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Around the NFC North – Week 2

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Around the NFC North – Week 2

Minnesota Vikings

The premier matchup in the NFC North in week two features the Vikings traveling to Lambeau Field on Sunday to take on the Green Bay Packers. 

The Vikings survived their opening game against the San Francisco 49ers by winning 24-16.  Albeit a win for the Vikings, they certainly had their fair share of struggles to open the season.  Led by new quarterback Kirk Cousins, the Vikings offense could only muster 17 points.  In the contest, Cousins threw for 244 yards and two touchdowns while the combined rushing attack of Dalvin Cook and Latavius Murray went for a total of 82 yards on the ground.

On the defensive side of the ball, the 49ers and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo certainly left some opportunities on the field.  Garoppolo handed the Vikings defense three interceptions with one being returned for a touchdown.  The 49ers offense had a lot of success finding their tight end against the Vikings, but Garoppolo couldn’t capitalize on many open receivers with poor throws.

Though the Vikings looked rusty in week one, I would fully expect their best effort this coming Sunday.  The motivation is there for the team to set the tone in the division against the rival Packers and the game will most likely be a slugfest until the end.

Detroit Lions

Can you say dumpster fire?

With the Lions having their fair share of struggles throughout training camp and the preseason, a primetime Monday Night Football matchup against the hapless New York Jets would have seemed like an ideal situation for the team and new head coach Matt Patricia.  Instead, the Lions completely embarrassed themselves in a 48-17 home loss in front of a national audience.

In a tight game at the half, the Jets poured on 31 points in the third quarter and were able to find the end zone in just about every realm possible: air, ground, punt return and an interception return.  To make matters worse for the Lions, Matthew Stafford was picked off a total of four times and backup Matt Cassel threw another interception in for good measure in garbage time at the end of the game.

Following the humiliating loss, Matt Patricia is already starting to feel the heat from the Detroit media.  Rumors about the Lions players being unhappy about their tough workload during training camp has been spreading and the overall culture of the locker room is being questioned.  To add insult to injury, members of the New York Jets defensive unit are calling out their ability to recognize the Lions offensive plays by Stafford’s hand signals during the game.  By nabbing five interceptions, this seems well within the realm of possibility.

Matt Patricia and the Lions certainly have work to do to right their ship as they head west to San Francisco for a Sunday afternoon contest against the 49ers.  Following this weekend, the Lions face three tough opponents in the following weeks in the New England Patriots, Dallas Cowboy and the Green Bay Packers.

Chicago Bears

We all witnessed the week one story of the Chicago Bears and a loss in that fashion can certainly be demoralizing.  In the collapse, the Bears showed some good things with their strong defense, a creative offense with some weapons and a now game-changing defender in Khalil Mack.  Where the Bears go from here will be the true test of their will.

Following the loss, the Chicago media has been brutal on new head coach Matt Nagy.  But Nagy manned up and took a large brunt of the blame for his play calling in the second half of the game against the Packers.  He also reiterated that the loss could be used to learn from and get better as a team.

With his head in the right place following week one, Nagy looks to prepare his team for a visit from the Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football this week.  The Seahawks will enter Soldier Field at 0-1 as well after their down to the wire loss to the Denver Broncos on Sunday.  With both teams desperately seeking their first victory of the season, this game will be an indicator on two fronts.  First, seeing how the Bears respond to their crushing loss to the Packers may provide an indication of how the rest of their season will unfold.  And after their week one loss, this game will provide insight as to whether the Seahawks will be any sort of threat in a heavily contested NFC in 2018.


Ryan Brunner is an avid Packers fan hailing from Chippewa Falls, WI.  He is a firm believer that punters are NFL players too!  Follow him on Twitter @brunwardo

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (31) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Tarynfor12's picture

After watching the Viking- 49'er game, I have come to the same conclusion as Jersey Al did in his article.

That SF could have won that game. The more relevant and obvious thoughts were that both the Vikings and 49'ers would beat the Packers.

