Around the NFC North: 2023 Week 2

Here's what's happening this week and next with the teams in the NFC North.

In what could become a common occurrence, it was a dark week in the NFC North as all four teams lost their matchups. Luckily, we don't have to discuss how and if Joe Barry or AJ Dillon or a 4th-down delay-of-game penalty lost the game for the Packers in this space, we can just revel in the misery of the other three NFC North teams, because they, obviously, deserve it and were overrated all off-season. 

Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings just barely missed a huge embarrassing loss to the Eagles on Thursday night, getting the final score to within, 34-28.

Game Notes

  • Stop me if you've heard this before, the Vikings got down big and then once the game was basically out of hand, Kirk Cousins turned it on and loaded up the stat sheet. Cousins ended the game 31/44 for 364 yards and 4 TDs. Fueling the fire of even more Kirk truthers who will no doubt spend the offseason touting his ability, despite the fact that they didn't spend the season actually watching him. 
  • Anyway, the Vikings really did make it interesting toward the end thanks to timely passes from Cousins to Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison. The two first-round picks both played well, Addison had a 62-yard TD and Jefferson had 11 catches for 159 yards. 
  • The run game was meh, again, Alexander Mattison led the way with 8 carries for 28 yards.
  • The Patriots use a very innovative dime-based defense where their linebackers can play outside corner snaps sometimes, their safeties play everywhere, and they often use cover-0 pressure. Brian Flores, who is a Bill Belichick disciple, is trying to bring that defense to Minnesota, but they just don't have the guys. They spent much of the game with only one 300-lb down lineman and the Eagles took advantage. D'Andre Swift had 175 yards on 28 carries and Boston Scott added 40 more. The gameplan was likely designed to defend the Eagles' pass game, but then the Eagles got up big quickly and the Vikings didn't adjust.      

 

 

Former Packers

  • Dean Lowry played 39 snaps and assisted on one tackle.

Next Week

The Vikings and Chargers have a loser-goes-home matchup. 

Chicago Bears

Tampa Bay took care of the Bears 27-17

Game Notes

  • Justin Fields at least completed some passes downfield in this one. Unfortunately, two of those were completed to Tampa Bay. He was 16/29 for 211 yards with a TD and two picks. 
  • DJ Moore had the big downfield catch, with a long of 33 yards on a 6 catches for 104 yards day. 
  • The defense is also still bad - to the point that Twitter users, in 2023, were talking about how well Baker Mayfield was playing. Baker finished 26/34 for 317 yards and a TD.
  • It wasn't just the pass D that was bad, Rachaad White had 17 carries for 73 yards and a TD. 

 

 

Former Packers

  • TJ Edwards had 12 tackles and Jack Sanborn had 4.
  • Lucas Patrick didn't attack anyone for a legal hit in bounds.

Next Week

The Bears take on the Chiefs on Sunday afternoon. 

Detroit Lions

The Seahawks pulled off a 37-31 OT victory over the Lions. 

Game Notes

  • The Lions looked fine to good on offense again. Jared Goff was 28/35 for 323 yards 3 TDs, and a pick. the Sun God had 6 catches for 102 yards and Josh Reynolds had 2 TDs. Putting up 31 points in the NFL is impressive, Detroit obviously has an above-average offense.
  • The defense still stinks. 
  • The Seahawks moved the ball at will on the Lions and had 10 explosive plays on the day. Geno Smith had 328 pass yards and looked unstoppable in the 4th Q and OT. This Lions team and the Packers have a lot in common. Great, creative offense; bad defense. For the Packers, who have 7 first-round picks on defense, most people think coaching is the problem. 
  • For the Lions, a lot of the players are still bad. Alim McNeil, who was supposed to be their breakout d-tackle this season, has graded out as the 96th-best interior d-lineman YTD. Cam Sutton, their prized free agency acquisition, isn't graded as a top-32 corner. Alex Anzalone is bad and always has been. Chauncy Gardner-Johnson, the other prized off-season acquisition in the secondary and one of the few players on the defense who has played well this season, is probably out for the year with a torn pec. The defense probably isn't going to get better anytime soon and it will prevent the Lions from being a top team in the NFC.

