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What is the rest of the NFC North doing in Week 7?

Since the Vikings aren’t doing anything this week.

Seattle Seahawks v Detroit Lions Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

We know that the Minnesota Vikings aren’t going to be taking the field this weekend, but the rest of the NFC North will be in action. Let’s take a look at what’s going to be happening around the rest of the division this week and whether or not the Vikings might open up even more space between themselves and their division rivals without even taking the field.

Two of the other three NFC North teams will be playing in the early Sunday window, starting with the team that’s closest to the Vikings in the division at the moment, the Green Bay Packers. They could be in a bit of a tricky spot as they head to the nation’s capitol to take on the Washington Commanders.

The Packers have lost two straight games, while the Commanders are coming off of an ugly win over Chicago. Washington will also be turning to a new starting quarterback in this one, as former Viking Taylor Heinicke will be taking the reins from the injured Carson Wentz. Our friends at the DraftKings Sportsbook currently have the Packers as a 4.5-point favorite, making them the only team in the NFC North that’s favored this week.

Green Bay, on the other hand, has had trouble getting anything going on offense. Aaron Rodgers is having issues that may or may not be injury-related, and his receiving corps isn’t doing him any favors. You hate to see it.* Given all of those things, the Packers might not have it as easy as you some think this weekend.

Also in the early Sunday window, the Detroit Lions will be heading down to Jerryworld to take on the Dallas Cowboys. Detroit is in the basement of the division at 1-4 and is coming off of a 29-0 loss to New England in their last game before their bye, and it doesn’t look to be getting any easier for them as the Cowboys will be welcoming back quarterback Dak Prescott on Sunday after he missed four of the team’s first five games.

The Cowboys are coming off of a loss as well, as they fell to Philadelphia on Sunday Night Football in Week 6. It’s going to be a pretty tall order for the Lions to break their three-game losing streak this week, that’s for sure. That explains why they’re coming into this one as a 6.5-point underdog to the Cowboys as things stand right now.

The other NFC North game for Week 7 will be played on Monday night. . .because, hey, who doesn’t want to see more of the Chicago Bears in prime time, am I right? The Bears will be heading out to Foxborough, where they are a significant underdog to the New England Patriots.

The Bears are a complete mess offensively. . .well, when they’re not playing the Vikings, I mean. They haven’t been able to get a lot going on that side of the ball and Justin Fields is not getting a lot of help from anyone thus far. The Patriots, on the other hand, are coming into this one on a bit of a hot streak, having beaten their last two opponents by a combined score of 67-15 behind a rookie quarterback, fourth-round pick Bailey Zappe. Zappe has stepped in for an injured Mac Jones, and dare I say that the Patriots might be better with Zappe behind center? I do dare say it, because it appears that they are.

The Bears are one of the bigger underdogs of the weekend in the NFL, as DraftKings currently has them at +8 heading into this one. If the Bears don’t figure something out on offense here soon, that number might be too small.

It has the potential to be an interesting weekend around the NFC North, even without the Vikings taking the field. Minnesota is the only team in the NFL that has a two-game lead in its division at this point in the season, and there’s a fairly decent chance that they’ll be able to increase that lead without even taking the field.

* - You do not, in fact, hate to see it.

Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See for details.