NFC North Stock Market: Week 8

Vikings LB Eric Kendricks is thriving in his new job, while former Bears DL Jeremiah Ratliff lost his.

Bruce Kluckhohn/Andrew Weber - U

The NFL regular season is more volatile on a week-to-week basis than the Stock Market. A team that lost by several touchdowns one week can follow up with a blowout victory the next. Players who are responsible for the blame one week could be responsible for a game-winning play the next.

With Week 7 in the books, let’s take a look at three NFC North players who saw their stock rise, and three NFC North players who saw it fall as we look ahead to Week 8.

THREE UP

Stefon Diggs, wide receiver, Minnesota Vikings

Stefon Diggs has been on the rise for three consecutive games, but the rookie receiver took his biggest leap of the season against the Lions in Week 7.  He put up a second consecutive 100-yard performance and scored the first touchdown of his NFL career during Minnesota’s 28-19 victory on Sunday. Diggs is quickly adjusting to the professional game, as he’s already the Vikings’ most productive pass-catcher.

Davante Adams, wide receiver, Green Bay Packers

The Packers were on their bye in Week 7, and there’s no one who needed it more than Davante Adams. The second-year receiver has been fighting an ankle injury all season, but the week of rest might have helped him get over the hump in his recovery. Adams was back on the practice field on Monday, as Green Bay hopes to get one of its most talented pass-catchers back for a big matchup with the Broncos this weekend.

Eric Kendricks, linebacker, Minnesota Vikings

Diggs is not the only rookie in Minnesota making an early impact. Eric Kendricks has also assumed a starting role in recent weeks and made the most of it. The young middle linebacker isn’t just a cohesive force for the Vikings defense, he’s also one of the team’s biggest playmakers on that side of the ball. Kendricks trails only Everson Griffen for the team lead with four sacks on the season.

THREE DOWN

Jim Caldwell, head coach, Detroit Lions

One week after winning their first game of the season, the Lions bottomed out with a crushing loss at the hands of the Vikings in Week 7. Jim Caldwell’s coaching staff took a major hit on Monday, when offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi and two O-line position coaches were fired. Caldwell’s Lions are in a bad spot at 1-6 on the season; quarterbacks coach Jim Bob Cooter will try to revive the team in taking over playcalling.

John Sullivan, center, Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings were hoping to get John Sullivan back soon, but it looks like he’ll be shelved for the season after undergoing a second back surgery. Minnesota’s offensive line has gotten the job done with Joe Berger at center. He’ll have to hold up for the remainder of the season now that Sullivan’s unlikely to make a return from short-term injured reserve.

Jeremiah Ratliff, defensive lineman, free agent

The Bears, like the Packers, enjoyed a bye in Week 7. That doesn’t mean it was an uneventful week of rest, though. Jeremiah Ratliff was released from the team after a threatening confrontation with Chicago’s training staff last Friday. The veteran defensive tackle lost his temper and it cost him his job. Therefore, Ratliff is the biggest loser in the NFC North this week, even though he’s no longer on a team in the division.