 

 

Former Packers

Still none.

Next Week

We'll get our first comparison game as the Lions take on the Falcons. Let's hope they lose by more than 1 and have two bungled QB sneaks. 

Mike Price is a lifelong Packers fan currently living in Utah. You can follow him on twitter at @themikeprice.

5 points
 

Comments (30)

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coolhand's picture

September 19, 2023 at 11:32 am

I was a little surprised the Lions lost to Seattle. Minne losing was no shock and da Bears losing was a given. And what is up with those disgusting orange uniforms? On the bright side, the Bears did make history on Sunday, so they have that going for them. Things in Chicago are heating up now and fans are not just walking but running away from da bears and waiting for hockey and basketball to start. Fields is not making any fans as he was expected to make the third year leap, but it's the same old story.

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dobber's picture

September 19, 2023 at 01:17 pm

The Lions are starting to see their front-liners drop with injuries. They lost Decker and Vitai off the OL. C.J. Whosits-Whatsis in the secondary. Houston off the edge broke an ankle. Will be interesting to see how much knee-biting they can do with their seconds, especially with a secondary that's already not so good, a weakened OL, and no pass rush opposite Hutchinson.

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SicSemperTyrannis's picture

September 22, 2023 at 05:45 am

We play them soon. Hopefully we can capitalize.

GPG!

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LambeauPlain's picture

September 19, 2023 at 01:42 pm

"And what is up with those disgusting orange uniforms? On the bright side...."

Yes they were.

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T7Steve's picture

September 19, 2023 at 11:45 am

At least we play in the NFCN.

There's always a chance.

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Lphill's picture

September 19, 2023 at 11:53 am

Jack Sanborn was never a Packer , he played for Wisconsin.

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LambeauPlain's picture

September 19, 2023 at 01:43 pm

Nor TJ.

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coolhand's picture

September 19, 2023 at 11:58 am

It's funny to see Lowry is playing the same for Minne as he did in Green Bay, and making MORE money, LOL!

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Leatherhead's picture

September 19, 2023 at 11:58 am

If things happen they way they should in this world, the Packers will win at home against the Saints, the Lions will win at home against Atlanta, the Bears will lose at KC, going 0-3, and the Vikings will win against the Chargers going 1-2. The game in 9 days in Green Bay against the Lions will produce a 3-1 team that is leading the division a quarter of the way through the season. I think that team will be Green Bay.

I would not be unhappy with being 3-1 and in first place.

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T7Steve's picture

September 19, 2023 at 12:09 pm

And we won at least one ¼ in Atlanta so that would project to be at least 13-4 by the end of the season.

As long as we're trying to "not be unhappy"' I'll be happy to project.

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SicSemperTyrannis's picture

September 22, 2023 at 05:47 am

We won THREE quarters in ATL, tyvm.

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mnbadger's picture

September 19, 2023 at 12:11 pm

I wouldn't be unhappy, I'd be shocked!
I'll count the wins on Monday mornings, looking back, not forward.
Too young of roster and questionable staff to pencil in wins before the game starts.
With that said, Pack 20 - sinners 17!
I'm always going to pick the Pack, nothing to lose and more fun during the week than planning on losing. And, I'm not putting any $ on my picks.
GPG!

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Coldworld's picture

September 19, 2023 at 12:13 pm

Atalanta would seem a good match for Detroit. Let’s see how that D copes with Robinson and co. I could see Atalanta similarly dominating time of possession and getting more from Pitts as well as London. It will be interesting to see how their DC fares with much less to work with.

Message to DCs of teams playing the Vikings. Don’t play to contain, attack till the game is over. They will get big plays if you don’t.

