The NFC North got even murkier last week with the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers improving their records to 2-3 and 3-3 respectively and the Vikings dropping to 4-2. The Chicago Bears were on their bye week last week but now sit atop the division all alone at 4-1. Needless to say, another week like last week and the battle for the NFC North will be up for grabs for all four teams. Can the Lions beat the Bears on Monday Night Football and close the gap? Will the Vikings bounce back this week against a struggling Cardinals team? Are the Packers back after their win against the Texans?
Nov 13, 2011; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears defensive end Julius Peppers (90) and Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh (90) go face to face during a fight in the second half at Soldier Field. The Bears defeated the Lions 37-13. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-US PRESSWIRE
Without further ado, here are my NFC North predictions for week 7.
Arizona Cardinals at Minnesota Vikings
I said last week that I wasn’t sold on the Vikings, and after their loss to the Redskins I stand by my statement. However, the Vikings got a gift from the football Gods this week as they play a Cardinals team who is struggling to find their identity after losing starting quarterback Kevin Kolb. If there is a week you want to play the Cardinals, it’s this week. Unless Cardinals back up quarterback John Skelton finds his groove, or the Cardinals defense finds a way to force turnovers, it will be a long day for the Cardinals.
Prediction: Vikings win 23-17
Green Bay Packers at St. Louis Rams
The Packers looked like the 2011 Packers last week in their thrashing of the Houston Texans. The Texans gave the Packers extra opportunities to score through penalties and the Packers capitalized on the extra opportunities with touchdowns, which is what good teams do. The problem I have with the Packers is their inconsistency. At times the Packers look like the best team in the NFC and at other times they look like a .500 team. If the Packers let the Rams hang in this game they are going to get beat against a Rams team who is improving every week.
Prediction: Packers win 27-17
Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears
If the Lions hope to still a win on the road in the windy city this week they are going to have to play a complete game. They can’t get behind early and expect to win because the Bears are too good. Another key for the Lions is winning the turnover battle. Through six weeks the Bears defense has excelled in creating turnovers. If the Lions can play smart football and play for four quarters how they have been playing in the forth quarter, then they will have a great chance to win. However, the Lions have had terrible luck at Soldier field, Matthew Stafford for example has had a four interception game, he also suffered a separated shoulder, and Calvin Johnson had a game winning catch nullified by a technicality. I don’t see the Lions winning this game based on their team play and the struggles they have had in the past. This is Shack’s Game Of The Week.
Prediction: Bears win 26-20
Recap: I have the Packers and Vikings winning and the Lions losing to the Bears on Monday night. Don’t forget to leave a comment below and share your NFC North Predictions! I’ll try to respond to any comments or questions you might have.
Last weeks record: 2-1
Record so far this season: 11-10