Minnesota Vikings

The Packers will know very quickly this season how they match up against the NFC’s other top contenders.

NFL players took to the field Sunday, less than 24 hours after President Trump’s latest tweets urged them to stand for the national anthem and while many chose to make a statement of some sort — kneeling, raising a fist, locking arms — for the most part the league began to return to a semblance of normalcy through the conclusion of its 1 p.m. EDT games .?.?. with “normal” defined as a collection of stunning results and surprising upsets.

They beat the Seahawks on Sunday. They play in Atlanta this weekend and at Dallas on Oct. 8.

RB Ezekiel Elliott is in the lineup, perhaps all season, thanks to the injunction granted by a federal judge in Texas that keeps his six-game suspension on hold. With Elliott, the Cowboys are back to being the equal of anyone in the NFC. Elliott and QB Dak Prescott played well in the victory Sunday night over the Giants, and the performance of the remade defense was a pleasant surprise.

“There will be a point,” that person said, “where he says, ‘Let’s wrap this up.’… I think it’s a bluff by Jerry to get a better deal [with Goodell] for the owners. But now he’s hardened all the other owners. They don’t like self-generated controversy. They don’t like to be pushed around. And they particularly don’t like to be pushed around in public.”

Chris Herring, FiveThirtyEight: Fiction. Short of the Cavs using that Nets pick — something they seem unlikely to do, given the lack of clarity surrounding LeBron’s free-agency options — it’s hard to see how they earn another title. He could win MVP again, but one would think that window begins to close in another year or two as well, given what Giannis Antetokounmpo and Anthony Davis are showing.

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