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LambeauPlain's picture

September 19, 2023 at 01:57 pm

I don't understand why the Eagles, with a nice lead, decided to unveil their version of Barry Ball.

Prevent Defense prevents victories.

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SicSemperTyrannis's picture

September 22, 2023 at 05:49 am

If only our DC would listen to that ...

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GregC's picture

September 19, 2023 at 12:11 pm

Noteworthy fact: Jared Goff's run at Aaron Rodgers' record for consecutive passes without an interception ended with a pick-six in the fourth quarter on Sunday. Rodgers had 402. Goff had 383, which is the third longest streak. Tom Brady had 399.

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mnbadger's picture

September 19, 2023 at 12:12 pm

Nice bit of trivia, GC. No small feat either. Tip of the hat to mr goff!
GPG!

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GregC's picture

September 19, 2023 at 12:42 pm

A couple of years ago, I would never have guessed that Goff would be the one to make a run at that record!

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LambeauPlain's picture

September 19, 2023 at 01:50 pm

Good day, Mr. GregC.

For you next assignment, should you decide to accept it: Can you find if ANY DC coach in NFL history ever had 7 or 8 first rounders on his defense? And how did they do? And did they play run defense well or with ambivalence?

Good Luck. This comment will self destruct in 5 seconds.

Seriously...good work on the INT-less record. I knew Brady was INT averse...did not know Goff was so good.

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splitpea1's picture

September 19, 2023 at 12:21 pm

"Meh" is a very generous description of the Vikings' running game since they haven't really shown one yet...Funny picture of the Vikings alignment trying to defend the Eagles, though--no wonder they gave up 259 yards on the ground (and you thought our performance against the Falcons was bad!).

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CheesedDeadHead's picture

September 19, 2023 at 02:00 pm

""Meh" is a very generous description of the Vikings' running game since they haven't really shown one yet"

Well they haven't played the Packers yet so the Vikes have that to look forward to.

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dobber's picture

September 19, 2023 at 01:19 pm

Gotta love the NFC-Norris...

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Zapato's picture

September 19, 2023 at 01:34 pm

While this may be redundant, you forgot to say "The Bears Still Suck!"

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LambeauPlain's picture

September 19, 2023 at 01:54 pm

My season goal for the Packers remains intact: "Hey dare...just win da Nort!"

Still in first place.

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TarynsEyes's picture

September 19, 2023 at 02:04 pm

The Bears have proven themselves worthless as a Division rival, and Atlanta showed us the Packers aren't many rungs up by getting beat by a one-dimensional team. Neither team so far has a QB to fear. Yes, Carr has shown himself to be less than the hype of yesteryear, but he can still make the clutch throw late in games, especially when the Packers fall into prevent Defense/Offense, and don't appear to recognize doing so.

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LambeauPlain's picture

September 19, 2023 at 02:12 pm

"Neither team so far has a QB to fear."

Fields has a two year, 2 game head start. Get back to us when Love has the same body of evidence.

But 6 TDs and 0 INTs is a good start.

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TarynsEyes's picture

September 19, 2023 at 02:35 pm

I was talking about Fields and Ridder, but you want everything I say to be about Love.

A reminder about my QB matchups.

https://cheeseheadtv.com/blog/the-lass-word-packers-could-start-hot-426#...

Fields has proven to be 3rd year jump bust. Love is the better of these two.
I had Ridder as a toss up, but Ridder came up on top, at the moment. He moved his team, love didn't

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Lphill's picture

September 19, 2023 at 02:33 pm

Packers 4 th Qtr 7 net yards 10 plays, cant blame that on Barry .

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coolhand's picture

September 20, 2023 at 10:25 am

No, but our defense couldn't get a stop when we really needed it. Playing 2 DL against a running team doesn't make any sense to me.

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joejetson's picture

September 19, 2023 at 10:47 pm

Justin Fields passes remind me of Ray Milland pitching in "It Happens Every Spring".

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