Around the NFC North: Preseason Week 3

A look around the NFC North heading into week three of the preseason.

Heading into week 3 of the preseason, let's take a look at some notable news and information for the Packers' NFC North rivals.

Chicago Bears

The Bears lost their week two preseason matchup ot the New York Giants, 32-13.

-Held out: For the second week in a row, the Bears held out starting quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, so it's essentially impossible to get any kind of reading on the Bears' first-team offense so far.  The Bears also held out rpookie running back David Montgomery, who was impressive in the team's first contest. Clearly they like what they've got in the rookie and want to protect him for the start of the season.

-Still no clear-cut kicker: The kicker position was one of the big question marks for the Bears coming into the season, and so far neither kicker has run away with the job. There is a decent chance that neither of the two kickers forighting for the job right now actually come away with it. There are still a couple more weeks for the Bears to assess their options, but as of right now it's not unreasonable to think the Bears will continue to struggle with questions at the kicker position all year long. 

-Last Chance U: Fans of the Netflix docuseries Last Chance U will remember John Franklin from season one. The former EMCC quarterback is playing defensive back with the Bears and got some substantial playing time in week two. He has put a mixture of good and bad on film, and it will be itneresting to see whether he ends up making the roster or not. So far, Franklin and Rams' seventh-round draft pick Dakota Allen are perhaps the two players heavily featured in the series who have the best shot of "making it" in the NFL. (If you haven't seen Last Chance U, I highly recommend it!)

-Quack quack: Bears' rookie free agent Clifton Duck has a good shot of making the roster in the defensive backfield. He's a small player, just 5'9 and 176 pounds, but he's routinely making plays in practice and during games. This week he intercepted Alex Tanney in the third quarter and took the ball more than 60 yards to set up what would be the Bears' only touchdown. It could end up being Duck vs. Franklin for a roster spot, and right now Duck seems to have the edge. Special teams could be what makes the difference.

Detroit Lions

The Lions fell to the Houston Texans 30-23 in their week two presesaon matchup.

-That's... better?: The Lions at least scored some points this week, but the general takeway from many in postgame reports was that the team was still playing uninspired football. It's always hard to know how much to read into that in the preseason, but it's clear that the Lions' roster isn't getting up for its preseason contests. We'll see how well they're able to turn it on once the regular season comes. Without a 43-yard pass interference penalty and a 19-yard fumble return, the Lions might not have scored at all in the first half.

-Stafford sits again: It's always going to be difficult to put up a fight when your starting quarterback sits, and Matthew Stafford sat once again in week in week two. Lions coach Matt Patricia has declined to ssay whether or not Stafford will play at all in this preseason. In Stafford's absence, third-string quarterback David Fales put on a much better performance than he did in week one, going 12/19 for 226 yards and a touchdown. He's putting up a fight with Josh Johnson for the primary backup job.

-Speaking of Stafford...: There is some suspicion brewing on Twitter and among some pundits that there may be something going on with Stafford. Here's a report from Kyle Meinke

"Stafford hasn't been bad in camp, but he hasn't exactly been good either. He's been more up and down than in any of my previous six camps with him. Sometimes, like the first day of joint practices with Houston, he's fine. Other times, like the second day of joint practices with Houston, he's definitely not....

Then he took a week off.

Listen, a day off here or there for a 31-year-old quarterback isn't exactly unheard of. But a week off is rare for anybody of any age, and especially so for a guy who hadn't taken a "rest" day in 10 years. He'd only missed one day of practice since 2012, and that was to sign the largest contract in NFL history... it seems awfully peculiar that Stafford took the longest break of his career in the middle of his most inconsistent camp in years. 

Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings have not yet played their week two preseason game. They'll take the field this evening against the Seattle Seahawks. There will be much more to talk about after they've played their game. In the meanwhile, here are a few tidbits.

-A decade: Want to get momentarily annoyed? Yesterday was the 10-year anniversary of Brett Favre signing with the Minnesota Vikings. Hard to believe a decade has already gone by!

-Kicker issues: Like the Bears, the Vikings are dealing with kicker issues of their own. They traded for kicker Kaare Vedvik from the Baltimore Ravens, giving up a fifth round draft pick in a show of desperation. There are only two teams in the NFL who have used more kickers than the Vikings in the last two seasons, those being the Los Angeles Chargers and Oakland Raiders.

-Get outta here: The Vikings are seemingly ready to move on from 2016 first-round draft pick Laquon Treadwell, and if they can't find a trade partner, he will be a prime candidate for a cut. Treadwell has been tremendously disappointing in hi three seasons with the team, having just 56 passes for 517 yards and a touchdown. For a first-round pick, that is absolutely awful production. A big part of that is Treadwell simply hasn't shown he can reliably catch the ball. the Packers saw that in person last season, with Treadwell having a massive case of the drops in the teams' early-season tie. 

What to watch: If you're watching the Vikings/Seahawks game tonight, you'll want to keep an eye on the kicking contest, as well as a few other role players who are looking to make a name for themselves. One name that may be interesting to Packer fans is Chad Beebe, the son of former Packer receiver Don Beebe. Beebe saw limited action with the team in 2018, catching just four passes. But he's worked his way up to potentially be the Vikings' third receiver behind Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs this season, and has become a fan favorite in camp. Beebe could potentially become a favorite among fantasy players as 2019 goes on as well. 

 

__________________________

Tim Backes is a lifelong Packer fan and a contributor to CheeseheadTV. Follow him on Twitter @timbackes for his Packer takes, random musings and Untappd beer check-ins.

