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Around the NFC North

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Around the NFC North

Chicago Bears: The Bears finally broke into the win column when they defeated a gritty Oakland Raiders team in Chicago 22 -20.

Local sports talk radio in Chicago is increasingly more focused on off-field news than the Bears gridiron exploits as GM Ryan Pace continues his fire sale on players not in the team’s future plans.

And news out of Dallas is being monitored closely in the Windy City these days.

With Cowboy’s WR Dez Bryant, and QB Tony Romo shelved by injuries and now backup running back Lance Dunbar apparently lost for the season with an injury, there is renewed talk of a trade between the Bears and Cowboys for RB Matt Forte. Further speculation is that the ‘Boys will also make a pitch for the Bear star receiver Alshon Jeffery as well.

The Bears may be looking for help along the offensive line as the team announced on Tuesday that starting center Will Montgomery will be lost for the season after suffering a broken fibula against the Raiders.

Last Week: Won at Home vs. Raiders

This Week: at Kansas City Chiefs

Season Record: 1 - 3

Place in NFC North: 3rd

Detroit Lions: After snatching defeat from the jaws of what was about to be a miracle come-from-behind victory in Seattle on MNF, the Lions head home to lick their wounds and attempt to resurrect their disappointing season.

As disappointing as the loss was, it was the way in which they lost that infuriated the Lions. After the game the NFL’s VP of officiating Dean Blandino admitted to the NFL Network the ref’s had blown the game-deciding call. Blandino acknowledged that after the ball was knocked from Calvin Johnson’s hands just inches from the goal line and the go-ahead score, that a Seattle player illegally batted the fumbled football out of the end zone. The back judge nonetheless ruled the play a touchback giving the Seahawks the ball and the game.

Replays clearly showed linebacker K.J. Wright assisted the ball out of bounds. Yet while the fumble was subject to replay review, the actions of Wright were not. Baffling.

The correct ruling should have been the Lions’ ball inside the 1 with 1:45 remaining.

Imagine that: A blown call in Seattle results in a Seahawks victory.  Shocking!! 

The Lions can cry all they want but the majority of the blame for the loss rests squarely on their shoulders.  Their offense was stuck in neutral for most of the game with a running game that is just shy of pathetic (18 carries – 53 total yards). The only Lions TD scored in Seattle was by the defense.

The Lions will have to bury their disappointment quickly. On a short week of preparation it won’t get any easier as they face the formidable task of taking on a talented Arizona Cardinals team fresh off their own disappointing loss.

To further their misery the Lions suffered significant injuries in Seattle. Starting defensive tackle Tyrunn Walker appeared to suffer a broken ankle and fellow DT Heloti Ngata was scheduled for an MRI on an injured leg. Along with Ngata and Walker tight end Eric Ebron (knee) and linebacker Travis Lewis (ankle) left in the first half Monday with injuries.

Last Week: Lost at Seattle

This Week: Home vs. Arizona Cardinals

Season Record: 0 - 4

Place in NFC North: 4th

Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings dropped a close one to Payton Manning and the Bronco’s and now will have two weeks to think about redemption over the course of a bye week.

The offensive line has become worrisome for the Vikings with QB Teddy Bridgewater under constant pressure when dropping back to pass and being sacked seven times in the process. A potential game-winning drive was stopped with 35-seconds remaining by a Denver fumble recovery.

Kicker Blair Walsh is also coming under scrutiny and not in a good way. The Vikings kicker missed a 38-yard chip shot in a three point loss. There are rumblings in the Land of the Norsemen that Walsh’s job may soon be on the line if there isn’t immediate improvement.

Last Week: Lost at Denver

This Week: Bye

Record: 2 - 2

Place in NFC North: Second

Green Bay Packers:  A fast start is what Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy was looking for to start off this 2015 season. Mission accomplished. The cherry on top is that among the four wins was the defeat of two of the McCarthy’s biggest nemeses of recent years as the Packers chalked up victories over both the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49’ers.

With the normally potent Packers offense having difficulty scoring, it was up to the Packers defense to step up and step up they did.

In the past it was the 49’ers who pushed the Packers around like bullies in the schoolyard. In a role-reversal it is Dom Capers suddenly macho Packers defense showing who the bullies are now. By containing talented second year running back Carlos Hyde and harassing an impotent Colin Kaepernick at every turn, a young tough defensive backfield proved to be up to the task when charged with the responsibility of covering the 49’ers receivers one-on-one.

