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NFL: NFC Challengers Who Need to Do More

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NFL: NFC Challengers Who Need to Do More

2019-12-05 18:59:38


-by Bo Marchionte, Contributing Writer; Image: Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. (Image Source: Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

Bloomington, IN—Here are three teams in the NFC who are not in the top tier but could move up with a strong December:

Green Bay Packers – I’m still not convinced the Packers can hang with some of the real tough guys in the NFL. They were exposed by San Francisco, which left more doubt on how Green Bay may perform when playing against some of the NFL’s elite. Aaron Rodgers has been relatively quiet for much of the season. The passing game is average, above average at best. That is not a good thing when your best option on offense is Rodgers. The defense has been strong throughout the year and the free agent additions have worked wonderfully under the direction of defensive coordinator Mike Pettine.

Minnesota Vikings – Lost a close game against the Seahawks in Seattle 37-30 on Monday night. Personally, I felt the Vikings outplayed Seattle but nonetheless they were not able to pull out the victory. Despite all the negative publicity Kirk Cousins receives, he is playing at an extremely high level. Mike Zimmer knows how to coach defense as good as anyone. The Vikings trail the Packers by one game and they will meet on December 23rd in Minnesota in a game that will likely decide who wins the NFC North. Two years ago, the Vikings allowed the fewest points in the league (252), then surrendered 38 to the Philadelphia Eagles as they would go on to advance to the Super Bowl. Zimmer must do a better job in the playoffs to keep his defense stout. They currently rank 7th overall in points this season with (319). That 2017 defense was special, this year’s version is really good, but not special. But the offense is better in 2019.

Dallas Cowboys – They boast too much talent not to be considered still in the mix and Philadelphia is doing everything they can to ensure the Cowboys win the NFC East. Dallas started 3-0 and have lost six out of their last nine games. Jason Garrett has never been under such scrutiny and an NFC Championship appearance may be the only way he is retained as head coach. The talent is there, but Jerry Jones wants to coach, which is why having a guy like Garrett is a luxury for an owner who wants to make all the decisions. Garrett did not make the playoffs until his fifth season. Since then he has made the playoffs in even numbered years (2014, 2016, and 2018). He has missed playoffs in the odd numbered years (2015 and 2017). Will the trend continue in 2019?

To read more from Bo Marchionte at, click here.


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