How Aaron Rodgers injury shakes up NFC North

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 17: Aaron Rodgers
ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 17: Aaron Rodgers /

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers suffered a broken collarbone in their loss to the Minnesota Vikings. How does this injury impact the NFC North?

The Packers and the Minnesota Vikings now sit atop the division at 4-2, with the Detroit Lions one game back at 3-3.  The Chicago Bears bring up the rear in fourth place at 2-4.  However, with the injury to Aaron Rodgers, it seems all these teams have a chance.

With Rodgers at the helm, the Green Bay Packers have won the NFC North five of the last six seasons.  Even though the Packers have been a flawed team, they’ve still been a Super Bowl contender primarily because of the presence of Aaron Rodgers.

Now we’ll see how the Packers fair without Rodgers.  The Vikings defeated the Packers in week 6, and have now emerged as the favorites.  They gotten good quarterback play from Case Keenum while Sam Bradford is recovering from his knee injury.

They lost Dalvin Cook for the season but their running game is still effective with Jerick McKinnon and the Vikings offense is still the best in the division.  So the Vikings have already overcome injury issues and still prospered.

After a 3-1 start, the Detroit Lions have lost two straight games.  However, they still have Matthew Stafford and if they can keep games close, he has a knack for fourth quarter come backs.  So while the Lions are on a losing streak, they could still end up winning the division if the race is close, which it probably will be.

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The Chicago Bears have the top defense in the division led by Akiem Hicks and I can’t see that changing.  With Mitch Trubisky as the starter, if the Bears continue to run the football and get on the plus side in turnovers, then they have a shot.

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Brett Hundley is new starting quarterback for the Packers.  I think Brett Hundley will play about as well as can be expected.  I liked Hundley when he came out UCLA and I think he has potential but he’s no Aaron Rodgers.

However, the Packers have a history of good quarterback play, so they’ll have some success.  But the Packers chances of making it six out of seven years winning the division are severely damaged without Aaron Rodgers.

At this point, any one of these teams could win the NFC North. I like the Vikings chances but I don’t see one team becoming dominant over the others. It will come down to who gets hot down the stretch.  So with Aaron Rodgers out for the season, the NFC North is up for grabs.