Around the NFC North: Preseason Week 4

Here's a look around the NFC North heading into the final week of the preseason.

Let's take a look around the NFC North heading into the final week (hallelujah!) of preseason.

Chicago Bears

The Bears defeated the Indianapolis Colts 27-17 in their week three preseason contest.

-The Andrew Luck drama obviously overshadowed most of the game, and what a strange situation. The only people who didn't know that Luck was retiring after the news broke were the players on the field. The drama doesn't affect the Bears, but still a really strange scenario to have happen during a game.

-The Bears' offense continues to be anemic, but once again it's difficult to really gauge what to expect out of the team as Mitchell Trubisky has yet to play a down in the preseason. In fact, both teams sat out most of their starters. The Bears' defense, however, showed some opportunism reflecting last year's defense, including a pair of scores. Deon Bush scored on a pick six off of Chad "Swag" Kelly in the second quarter, and Joel Iyegbuniwe got a scoop-and-score fumble return after James Vaughters got a strip sack.

-The Bears' kicking competition would appear to be over. The Bears cut ties with Elliott Fry last week and Eddy Pineiro made all five of his kicks during the Colts game, including a 58-yarder that had some real steam behind it. The team has not officlaly said the job is Pineiro's, and has not ruled out bringing in further competition. But as of right now, the job appears to be all but his.

-The Bears are going to be in a real bad way if Trubisky ends up having to miss time. The offense with Chase Daniel has been awful, and Daniel often does not look like an NFL caliber player even when playing against backups. Sure, there are very few teams in the NFL that aren't going to be in massive trouble if their starting quarterback goes down, but Packer fans can take at least some solace in knowing Green Bay isn't the only team with big issues at the backup quarterback spot in the NFC North.

Detroit Lions

The Lions lost once again, this time to the Buffalo Bills, 24-20.

-The Lions suffered a big loss in Jarrad Davis, a starting linebacker who was carted of just minutes into the game with a leg injury. It appeared to be a high ankle sprain. Davis is not expected to miss the season, but the team still has not released any timetable for his return. Center Frank Ragnow also suffered an injury that the team said was also not season-ending, but little other information was immediately available.

-Matthew Stafford actually got some playing time in this week, and looked sharp, which had to alleviate fears from some Lions fans after Stafford barely even appeared in training camp. 

-Rookie tight end TJ Hockenson got in some nice action, catching three balls for 52 yards and showcasing that he can be a potential difference maker in the team's offense. 

-The Lions' secondary is having a tough time. They had a rough showing against Houston, and this performance was even more worrying, considering the starters played into the second quarter. Quarterbacks for the bills went 17/24 for 203 yards and a touchdown. Matt Barkley got the majority of the work on the night, and went 12/14 for 142 yards and a touchdown. When you've got starters in the defensive backfield who are having a hard time with controlling backup and rotational players, that's not a good look just a couple weeks away from the regular season.

Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings won their week three contest against the Cardinals 20-9, keeping them updefeated this preseason.

-The presence of Dalvin cook in the Vikings' offense really shows how much he adds to that team. This was the first time he's played this season and will probably end up being the only time he plays this preseason, and he showed his game-breaking ability by taking his second rush 85 yards to the house. That was all the Vikings needed to see out of cook, and it served as a reminder of just how important he can be to that offense.

-Kirk Cousins got to play once again, but unlike his first preseason appearance, he struggled a bit this time out. He was just 3/13 for 35 yards, was sacked twice and was never really able to get going. In fact, outside of Cook's explosive play, the rest of the Vkings' offense was quiet. It's probably not much for the team to worry about at this point given how sharp the offense looked in its first couple games, but it's something worth noting. 

-The Vikings are looking remarkably healthy as they head into the regular season. The team has no significant injuries to report at the moment, and should be heading into the regular season at full strength, assuming they make it safely out of week four.

 

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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.

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Comments (12)

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Old School's picture

August 25, 2019 at 12:19 pm

On Cook's TD run for the Vikings, I want every Packer fan to complain about our ILBs making the tackle "5 yards downfield" or not making "splashplays" to see what happens when the ILB doesn't get off his block and tackle that guy.

But yeah, the Viking offense should be improved from last year, and the Bear offense should be improved as well, especially if Trubisky is better this year. Even the Lions, with Hock, should be better on offense.

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Old School's picture

August 25, 2019 at 12:19 pm

On Cook's TD run for the Vikings, I want every Packer fan who complains about our ILBs making the tackle "5 yards downfield" or not making "splashplays" to see what happens when the ILB doesn't get off his block and tackle that guy.

But yeah, the Viking offense should be improved from last year, and the Bear offense should be improved as well, especially if Trubisky is better this year. Even the Lions, with Hock, should be better on offense.

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Qoojo's picture

August 25, 2019 at 12:30 pm

Well, Luck retiring is news to me. Injuries just started piling up on him. Probably removed all the fun.

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Daren726's picture

August 25, 2019 at 01:18 pm

That’s exactly what it was.

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Holecrap's picture

August 25, 2019 at 01:46 pm

Being here in minny, not a vikes fan but I don't hate them either they look deep in talent. A team that can better handle next man up if they have too. One tv analyst was commenting on the football smarts the staff has finding talent on the sec and third string.
Mike Z I think was sending a message, with a lead and 33 seconds left, on the 12, he called a roll out and they scored a td versus just taking the knee for the win. He is out for blood.

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Coldworld's picture

August 25, 2019 at 03:59 pm

Will be interesting to see how good their O is in reality. They didn’t do much else against the Cardinals beyond that run until the scrubs were on.

Zimmer ran up the score at the end: always wonder about what it says about teams when coaches feel the need to do that in a meaningless pre-season game to get a result.

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Nick Perry's picture

August 26, 2019 at 05:46 am

Wasn't that the regular Vikings announcer Paul Allen doing the game? I watched part of it on the NFL channel on a replay and that dude makes me nauseous. I did hear one guy say the Vikings depth was really good but I'd expect that from a broadcast where after every replay they showed the giant word "SKOL" flashed across my TV screen with nothing else...Just "SKOL"........ UGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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justjan's picture

August 26, 2019 at 08:20 am

PRESEASON.

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John Galt's picture

August 25, 2019 at 03:08 pm

Josh Jones gone - 2nd rounder - Packers are a clown show,

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Coldworld's picture

August 25, 2019 at 04:00 pm

Less so now he is gone. Feel free to tag along.

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Aplinal's picture

August 25, 2019 at 04:02 pm

The Draft is a bit of a lottery. It happens to all teams. Addition by subtraction comes to mind

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Old School's picture

August 25, 2019 at 08:01 pm

I’ve seen clown shows. I’ve seen midget clown shows. This doesn’t look like what I remember a clown show looks like. Such ado over a late 2nd player who has been surpassed by upgrades is pretty comical, but it’s not a clown show .

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