It feels like this week is going to have 3 contenders and a funeral


The Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Oakland Raiders and Seattle Seahawks are off this week. In the case of one team, off has a different definition.

It’s the fourth set of off-weeks for the 2018 NFL season. This time around, the Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks and Oakland Raiders have some extended vacation time.

For three of those teams, there has been a recently reversal of fortunes. Both Mike Tomlin’s squad and Pete Carroll’s club didn’t win their first game of the season until Week 3 and both are now .500 or better. The Pack is back, sort of, and within range of the Chicago Bears in the muddle NFC North.

As for the Silver and Black, it’s been a much different story. It’s been a struggle from the get-go and the results have been one win in six tries. So what can we expect from all four of these clubs when they return to action in Week 8? And have what we’ve seen out of late mean that the Packers, Steelers and Seahawks have turned the corner?

Green Bay Packers (3-2-1)

It’s really hard to get a grasp of what’s going on in “Titletown” these days. But six games into the season, the Green Bay Packers have arguably not played a complete game this season. Still, the club is right in the thick of the NFC North race as the Chicago Bears (3-2), Minnesota Vikings (3-2-1) and Detroit Lions (2-3). Mike McCarthy’s club takes a week off while the other three teams in the division will all be facing opposition from the AFC East.

So how exactly does a team that boasts the league’s fourth-ranked offense and seventh-ranked defense own such a mediocre record? One issue has been turnovers (8) and another has been the lack of a consistent ground attack. Likewise the Packers have not steadily stop the opposition from running the football. Add in the fact that the Green Bay special teams have been spotty as well as once again, all three phases of this club have yet to mesh at the same time.

As usual, a lot of the onus is on quarterback Aaron Rodgers. He’s thrown for 1,997 yards and 12 scores opposed to only one interception. He’ been sacked 19 times and fumbles on five occasions, losing two of those miscues. But the prolific passer has also been missing many of his key weapons along the way such as wide receivers Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison have been injured. Hence his somewhat-disappointing 61.4 completion percentage.

When the Packers return in Week 8, they begin a stretch of four road games in five weeks that starts with tilts with the Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots. It will be interesting to see just how much the team can fix during its off week.

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