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Week 6 NFC North recap: Who is the favorite to win the division?

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With Aaron Rodgers down, the North is up for grabs.

Green Bay Packers v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

To call Week 6 of the NFL eventful would be a disservice to the NFC North. For the Black and Blue division, it was earth-shattering. Just as it seems the Green Bay Packers were pulling away from the rest of the crowd, disaster strikes and Aaron Rodgers breaks his collarbone.

Here’s a full recap of the week that was in the NFC North.

Green Bay Packers lose to Minnesota Vikings, 23-10

Green Bay notes:

  • The Aaron Rodgers injury is absolutely devastating to the Packers. The team announced that Rodgers will undergo surgery, and former NFL Dr. David J Chao believes that the Packers quarterback will miss at least eight weeks, but expects to see him return if Green Bay is still in the playoff race in the final few weeks of the season.
  • Packers coach Mike McCarthy is all in on Brett Hundley, so don’t expect a big quarterback signing in free agency. “Brett Hundley‘s my quarterback. Joe Callahan is the backup,” McCarthy said.
  • Hundley was not good against the Bears, competing just 54.5 percent of his passes, earning just 4.8 yards per attempt and throwing three interception. Obviously, Hundley was put in a really tough situation, replacing Rodgers mid-game against a good Vikings defense. He should look at least a little better with a week’s worth of practice in the leadup to next game.
  • Green Bay had issues elsewhere, only gaining 72 yards on the ground (3.0 YPC) while allowing the Vikings to rush for 112 and a touchdown.
  • The Packers got Calvin Johnson Rule’d. This is cathartic:
  • In addition to the Rodgers injury, Green Bay also lost four other starters to injury: cornerback Quinten Rollins (placed on IR), guard Lane Taylor (knee/ankle), and offensive tackles Bryan Bulaga (concussion) and David Bakhtiari (re-aggravated hamstring).

Next week: vs. Saints (3-2)

Vikings notes:

  • Minnesota may have finally found their replacement for Dalvin Cook in the backfield. Jerick McKinnon had himself a game in Week 6, rushing for 69 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries (4.3 YPC). He also added five catches for 30 yards and a score in the passing game. This is off the heals of 146-yard performance against the Bears last week.
  • The Minnesota’s defense remains impressive. Here’s a recap of their performance: Four sacks, three forced turnovers, 3.5 yards per play allowed, and seven passes defended.
  • The Vikings’ passing game suffered a little without Stefon Diggs in the lineup, but Adam Thielen continued his impressive season, adding nine catches for 97 yards to his total. He now leads the entire NFC in receiving yards.

Next week: vs. Ravens (3-3)

Chicago Bears beat Ravens, 27-24 (OT)

  • The Bears are clearly taking rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky along slowly. He attempted just 16 passes all game, completing eight in a winning effort.
  • As a result, the Bears ran the ball a whopping 54 times against the Ravens, amassing 231 yards in the process (4.3 YPC). Jordan Howard had a career day, rushing for 167 yards.
  • This game featured three non-offensive touchdowns. The Bears allowed two return scores (one punt return, one kick return), while Chicago cornerback Adrian Amos nabbed a pick-six off of Joe Flacco.
  • Another week, another trick play touchdown for the Bears offense:
  • Credit to the Bears defense. They allowed 3.8 yards per attempt, forced three turnovers, tallied three sacks, had a defensive score and did not allow a single touchdown on the day.

Next week: vs. Panthers (4-2)

NFC North Week 7 standings:

t-1. Minnesota Vikings (4-2)
t-1. Green Bay Packers (4-2)
3. Detroit Lions (3-3)
4. Chicago Bears (2-4)

The Vikings technically have the lead in the division, considering their head-to-head tiebreaker over the Packers, and right now they have to be considered the favorites to win the North. Not only do they look like the most well-rounded team, but now they may be getting Teddy Bridgewater back shortly.

The Packers aren’t completely done for, as Hundley will likely look much better when he gets more reps with the first team and McCarthy builds a gameplan around him, but the talent drop-off is immense. Considering they’re also dealing with a ton of injuries elsewhere and have some issues on defense, they are going to have to beat some odds to remain in NFC North contention.

The Bears are only two games behind, but they have also started out 0-2 in the division. Their defense is for real, led by an impressive front seven, but they are still finding out their identity on offense while Trubisky comes along.

At this point, any of these teams could realistically compete for a wide open division, including the Detroit Lions. Game on.

Poll

Who is the front-runner to win the NFC North after Week 6?

This poll is closed

  • 43%
    Minnesota Vikings
    (318 votes)
  • 3%
    Green Bay Packers
    (25 votes)
  • 50%
    Detroit Lions
    (369 votes)
  • 2%
    Chicago Bears
    (16 votes)
728 votes total Vote Now