Around the NFC North

News about the first place Green Bay Packers and their NFC North opponents the Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings.

Chicago Bears:   New General Manager Ryan Pace was a busy man this week.

It didn’t take long for the Bears new regime to realize that the cupboard is nearly bare when it comes to current player talent. With an 0 – 3 start and little reason to believe that their fortunes will change anytime soon, the team is shedding players who do not fit in their future (and current) plans. 

Former Vikings free agent acquisition Jared Allen was shipped off to the Carolina Panthers on Monday along with fellow OLB Jon Bostic who was traded to the Patriots.  Both were exchanged for future sixth-round picks.  Bostic was a 2013 second round pick.  With the Bears switching to a new 3-4 defense this season the players jettisoned were considered ill-suited for that scheme.

In addition the team announced that they have waived 2014 fourth-round pick Brock Vereen, who was having a rough time making plays and was particularly deficient in tackling.  The Bears had actually moved up in that draft to acquire Vereen.

There is also an oft-repeated rumor that star running back Matt Forte is also on the trading block.

The Bears defense has given up more points (105) than any other team in the league so far in the 2015 campaign.

Last Week: Lost on the road to Seahawks   

This Week:  Home vs. Raiders

Season Record: 0 - 3

Place in NFC North:  Last

 

Detroit Lions:  With a disappointing 0 – 3 start it is probably not surprising that the rumblings from inside the team’s locker room are none too positive. 

Michael David Smith of NBC Sports reports that Lions receiver Golden Tate says that in all three of the Lions’ games this season, players on the opposing defense have been able to call out the Lions’ offensive plays before they ran them.

Broncos cornerback Bradley Roby said after Sunday’s game that the Broncos knew what the Lions were going to do. Tate told Matt Dery on Detroit Sports 105.1 that he hadn’t heard Roby’s comments, but they were no surprise because other players have said similar things.

Much of the blame falls on a deficient offensive line which doesn’t protect QB Matthew Stafford well, nor does it open holes for Lions running backs.

Defensively the Lions are currently ranked 27th in the league giving up an average of over 395 yards-per game.

It doesn’t get any easier for the Lions this week as they travel to CenturyLink Field in Seattle to take on the Seahawks.

Last Week:  Lost to Broncos

This Week:  At Seattle.

Season Record: 0 - 3

Place in NFC North:  Last

 

Minnesota Vikings:  Adrian Peterson picked up where he left off two years ago and had a stellar game in the Vikings victory over the Chargers.  The Vikes boast the number three ranked rushing attack in the league (144 average YPG).

Payton Manning and the Broncos seemed to finally find a rhythm last week in their comeback win and will offer a stiff completion at home this week to the suddenly surging Vikings.

The Broncos have the top rated defense (259.0 average YPG) in the league.  The Vikings offense is 29th in total yards at 294 YPG, but rank third in average rushing at 144.3 per game.

Last Week: Won at home vs. Chargers

This Week: At Denver

Season Record:  2 - 1

Place in NFC North:  Second

 

Green Bay Packers:   The Packers are one of only seven teams to start the season with a 3 – 0 record.  In an impressive Monday night performance QB Aaron Rodgers was masterful and showed the national television audience why he is the best player in the league yet again this year. 

The victory came at a price however.  

Already sidelined by injuries for the Monday night contest were Sean Richardson, Morgan Burnett, Bryan Bulaga, and Demitri Goodson.  Added to the infirmary list were Andrew Quarless (knee – out 4-6 weeks according to the NFL Network), wide out  Davante Adams, who lasted only three plays before re-injuring his sprained left ankle,  Datone Jones (possible concussion), and LB and key special teams’ player Jake Ryan (hamstring).

The Packers have not had much luck against upcoming opponent the San Francisco 49’ers as of late and every Packers fan knows it.  Former Head Coach Jim Harbaugh has had Mike McCarthy’s number. Harbaugh however left the team after the end of last season to re-join the college ranks at the University of Michigan.

