Now that Week 7 of the NFL regular season has concluded, let's take a closer look at how the NFC North division is shaping up.
Packers lose third straight, blow double-digit lead to the Commanders, 23-21
It looks like the Packers’ lack of additions in the offseason are finally catching up to them, and they legitimately look like a bad football team right now. Road games are never easy to win, but the Commanders are not very good, and this is the team that gave the Detroit Lions their only win of the season.
The Packers started off strong in this contest getting out to a 14-3 lead following an Aaron Jones touchdown catch and an interception return touchdown from linebacker De’Vondre Campbell. Nothing would come easy for the Packers after that.
The Commanders would go on to score 20 unanswered and take a 23-14 lead halfway through the fourth quarter. In typical Aaron Rodgers fashion, the Packers offense gave it a decent shot to at least come back and make it close, cutting the lead down to two points and having one last chance at the lead, but it was too little too late.
With no Davante Adams, this Packers offense continues to struggle. The chemistry with Allen Lazard, Sammy Watkins, Romeo Doubs and others doesn’t compare to the trust that Rodgers and Adams once had. You can tell that Rodgers looks a bit lost, and when teams take away the short passing game, he looks like a fish out of water.
It doesn’t help that the rushing attack also couldn’t get going for the Packers, as Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon combined for only 38 rushing yards on 12 attempts.
The Packers have a lot of self-reflection to do. Losing to the Commanders with Taylor Heinicke under center is an extremely bad look and it might not get much better in the near future, with the Packers facing off against the Bills next week as a 10.5- (!!) point underdog.
Next game: @ Bills (5-1)
Bears pull off shocking “Monday Night Football” blowout win over Patriots, 33-14
One thing continues to ring true throughout this NFL season... Absolutely nothing makes sense.
In what felt like a pretty straightforward game, The Patriots gave no fight whatsoever to a struggling Bears team. A team that is clearly designed to run first and win on the ground, the Patriots seemed to have no answer for the Bears’ rushing attack.
Justin Fields led the team with 82 rushing yards and a touchdown on 14 carries (5.9 yards per attempt), with David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert chipping in for 62 yards each. Even wide receiver Dante Pettis got involved with a 29-yard scamper at one point. The team combined for 243 rushing yards. When the Bears are able to get the ground game running, they can give themselves a chance to win, but this was much more than that.
The defense also came up huge and made rookie QB Bailey Zappe extremely uncomfortable. They would go on to force a total of four turnovers, including three interceptions and a fumble.
We’ve long made fun of the Bears for their recent ineptitude, but credit to them for putting together a performance worth praising.
Next game: @ Cowboys (5-2)
Standings after Week 7
1. Minnesota Vikings (5-1)
t-2. Green Bay Packers (3-4)
t-2. Chicago (3-4)
4. Detroit Lions (1-5)
With the Vikings on a bye week, it was looking for a second like the rest of the division would get swept, but the Bears were having none of that. With their victory, the Bears are now tied with the Packers and somehow have a legitimate chance at taking over second place in the division. It’s been a complete 180 for both the Packers and Bears in recent weeks. As far as the Lions and Vikes are concerned, I feel pretty confident that those positions won’t change. It’s a weird year, though. We’ll see.