0 points

Comments (22)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
murf7777's picture

August 18, 2019 at 09:49 am

If the Vikings and bears problems with kickers and that doesn’t sell us on keeping Crosby I’m not sure what will...After watching some other pre season games with good to great teams not playing very well tells me to calm down on our team. It’s just pre- season and this is no longer the pre-season of old when objectives were different.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
dobber's picture

August 18, 2019 at 11:04 am

"If the Vikings and bears problems with kickers and that doesn’t sell us on keeping Crosby I’m not sure what will."

Packers should keep the kicker they like best. If they feel Ficken is better than Crosby, let Crosby go (and vice versa). If part of it is fear of Crosby landing in Chicago or Minneswampy, why would you potentially keep a lesser player and let the better player go to a rival? Keep the guy who is most likely to help you win games and don't look back.

+ REPLY
4 points
5
1
murf7777's picture

August 18, 2019 at 11:23 am

The problem with that theory is someone might look great on TC and pre-season games but when it comes down to making the kick to get into the playoff or other meaningful games and misses that’s when you find out you made the wrong choice and it’s too late. Crosby has shown his worth and still has the leg strength. Why take the risk when you already have an above average Kicker. Bears found that out last year when it costs them the opportunity to play for the SB. Don’t underestimate the value of someone who has the ability to make the kick under great pressure.

+ REPLY
3 points
4
1
Tundraboy's picture

August 18, 2019 at 09:53 pm

I agree. Crosby has done it ,in bad weather and big games. No need to look elsewhere , especially now.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
croatpackfan's picture

August 19, 2019 at 06:11 am

And not done it in the artificial climate and regular games.... There was several games Packers lost because of the Mason. And he might be on the down spiral... I will let GM to decide who he will keep and still support Packers whoever will be their kicker!

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
kevgk's picture

August 18, 2019 at 01:15 pm

the tiebreaker might be ficken is less likely capable of going to a new environment and becoming a teams only kicker starting the season, and that might trump crosby's paycheck
that being said, I wouldnt be surprised to see the real problem being the long snapper and kicker never having time to adjust to the environment. Theyre trying to move on from dan bailey after 1 year, it may not be the kickers' fault

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
dobber's picture

August 18, 2019 at 11:05 am

DOINK!!!

+ REPLY
0 points
1
1
Qoojo's picture

August 18, 2019 at 04:10 pm

DOINK!!! DOINK!!!

Name that game!

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Qoojo's picture

August 18, 2019 at 10:34 am

To put Treadwell's "production" (Two seasons: 56 rec, 517 yards, 1 TD) into even better perspective.

Graham's production last year: 55 rec, 636 yards, 2 TDs, and the consensus opinion was that he had a disappointing year.

I am not sure why anyone would be upset over the 10 year anniversary of Favre joining the vikings. That Viking-Saints playoff game was pure schadenfreude on multiple levels.

+ REPLY
2 points
2
0
murf7777's picture

August 18, 2019 at 11:44 am

How about this comparison Jordy Nelson 55/686/4? Even Jordy’s third year wasn’t high production. Started showing his high potential the later part of year 3. Fortunately, TT and MM saw his potential.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
Qoojo's picture

August 18, 2019 at 12:08 pm

I remember wrongly thinking the packers should get rid of Adams before his 3rd year. WR is a tough position to pick up.

+ REPLY
2 points
2
0
Jonathan Spader's picture

August 18, 2019 at 11:50 am

The Backup QB situation for the Bears, Lions, and Vikings is simply unacceptable. How can they hope to win any games if Trubisky, Stafford, or Cousins miss any time? All 3 teams need a veteran backup immediately!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

+ REPLY
3 points
3
0
AgrippaLII's picture

August 18, 2019 at 04:45 pm

The Bears and Vikings still have very good defenses going for them...the Lions are like the Packers...loose your starting QB and you're toast !

+ REPLY
-1 points
0
1
Lare's picture

August 18, 2019 at 11:09 am

Doesn’t sound like starting QB’s are playing very much in the pre-season.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Coldworld's picture

August 18, 2019 at 02:23 pm

Other than the Ravens, has been becoming increasingly rare.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Tedlyflyfisher's picture

August 18, 2019 at 03:37 pm

I’m no fan of the Lions. But if I recall, Stafford’s wife has cancer. Maybe we should go a little bit easy on the guy taking some time off. Some things in life are bigger than football.

+ REPLY
3 points
3
0
sbransbottom's picture

August 19, 2019 at 01:26 pm

Talk about perspective. Well said sir.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
oldfart's picture

August 18, 2019 at 03:48 pm

Given rogers age, he is likely to have more injuries. Our backup QB 's do not look like they can help the packers win. Packers should be looking for a really good experience backup to rogers in my opinion.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
AgrippaLII's picture

August 19, 2019 at 10:03 pm

Guys trying to land backup spots at QB just don't seem to get it. They all seem to think they have to make plays at the same level as the starting QB. The guy who throws to his check down receiver instead of forcing the ball to a covered primary is way more valuable to his team than a splash play turnover machine. A backup QB is suppose to keep his team in the game...not lose it for them.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
sam1's picture

August 18, 2019 at 07:08 pm

LOSE NOT LOOSE THOSE ARE WOMEN!

+ REPLY
2 points
2
0
sbransbottom's picture

August 19, 2019 at 01:28 pm

That is one thing I will say about Kizer this preseason--He hasn't turned the ball over. That alone is big growth for him.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
jgando12's picture

August 18, 2019 at 06:30 pm

Mason is not going anywhere. He’s our kicker.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0

Log in to comment and more!

Not a member yet? Join free.

If you have already commented on Cheesehead TV in the past, we've created an account for you. Just verify your email, set a password and you're golden.