I’m a week behind on my annual weekly NFC North predictions, but I have good reason, I promise!
First, I had to make a 14 hour drive with my girlfriend from Oklahoma to Detroit for the Monday night football game. Then I got engaged to my girlfriend of six years, met and took pictures with Jim Caldwell and finally, we watched our favorite team crush the New York Giants on Monday Night Football!
It was maybe the greatest weekend of my life, but now it’s time to move on just like every team in the NFL is doing for week two.
This year’s addition of my NFC North predictions will be slightly different. Usually I predict each game (keeping score throughout the season) and select the best match up of the week which is my game of the week. This year, I’m introducing a “sleeper” pick each week.
New England Patriots @ Minnesota Vikings
How good did the Vikings look last Sunday against the Rams? Or was it how bad did the Rams look against the Vikings? It might be more of the latter and less of the former, but who cares this week, because A.P. is out of action due to an unfortunate situation involving child abuse against his son. Let’s hope things aren’t as bad as they appear, because A.P. has been a model citizen during his tenure in Minnesota.
Prediction: Patriots win 27-7
Detroit Lions @ Carolina Panthers
Can Cam Newton handle the man he called “Donkey Kong” Suh? If Newton isn’t 100 percent, I’m not sure he can. More importantly it looks like the Panthers could be without DeAngelo Williams in Sunday’s contest which means the Panthers’ four-headed monster of Newton, Williams, Tolbert, and Stewart, could be cut in half or close to it depending on how healthy Newton is. Keeping the Panthers one dimentional and winning the turnover battle is key if the Lions hope to win Sunday.
I don’t think Newton will be at his best recovering from offseason ankle surgery and a rib injury.
Prediction: Lions win 26-24
Shack’s NFC North Sleeper
New York Jets @ Green Bay Packers
The Jets’ defense is legit, but so is the Packers’ offense (disregard what happened in Seattle, that would happen to many offenses). With a good defense playing against a good offense you have to wonder which side gives. I give the edge to the Packers’ offense – even with significant injuries along the offensive line – particularly because I think Aaron Rodgers will have a bounce back game after receiving criticism in the Packers’ season opener.
With that said, don’t count out the Jets in this one. With injuries mounting on the Packers offensive line, the Jets defense might be able to hold the Packers at bay and sneak out a road win.
Prediction: Packers win 23-17
Shack’s NFC North game of the week
Chicago Bears @ San Fransisco
I’m still in shock that the Bears took a loss week one AT HOME against the Bills. Jay Cutler looked… well, like Jay Cutler and the Bears “improved defense” looked like 2013 all over again. Luckily, it’s only one game and they have plenty of time to get back on track. Unfortunately for the Bears and their fans, they will probably have to wait at least one more week before that happens. I don’t see them beating the 49ers in their first regular season game in the new stadium. However, I do think it will be a fun game to watch.
Prediction: 49ers win 33-21