Around the NFC North

News from around the NFC North with updates on the Bears, Lions, Vikings and defending NFC North Champion Green Bay Packers.

Minnesota Vikings – The Viking kicked off the 2015 pre-season by beating the Pittsburgh Steelers 14-3 in the annual Pro Football Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio.  The buzz in training camp is all about the exemplary play of QB Teddy Bridgewater who continued where he left off at the end of last season.  Bridgewater went 5 for 6 on Sunday night and made good decisions with the football.  With a renewed running game featuring former All-Pro Adrian Peterson and the continued leadership of second year head coach Mike Zimmer, there is optimism that this team may return to the playoffs as soon as this season.

Speaking of Peterson - he left practice early yesterday with what looked like a leg injury. No word on the severity although he didn’t require help in order to walk. Captain Munnerlyn has also been slowed by injury. 

There is real concern over prize linebacker Anthony Barr’s injuries.  He has not been practicing and the hope in Vikings camp is that he will be ready for the start of the season.

Detroit Lions  - For the Detroit Lions, praise is coming in abundant portions about the play so far in camp of QB Matthew Stafford.  His legendary strong arm is evident once more but what has been outstanding to date his accuracy.  On Tuesday he threw 10 completions in 12 attempts. 

The Lions open their pre-season against the New York Jets on Thursday night.  Second and third string quarterbacks Dan Orlovsky and Kellen Moore will be receiving the majority of the snaps as Stafford watches from the bench.  The Lions are pretty banged up at this point and prize off-season acquisition Haloti Ngata may not see action due to injury.

Chicago Bears – The big news around the Chicago Bears practices has been the play of ‘Public Enemy Number One’ Jay Cutler.  But get this, it is positive!  It has been reported that Cutler has yet to throw an interception in practice.  Even he acknowledges that it is still early.   Cutler was quoted as saying:  “I think it’s a combination of everything. I think Adam does an incredible job scheme-wise of putting quarterbacks in the right position. But a lot of it goes on the offensive line, the way they’ve played throughout camp, and the receivers getting open. They all have to do their job and I’ve got to put it in the right spot, and those 10 other guys have done a really good job.  You never know. Camp’s camp. We’re not getting hit. These aren’t live bullets. So we’ll see what happens when we start going.”

Well said Jay, let’s save the interceptions for the games that really count.  

In other news, Jay Cutler was not sucker punched in the locker room, ala Geno Smith of the Jets, and will continue to call plays for the Bears to the dismay of countless Bears fans.

Alshon Jeffery has been having a strong camp so far.

The Bears made a trade with the NE Patriots this week.  The banged-up Patriots have acquired second-year guard Ryan Groy from the Bears.  The Bears received rookie linebacker Matthew Wells in exchange for Groy (pending physicals). Wells was a sixth-round draft choice out of Mississippi State.

The NFL announced on Tuesday that the NFL draft will return to Chicgo in 2016.

Green Bay Packers  - The Packers kick off their pre-season schedule against the defending champion New England Patriots at Foxboro, Mass. on Thursday night.  Expect their schemes on both defense and offense to be very vanilla.  You can also count on any player with the slightest injury to sit out and for the starters to take a seat early in the contest.  This game will be all about previewing the rookies, first year and bubble players.  With all 11 starters and nearly every key backup returning on offense there is very little to be gained by extended play.  As for the defense, it is time to see players’ step-up and secure the few remaining open jobs and solidify backup and special team’s positions.

The good news is that linebacker Clay Matthews is back at practice and looks like he may be ready to go vs. the Patriots.  Expect a short night from Matthews though, if he plays at all.

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Comments (5)

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croatpackfan's picture

August 12, 2015 at 06:27 am

Nice review. I agree with your mark on Vikings. But Steelers were not playing the best!

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NickPerry's picture

August 12, 2015 at 08:04 am

Hopefully Cutler doesn't throw a interception in the preseason then becomes Jay Cutler and throws 4 in week one against the Packers. Charles Woodson said it best, "Jay will always throw us the ball".

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EdsLaces's picture

August 12, 2015 at 04:43 pm

"Jays gonna be jay"

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FITZCORE1252's picture

August 12, 2015 at 12:21 pm

NFC "North" champions. Next year this time your title will apply.

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Icebowler's picture

August 12, 2015 at 09:23 pm

"Well said Jay, let’s save the interceptions for the games that really count."

Too funny!

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