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NFC North Week Eight Updates And Previews : Predicted Big Winners And Major Losers

NFC North: Chicago Bears vs. Dallas Cowboys Sunday 10/30 12 pm CT`

The Bears go on the road this week to play against the Cowboys in Dallas. The biggest test in this week’s game will be if the Bears’ offense can keep things rolling against the Cowboys’ defense after they put up 33 points against a subpar New England Patriots team last week.

Justin Fields will have to continue to be decisive and if they can get their run game going against the Cowboys, they could be hard to beat. However, they are facing a significantly better defense when it comes to the Cowboys.

This will be Dak Prescott’s second game back from breaking his thumb in a week 1 loss to the Buccaneers. It would be understandable for him to continue to be a little bit rusty as they continue to increase his practice reps each week.

It is important to note that the Bears traded away Robert Quinn to the Eagles for a 2023 4th-round draft pick. So while their defense has been very good against the pass this season (2nd overall), the loss of a veteran leader and somebody who could get to the opposing quarterback on a semi-regular basis. While he is on the downswing of his career, he will still be missed and this week could truly expose how valuable he still is.

The Bears only have two players listed on their injury report ahead of this matchup and they are OT Larry Borom who is out (concussion) and Armon Watts (personal) has an unspecified status. RB Ezekiel Elliot (knee) is listed as doubtful, also on the injury report is LB Micah Parsons (shoulder) who is listed as questionable, the other starting player on the report is TE Dalton Schultz (knee) who is also questionable.

I believe that this is the game where Dak gets his rhythm back and has the potential to take advantage of the Bears’ loss of Robert Quinn. If the Cowboys’ defense lives up to its potential then this could be a very ugly game for the Bears and they will find out just how big of a rebuild they need to get into.

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NFC North: Dolphins vs. Lions Sunday 10/30 12 PM CT

The Lions are continuing to look like a team in serious need of a rebuild. While it is nice to see a team that believes in their coach so strongly, they are going to continue to struggle with their current roster.

The Lions’ defense is currently ranked 32nd aka last in the league overall. If the Lions can keep the Dolphins’ defense on the field then they might have a chance. If the Dolphins keep the Lions’ defense on the field then it could get ugly fairly quickly.

The Lions come into this game with a 1-5 record. It is hard to believe that their defense will do well against players like Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle.

The main wildcard that the Lions have in this game would be Jared Goff. With the Rams, he has shown that he can lead a team to the Super Bowl but with the Lions, he has not faired as well. He has 11 passing TDs this year but he also has 6 INTs.

His most recent performance against the Cowboys left something to be desired, to say the least. He had 0 TDs and 2 INTs in that game. I believe that even coming in as heavy underdogs, the Lions have the potential to win this game. Especially if their run game can get going.

The only player that is a regular starter for the Lions that is on the injury report is Amon-Ra St. Brown (Concussion Protocol), he is listed as questionable.

While there were many others on the injury report earlier in the week, OT Taylor Decker (Neck), TE T.J. Hockenson (Knee), CW Frank Ragnow (foot), WR Josh Reynolds (knee), and RB D’Andre Swift (ankle). They were all able to be full participants by the end of the week.

The Miami Dolphins have two starters on their injury report in CB Xavien Howard (groin) and P Thomas Morstead (not injury related-illness) and they are both questionable.

NFC North: Cardinals vs. Vikings Sunday 10/30 12 PM CT

The Vikings (5-1) take on the Cardinals (3-4) at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. The Cardinals’ offense is middle of the road, ranked at 15th overall and their defense is in the bottom third at 22nd overall. While the Vikings’ offense is ranked 18th overall and their defense is near the worst in the league at 27th overall. 

However, the Vikings have been finding ways to win in games that they were losing last year. So the overall rankings do not mean a whole lot at this point of the season.

Kirk Cousins has not been the most efficient this season at a 66% completion rate and nine TDs with five INTs. He has made plays when the Vikings have needed him most which is why the Vikings have a 5-1 record at this point. 

If the Vikings can establish the run game early on with Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison then that will open the play-action passing game where Kirk excels. It is also important to get Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen involved early and often.

This could be seen as a revenge game for both CB Patrick Peterson and LB Jordan Hicks as they both spent time with the Cardinals. They both seem to have revived or enjoyed continued success with the Vikings this season and look to continue that against the Cardinals.

The Vikings only have two players on the final injury report with WR Jalen Nailor (hamstring) who was a full participant in practices from Wednesday through Friday, and DL Jonathan Bullard (Illness) who is listed as questionable after not participating in practice on Friday.

The Cardinals have five players that they have ruled out with RB James Conner (ribs), OL Max Garcia (shoulder), LB Dennis Gardeck (ankle), OL Rodney Hudson (knee), and CB Christian Matthew (hamstring). They also have 4 players that are listed as questionable for the game with OL D.J. Humphries (back), CB Byron Murphy, Jr. (back), K Matt Prater (right hip), and RB Darrel Williams (knee).

NFC North: Packers vs. Bills Sunday 10/30 7:20 PM CT

The Packers (3-4) take on the Bills (5-1) in Buffalo. This could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back if the receivers and running backs are not able to perform well for Aaron Rodgers.

He already called out his teammates by saying, “Guys who are making too many mistakes, shouldn’t be playing,” Rodgers said Tuesday. “Gotta start cutting some reps. Maybe guys who aren’t playing, maybe give them a chance.”

Not even halfway into the season and this could very well determine what becomes of the rest of the season. If the Packers’ defense can keep this a close game, then the Packers have a chance.

If Josh Allen, Stefon Diggs, and company can move the ball at will then it’s going to be a long day for Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Jones, and company.

The Packers are already two games behind the Vikings and I would be very surprised if they come out of this game at .500 with a 4-4 record. To me, the more likely scenario is that Josh Allen takes this game over and dominates.

The Packers’ injury report includes two WRs in Allen Lazard (shoulder) who is ruled out, and Christian Watson (hamstring) is listed as questionable. Joining them on the injury report is LB Rashan Gary (concussion) who is questionable and CB Shemar Jean-Charles (ankle) has been ruled out for the Bills game.

The Bills’ injury report includes two defenders and two offensive players. S Micah Hyde (neck injury/surgery) is on the season-ending injured reserve, while CB Tre’Davious White (torn ACL in 2021) has been added to the PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) list so he has missed this whole season thus far and has no official return date as he continues to work on his rehabilitation.

The offensive players on the injury list are OT Spencer Brown (foot) who is ruled out, and RB Taiwan Jones (knee) who is listed as questionable.

Thanks for reading and please come back to for your Vikings and NFC North news needs.

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