GREEN BAY, Wis. – The Green Bay Packers are perilously close to last place in the NFC North.
With Week 11 of the NFL season complete, here’s an updated look at the division standings:
The Minnesota Vikings are 8-2 and hold a commanding four-game lead despite getting destroyed at home by Dallas.
The Detroit Lions, who have finished in last place each of the past four seasons, improved to 4-6 by beating the New York Giants. Starting with their victory over Green Bay a couple weeks ago, the Lions have won three in a row for the first time since 2017.
The Packers are 4-7 following Thursday’s loss to the Titans. They’ve lost six of their last seven games, a dubious feat not accomplished since 2005.
The Chicago Bears are 3-8 following a 27-24 loss at the Falcons. Facing a do-or-die final drive, Justin Fields threw an interception. Nonetheless, Fields joined the Cardinals’ Kyler Murray as the only players in the Super Bowl era with at least one touchdown pass and one touchdown run in five consecutive games.
Next week, the Bears play at the punchless New York Jets (6-4) on Sunday and the Packers play at the powerhouse Philadelphia Eagles (9-1) on Sunday night. If Chicago wins and Green Bay loses, the Packers would have to win at Chicago the following week to stay out of the NFC North basement.
The Packers haven’t finished last in the division since 2005, the final season under Mike Sherman. Brett Favre, age 36 at the time, threw a league-worst 29 interceptions.
Looking to the NFC playoff race – if only for entertainment purposes – the Packers fell behind the Falcons and Lions this week and into 11th place in the conference. Here are the standings in the chase for the last spot:
No. 7: Seattle (6-4)
No. 8: Washington (6-5)
No. 9: Atlanta (5-6)
No. 10: Detroit (4-6)
No. 11: Green Bay (4-7)
No. 12: Arizona (4-7)
No. 13: New Orleans (4-7)
No. 14: L.A. Rams (3-7)
No. 15: Carolina (3-8)
No. 16: Chicago (3-8)
In the NFL Draft race, the Packers currently own the 12th overall pick, according to Tankathon. They were 11th before Arizona lost to San Francisco on Monday night.
The standings for the final playoff spot in the NFC shows just how quickly the draft race could be shaken up. There’s no margin for error, whether it’s Green Bay somehow surging into the playoffs or plunging into a top-five playoff spot.
“We are in a really tough spot,” coach Matt LaFleur said on Friday, obviously talking about the playoffs. “The message that I articulated to our team is every game, it’s a one-game season from here on out. Every game is absolutely critical, and they all are, but just in particular where we are today, there is no margin for error.”
Focusing on the draft and the Packers’ future battles in the NFC North, three huge games remain. One is Week 13 at Chicago. If the season were to end today, the Bears would be picking third. After the bye, the Packers will host the Rams in Week 15. The Rams will ship their first-round pick to Detroit for the Matthew Stafford trade. So, the Lions appear to be a team on the rise and could be getting a prime draft pick. Finally, the season will conclude at home against Detroit. As it stands, the Lions hold the 13th pick.