The mark of a championship team is a balance within the offense (run – pass) as well as both the offense and defense teams performing as top-ten units. So far so good.

The offense is ranked 10th in yards and 5th in average points per game. The team boasts the #3 rushing attack and were completing 72.4% of their pass attempts, ranking them third in the league.

The Packers defense is allowing the 8th fewest yards per game and is 5th in fewest total points scored against them. Additionally the team has to take satisfaction that their formerly porous run-defense currently stands as the 12th best averaging a respectable 115.0 yards per game.

No surprise is that All-World Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is the league-leader among starters with a 125.9 QB rating.

The Packers are tied for second in sacks (17) with upcoming opponent the St. Louis Rams.

Last Week: Won at San Francisco

This Week: Home vs. St. Louis Rams

Season Record: 4 - 0 Place in

NFC North: 1st

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (22) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

The TKstinator's picture

I think Tomsula would be the perfect coach for the Windy City.

EdsLaces's picture

It will take more than Forte or Jeffery to save the Cowboys ...sorry Jerry.

croatpackfan's picture

Maybe if they also put Jay Cutler in that trade? What do you think ;-)

Dan Stodola's picture

No thanks. I like Cutler were he is. He's my favorite non Packer. He keeps giving us the ball! LOL

Evan's picture

I'd like to see Forte get a chance with a contender. I could see New England grabbing him for cheap.

EdsLaces's picture

Yeah we can best him in the SB.

EdsLaces's picture

Yeah we can beat him in the SB.

marpag1's picture

"The mark of a championship team is a balance within the offense (run – pass)..."

Below are the last ten SB participants. The numbers that follow are their rank in rushing yards and their rank in passing yards.

NE - 18 - 9
SEA - 1 - 27

SEA - 4 - 26
DEN - 15 - 1

BAL - 11 - 15
SF - 4 - 23

NYG - 32 - 5
NE - 20 - 2

GB - 24 - 5
PIT - 11 - 14

"The mark of a championship team is a balance within the offense (run – pass)?" Really?

dobber's picture

"Last Week: Lost at Denver

This Week: Bye Season"

Freudian slip there...

Ibleedgreenmore's picture

This game might be a challenge, Rams defense is pretty good.

Evan's picture

From a commenter on RamsheadTV:

"This game might be a challenge, Packers offense is pretty good."

Evan's picture

6th round pick for Martellus Bennett. Final offer.

EdsLaces's picture

Haha not likely ...he is that team. But as his owner in fantasy I like where your heads at.

ben's picture

There's a deal to be made for Coby Fleener. He's an elite TE talent with elite production when given the opportunity. But he barely sees the field when Dwayne Allen is healthy and the Colts also seem to like that Doyle guy.

There's a deal to be made, but Ted lacks the creativity and humility to make it.

zeke's picture

My guess is that this is the first time the words "Coby Fleener" and "elite talent" have appeared in the same sentence without the words "does not have" in between.

The TKstinator's picture

Zeke, you have done it again.
You never fail to amuse. Well done!

GVPacker's picture

Chicago gets Colin Kaepernick for Jay Cutler straight up, I would love to see the Packers and Clay Matthews Taunt Squidward two times a year!

Evan's picture

Man...who says no to that?

Amanofthenorth's picture

I see the Lions have changed their place in the NFC North even after a loss. They are now fourth instead of "last". Is Jeff Albrecht revealing a hidden lion under his cheesehead?

The people who watch for these kinds of things.

Amanofthenorth's picture

Yes. AKA too much time on their hands

Mojo's picture

Can't remember a team like Chicago discarding players this early in the season, And why not. They're going nowhere.

The Bears are taking a page out of the Cubs book. Take your lumps for a few years while you build up the core. They finally have a GM who has a long range plan. Personally, I prefer the incompetent front office we've seen in the past and the two wins a year.

porupack's picture

What about Vike's Cordaralle Patterson? How does such a physical talent be such a bust? His size and speed and he can't get more than 1 pass thrown in his arms after 4 games? Unbelievable. Wonder if a QB such as Rodgers could drill it under his elbows and make him a success. Is JJanis a bit like CP, a physical talent, but lacking the ability to capitalize v the cornerback?
Makes packers 'busts' such as JWorthy seem pardonable. Such is the draft.

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