on the Vikings with Matt Cassel at the helm than Christian Ponder, but Ponder is back and I can see him being the reason they might lose this game. The Vikings defense is still a work in progress and I think the Panthers put together a decent game at home. I think this game comes down to execution in the red zone and I’ll take the home team in a game the Vikings should probably win.
Prediction: Panthers 21-20The Hack: Are the Panthers getting any better, or do they have to rebuild again already? They can run the ball and have a decent defense and have a potential star in Cam Newton, but they always seem to be going backwards. The Vikings getting Josh Freeman is not going to make Christian Ponder feel secure in keeping his job for much longer. As long as number 28 is in uniform, I’m taking the home team again here, and an NFC Central sweep this weekend.
Prediction: Vikings-27 Panthers-20.
Shack and The Hack’s NFC North Game of The Week
Packers vs Ravens
Shack: I’m not sure the Lions would have beaten the Packers had Calvin Johnson played, but I think we all agree that the game would’ve been a lot closer in the end. The Packers weren’t all that impressive to me in last week’s match-up and it looks like their defense is going to have their hands full with the Ravens with Clay Matthews likely out. Unlike last week, the Packers will be playing a team with a full arsenal. I see a heavy dose of Ray Rice and a few big plays by Torrey Smith being the difference in this one.
Prediction: Ravens in a nail bitter 34-30
The Hack: The 2-2 Packers looked good last week against the Lions, and will probably be in the win column by the end of the week. They’ll be missing defensive stud Clay Matthews for awhile, so I expect the Ravens Joe Flacco to take advantage and find Torrey Smith a lot. This is a match of two of the best run franchises around. Aaron Rodgers will win this battle of Super Bowl winning quarterbacks.
Prediction: Packers-35, Ravens 32.
Record so far this season
The hack: 8-2