In addition QB Colin Kaepernick has been a Packers-killer.  In his three starts against Green Bay he is undefeated.

Who could forget the 2013 fiasco in which Kaepernick threw for a career-high 412 yards in a win over Green Bay.  Pretty remarkable when you realize that Kaepernick hasn't even topped 350 yards in any other game of his career.

Kaepernick's also beaten the Packers with his legs: He ran for a career-high 181 yards in a 2012 playoff win over Green Bay. It's one of only three times in his career -- playoff or regular season -- where he's crossed the 100-yard mark on the ground.

But this is a far different team.  Harbaugh is gone and Kaepernick is a dumpster fire so far this season with only one passing TD.  Need further proof?  He threw two pick-six’s last week vs. Arizona in a 47-7 drubbing.  In addition key pieces of the Niners formerly dominant defense have been traded, released or retired.

The 49’ers currently rank second in the league in rushing with 148 yards per game, but have only scored 45 total points in three games to date.

The Packers offense is averaging 32 points per game, which ranks them 4th in the league. 

The 49’ers defense is second worst in the league, trailing only the Bears, by allowing 31 points per game.

Defensive lineman Letroy Guion is eligible to return to the team following his three game suspension.  A personnel move will have to be made to accommodate his return to the active 53- man roster.

The team will leave for the west coast a day early – departing Green Bay on Friday rather than Saturday to better acclimate themselves to the change in time zones.

Last Week: Win at home vs. Chiefs

This Week: At 49’ers

Season Record: 3 - 0

Place in NFC North:  First (alone)

 

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Comments (11)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
zeke's picture

September 30, 2015 at 07:18 am

If Rodgers can somehow manage another -0.8 PFF performance on Sunday, it's a blowout.

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croatpackfan's picture

September 30, 2015 at 08:37 am

Agreed. Lower PFF rating, larger the game will be by Aaron!

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PackerBacker's picture

September 30, 2015 at 07:33 am

Whatever the spread on the Packer game is this Sunday, it's too small. They're going to crush the 49ers into a fine golden powder which they will use to color the golden 50 numbers on the field for the rest of the season.

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JerseyAl's picture

September 30, 2015 at 09:18 am

It started at 9.5. points but quickly dropped down to 8 - 8.5.

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MarkinMadison's picture

September 30, 2015 at 04:01 pm

I'm confused as to how this whole thumbs up/thumbs down thing works. I put a thumbs down on posts where I think someone is wrong or just being a troll. This is just a factual statement. So someone has to explain this to me.

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Amanofthenorth's picture

October 01, 2015 at 03:49 am

I logged in just to down vote you to add evidence to the meaning of voting on the Internet

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WKUPackFan's picture

September 30, 2015 at 11:59 am

It was just a couple of years ago when Cow was telling us that Kap was better than AR, that the 49ers were a model organization, and their GM was so much better than TT.

My, how time flies.

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Dan Stodola's picture

September 30, 2015 at 12:45 pm

Exactly he was revolutionizing the QB position. Not so much I guess!

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Portland Mark's picture

September 30, 2015 at 01:38 pm

Are you referring to Colin Cowherd? He started here in Portland and I've always thought he was just a big mouth who couldn't find his ass with both hands when discussing sports. The first time I heard him was in 2002 when he said that the Angels had not chance in the MLB playoffs. They only won the World Series that year. After the Packers won the SB in 2010, he said that the Cowboys would be the champs of the 2011 season. What an insightful commentator.

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FITZCORE1252's picture

September 30, 2015 at 03:15 pm

No. Cow was a F-tard who frequented this place, was negative just to be negative, and posted way too much. Be thankful you weren't around for it.

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LeagueObsrvr's picture

September 30, 2015 at 09:30 pm

ProFootballTalk had an article where Cardinals CB Tyrann Mathieu offered some interesting insights about QB Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers offense. Here's the link:
http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2015/09/29/mathieu-elaborates-on-is...

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