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Life without Rodgers

The Packers have never had to worry about life without Aaron Rodgers.

Sure, it’s been contemplated. From every fan to every front-office employee thinks about how much worse things could be without their franchise quarterback.

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Now, the Packers have to live it for the next few weeks, and don’t expect them to rush him back, either. It’s not worth it.

Eddie Lacy is the new big man on campus and the Packers are now a running team, at least that’s what should happen if they want to win games. You may have the services of James Jones and Jordy Nelson, but if you try to force them the ball, you’ll put yourself behind the 8-ball.

Lacy has been good for most of the season, and Packer fans should be excited about what he might be able to accomplish. There were concerns about his weight early on, but those have subsided for now (just wait until it pops up against next offseason).

His 596 yards in eight games are good for seventh best in the NFC right now, and that was after a slow start. He tallied an NFL-best 395 yards on the ground in the month of October, making him one of the hottest tailbacks in the league.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens with Rodgers out. In that respect, the Packers may want to look at film of the Vikings offense over the last couple years.

The picks:

Local flavor

Philadelphia at Green Bay: Nick Foles tied an NFL record with seven TD passes last week against Oakland. And while he definitely won’t duplicate that performance, he may do well enough to beat a Packers team still adjusting to life without their quarterback. Eagles 23, Packers 20

Semi-local flavor

Detroit at Chicago: Well, here it is. The Bears are starting Jay Cutler against the Lions. It’ll be his first game back and it won’t be fun facing the Lions’ impressive defensive line. Detroit is playing well right now, and it wouldn’t surprise me if they knocked Cutler out of this one. Lions 34, Bears 31

Put it on the board

Jacksonville at Tennessee: There’s nothing great about the Titans, but there’s nothing even average about the Jaguars. Titans 23, Jaguars 13

Scorer’s delight

Denver at San Diego: Two quarterbacks having amazing seasons square off in this one. Manning has 2,919 yards and 29 TDs, which leads the NFL. But Rivers has 2,473 yards and 17 TDs, the first mark being third-best in the AFC, and the second mark being second-best behind Manning. Should be a good one. Broncos 44, Chargers 38

Low and slow

Houston at Arizona: The Texans have a pretty strong defense, but their offense is in complete disarray this season. Arizona’s used to that, as its offense hasn’t been very good since Kurt Warner took them to the Super Bowl. Cardinals 16, Texans 13


Seahawks 27, Falcons 20

Colts 23, Rams 10

Giants 30, Raiders 21

Steelers 20, Bills 10

Ravens 23, Bengals 20

Panthers 27, 49ers 24

Saints 31, Cowboys 28

Dolphins 19, Bucs 16

Last week: 6-6

Overall: 77-48

Sun sportswriter Chris Aarhus can be reached at (701) 952-8462 or