NFL Teams & Standings: Will Green Bay Packers or Minnesota Vikings Win NFC North?
In the last three weeks we have seen a major shift in the NFC North. The Green Bay Packers are currently on a three game losing streak while the Minnesota Vikings haven't lost since Week 4. The Vikings now lead the division by one game.
Something isn't quite right in Green Bay. The Packers lost to the Lions this previous week at home for the first time since 1991. The loss of Jordy Nelson is having a tremendous impact. James Jones has a combined five catches in the last five games, and Randall Cobb hasn't registered a 100-yard game since Week 2. Without Nelson on the field, Aaron Rodgers doesn't have his favorite target to throw to, and the running game isn't clicking.
Speaking of running, Eddie Lacy has been a huge disappointment this year. Lacy was benched in last week's game because of lack of production, and he is suffering from foot pain. Lacy has just 308 rushing yards and two touchdowns this season. James Starks has done a good job filling in for Lacy, but the Packers need their starter to come through like last season.
The Packers are 6-3, which is good enough for the No. 5 seed in the NFC. Mike McCarthy's team has won this division the last four seasons, but let's not forget that the Packers did win the Super Bowl as a wild card team in 2011.
As for the Vikings, they are playing at an extremely high level. Adrian Peterson is having one of his best seasons, and it's going a bit unnoticed. Peterson has nearly 200 more rushing yards than the second-place player Chris Johnson this year. At 7-2, the Vikings presently lead the NFC North, and they've won their last five consecutive games.
The Vikings defense has been outstanding this year as well. This defensive unit ranks No. 2 overall in points allowed behind only the Denver Broncos. The Vikings have only allowed more than 20 points once this entire season so far. The Vikings have flown under the radar because they have only had one prime time game this year, which was all the way back in Week 1.
The Packers and Vikings have not faced off this season, but they will play each other this weekend. The Vikings will be favored considering they are the hot team, the Packer are struggling, and the Vikings are at home. This would be huge for the Vikings, because if they win this game, they would have a two and a half game lead in the division.
The Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions both scored wins in Week 10, but neither have a winning record. This division should come down to the Packers or Vikings in the end.
Follow Damon Salvadore on Twitter @DamonSalvadore1
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