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Green Bay Packers (7-2) 24, Jacksonville Jaguars (1-8) 20

Wins all count the same

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Green Bay’s win was far from pretty on Sunday. The defense allowed another 100-yard rusher. The Packers special teams unit looked lost on Keelan Cole’s 91-yard touchdown return. Even Aaron Rodgers had an ugly interception on a short route. In the end, the Packers won and are still in contention for the bye in the NFC. 

The Packers easily could’ve been looking ahead to their Week 11 game against the Indianapolis Colts. While the game was ugly, there were positives to take away from the win. 

Jake Luton isn’t a good quarterback, but Green Bay still only allowed 13 points while missing their best player on that side of the ball. Marquez Valdes-Scantling had another great performance with a touchdown and over 100 receiving yards. They should also be getting Allen Lazard back this upcoming week. 

Great teams win even when they don’t play their best. Green Bay scraped by one of the worst teams in the league. Even if they won by 34 instead of four, it counts the same in the win column. 

Detroit Lions (4-5) 30, Washington Football Team (2-7) 27

Stafford, Prater save Patricia’s job

The Lions took a 24-3 lead midway through the third quarter against the Washington Football Team on Sunday. Yet, Detroit, a team led by a defensive-minded head coach in Matt Patricia, gave up a 21-point lead to a pretty bad offense. Even so, Matt Stafford was able to give Matt Prater a chance to win the game in under 16 seconds. Prater nailed the 59-yard kick to win the game and spoil Washington’s comeback. 

Detroit sits around .500, and there’s truly a chance the Lions can grab the final Wild Card in the NFC. Simply put, they’re not better than any of the top six teams in the NFC right now. 

If Detroit’s management believes a playoff appearance at a 8-8 like record is good enough to keep Patricia around, then so be it. However, the Lions will have to replace Stafford sooner than later. Neither side of the ball is elite or very good. There just needs to be more. 

At least Patricia realized D’Andre Swift was the most talented running back and made him the lead back on Sunday. But I mean even a blind squirrel finds a nut. 

Minnesota Vikings (4-5) 19, Chicago Bears (5-5) 13

Two teams heading different directions

The opinions on the Vikings and Bears have certainly changed over the past month. Minnesota has played a lot better overall, leading to three straight wins. Meanwhile, Chicago dropped its fourth straight game and has scored 20 points only once during that stretch. 

Monday night’s victory wasn’t just the Dalvin Cook show for the Vikings. Cook was actually very inefficient with his 30 carries, averaging just a little bit over three yards per carry. Instead, wide receivers Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson helped carry the load. Jefferson was great once again. The rookie hauled in eight receptions for 135 yards. Thielen’s superb route running was displayed on the pair of touchdowns he caught. 

Mike Zimmer’s defense also took advantage of the struggling Bears offense. Minnesota has allowed 18 points per game during the three-game winning streak. A huge step up from the performances before the team’s bye week. 

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Brady Vernon is a recent graduate of Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications. He is currently pursuing a Master's degree through Gonzaga University. He is an avid sports fan with aspirations of being a NFL Beat Reporter or a role in a NFL front office. Follow him on Twitter @BradyVernon
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