Around the NFC North: 2023 Week 5

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

At least the Vikings are bad, too. At least the Vikings are bad, too. At least the Vikings are bad, too. Turns out, the more times you chant this, the worse it feels to lose to the Raiders. 

Vikings

The Chiefs took out the Vikings 27-20

Game Notes

  • It's not often that you sort of hang with the best team in the AFC, only lose by 7, and have your fans wondering if it's time to tank after the game. But that's what happens when you have Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson goes to the IR. The Vikings offense is built around Jefferson, not unlike the Packers offense that used to be built around Davante Adams, with Cousins in a contract year and just one win through five weeks, it makes sense to wonder what the point of winning another game would be. 
  • On the bright side (for them), Jordan Addison had another plus week with 64 yards and a TD. It will be interesting to see what he can do without Jefferson on the other side of the field. It's unlikely that the team is going to get any help from their run game (both RBs averaged less than AJ Dillon did this week), so it will have to be Addison stepping up until Jefferson comes back. 
  • On the defense, Danielle Hunter continues to have an unheralded season posting his sixth sack in the game. Harrison Smith is have somewhat of a rejuvenation year in Brian Flores' aggressive defense. Smith was always better when he could hang around the LOS blitzing at will and that's what he's doing now. He put up 10 tackles this week and already has 3 sacks this season. 

 

 

Former Packers

  • Dean Lowry had no stats in 22 snaps. He now has 2 tackles on the season. Devonte Wyatt has 17 pressures (the same number as Hunter) and 2 sacks, just FYI. 
  • MVS had one catch for 12 yards for the Chiefs. 

Next Week

The Vikings take on the Bears in what is sure to be the battle of the century. 

Bears

The Bears came alive and crushed the Commanders on Thursday night.

Game Notes

  • What a game. Take it with a Dead Sea's worth of salt but the Bears looked good in this game. Justin Fields ended with a pedestrian 51% completion percentage, but he had 4 touchdowns and 57 yards on 11 carries on the ground. He started out a lot better than that completion percentage number and sort of faded off in the second half. Fields played well enough to get doorknob-level IQ Bears fans on Twitter to start talking smack about Jordan Love again. It's like they didn't learn their lesson after honking for the whole off-season. 
  • Most of Fields' 282 yards went to DJ Moore, who had 230 and 3 TDs. Moore had a career game, doing whatever he wanted against the Commander secondary. Khalil Herbert had another nice game on the ground with 76 yards on 10 carries. Herbert has an impressive YPC almost every week that they keep his touches down. 
  • The defensive performance wasn't great but it was fine to good. Howell had 388 pass yards as the Commanders didn't even bother to try to run the ball. Probably because the game script got out of hand quickly. 
  • TJ Edwards led the way with 10 tackles and a sack and the Bears had 5 sacks and 2 takeaways on the day. 

 

 

Former Packers

  • Former Badgers TJ Edwards and Jack Sanborn played well. Sanborn had 5 tackles on limited snaps. 

Lions

The Lions smashed the Panthers 42 to 24.

Game Notes

  • The shine on Ejiro Evero and the Fangio system in general is fading away and the Lions moved the ball and scored at ease on the defensive scheme for the second week in a row. Goff had 236 yards, 3 TDs, and a QB rating of 132.4. David Montgomery had 109 yards on 19 carries. And Sam Laporta and Josh Reynolds took over in the Sun God's absence. 
  • I think it really shows the impact of strong o-line play. Before the season would you have taken AJ Dillon-Christian Watson-Luke Musgrave as a better trio or Montgomery-Reynolds-LaPorta? Seems obvious to me, but the Lions devastated the Panthers' D thanks to great play calling and great o-line play. If you control the LOS, your offense has no limits. 
  • Aidan Hutchinson had another strong game. Earlier, I was hoping to do a Danielle Hunter/Aidan Hutchinson comparison to show how underrated Hunter is, but Hutchinson has twice as many hurries. In this game, he had a sack, two TFLs, and a pick. We officially have to accept that he isn't just a snap jumper. Stupid Trent Baalke. 
  • In former Vikings news, Adam Theilen had a weirdly good game with 11 catches for 107 yards and a TD.  

 

 

Next Week

The Lions face their first real challenge in a while against the surprisingly good Tampa Bay Bucs. 

 

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Mike Price is a lifelong Packers fan who recently moved form Utah to Stoughton (a Madison suberb). You can follow him on twitter at @themikeprice.

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Comments (7)

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T7Steve's picture

October 11, 2023 at 12:16 pm

At least someone in the NFCN has an O-line and knows how to use it. I wonder if the Lions line is back to full strength? I thought last week we had a chance when they had to shuffle the tackles around.

The trenches are where it's all at.

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jont's picture

October 11, 2023 at 02:28 pm

Tough break for Jefferson. Never like to see a good player head to IR, even a Viking.

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stockholder's picture

October 11, 2023 at 04:43 pm

Quarterback Jordan Love’s MVP odds stand at +8000 through five games at BetRivers. Linebacker Lukas Van Ness, the Packers’ No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, is +5000 on the Defensive Rookie of the Year odds chart. Matt Lafleur is +2200 in the Caesars Sportsbook Coach of the Year odds.

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Fubared's picture

October 11, 2023 at 10:46 pm

I would never count the Vikes out. They have a lot of talent on both sides the ball. Play maker talent. Pro bowler talent. Cousins is near the top in most passing records so far so this talk of getting rid of him is just writers with nothing else to do right now. The Vikes also start going into the 9th easiest schedule of the year now. They just came out of the 9th toughest, so things will change for sure.
The Bears have talent but are still disjointed. I see roller coster season for them.
The Lions are a solid team but not a great team. They have some issues to like most teams. The pass rush is okay but not as good as last years.
The Pack, with Love I'm not expecting much. If they end up bottom of the heap by the end of the year I would not be shocked.

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Leatherhead's picture

October 15, 2023 at 09:14 am

You can count the Vikes out. They're going to be 1-6 real soon.

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Bitternotsour's picture

October 15, 2023 at 12:59 pm

I'm not so sure about that. The Vikings appear better than that record indicates.

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Leatherhead's picture

October 14, 2023 at 08:12 pm

Detroit about to look like Detroit when they go on the road and lose in Tampa. Then the next week, they'll lose in Baltimore.

The Vikings are on the precipice of a spirit crushing sequence of events. First, they're going to roll into Chicago tomorrow and face the New Bears, who are playing their first game at home after they played like a football team last week. I'm thinking the wheels come off for the Vikings, and then they follow that up with a loss at home to SF, and then they get to go to Green Bay. They're 1-4, and they'll be 1-6 when they get to Green Bay.

The Bears....I'm happy I don't have to feel sorry for these guys anymore. It's no fun kicking somebody who can't kick back. If they win against the Vikings, and I think they will, they'll be 2-4 . If the natural order of the universe prevails, we'll see the division as Detroit at 4-2, GB at 2-3, NewBears at 2-4, and The Purple at 1-5.

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