What the Bears did in the first half against a healthy Rodgers would not evaporate with the other teams in question in the 2nd half and the Rodgers miracle would not likely have occurred.

The defenses for both teams in mention are ready and relentless and both offenses are far away more advanced than the Trubisky led Bears.

Instead of wondering and hoping for a win this week, it may be more wise to keep Rodgers out and extend the season. Either of these teams against a hurt and mobile limited Rodgers just spells doom.

Sit Rodgers and hope for something from Kizer but Rodgers against Wash next week would be the smarter move as to playing him and being 2-1.

scullyitsme's picture

It must be hard being the only packer fan that sees the truth. If only the rest of us would just listen to your profound wisdom and constant reality checks. Your right, we should give up now, bench Rodgers, run scared. It’s the only pragmatic thing to do.

Tarynfor12's picture

How is sitting Rodgers this week equate to giving up and running scare.
The odds on everyone that comments here screaming why Rodgers played when hurt and becomes lost for season will be an awesome bet.

Lose a game without Rodgers
chance the season with no Rodgers at all
increase your odds of having Rodgers for the season by sitting him this week.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Who needs a team doctor to actually look at Rodgers knee, right?

Spud Rapids's picture

What a trash post...

"What the Bears did in the first half against a healthy Rodgers would not evaporate with the other teams in question in the 2nd half and the Rodgers miracle would not likely have occurred."

Right... because other teams never give up a lead in the NFL ever... baseless assumption here. Bears had a top 10 defense last year and are arguably going to better this year.

"The defenses for both teams in mention are ready and relentless and both offenses are far away more advanced than the Trubisky led Bears."

So after one game you know what the Bears offense is? Brand new coach and scheme and you know already? Another baseless assumption.

"Instead of wondering and hoping for a win this week, it may be more wise to keep Rodgers out and extend the season. Either of these teams against a hurt and mobile limited Rodgers just spells doom."

Hurt Rodgers is still damn good... look at when he had a torn calf in the 2014 playoffs. Also, the medical staff is super conservative in Green Bay and always has been. They'll put him out there if they are confident he can't do more damage. Baseless assumption again that limited Rodgers spells doom.

Tarynfor12's picture

Did the Bears defense evaporate in the second half?
Yes.and the word used was gassed.

So after one game you know the Bears offense?
Based on what many said and seen, the Bears ran out of gimmick plays and the the play calling showed a lack of trust in Trubisky. Will that be a weekly thing,IDK but...

Lastly...I'll add the word ' could ' to the spells doom...could spell doom....does that make it easier for you to accept as plausible?

Paul Konieczny's picture

So calling a pass play on3rd and 1 late in the game shows zero confidence in Trubisky? Good too know.

Bedrock's picture

Evaporate? Or perhaps OC Philbin has the trust of MM to make and implement changes?
This was a case of the Packers 53 & coaches EARNING the win and not the other team handing the win over.

croatpackfan's picture

Ah, those trolls... You are truly troll!

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

Tarynfor12, I can't disagree with a 2 & 1 start if it comes to that, but if we are going to have to sit AR every time a Good Defense comes around, then lets go out and get an established QB. Unless I'm wrong, GB has enough money to do it. We have nothing on the bench. If you are going to put this whole season on AR, you may as well quit now.

By the way, The word out here is that AR is expected to play Sunday, although there is No Line at this time on the game that I can find. Tomorrow will tell the story. Let's start looking for an established QB.

Tarynfor12's picture

I'm not advocating sitting Rodgers every time they play a good defense, i'm saying it may be smarter to sit him this week and let him heal more. As to getting a better back up,IDK if that's the answer when the other holes are glaring with Rodgers and would be more so without him. Can you tell me a back up that could keep the offense to a level needed and cover up the defensive lacking.

The season is always put on Rodgers...when has it not been.

The word on Rodgers anywhere is rumor until it isn't. The game is off the board as I said it would be and wouldn't expect it to change until a definitive answer to status is made public...likely late Thurs after another rehab or Friday to see how the knee is after Thurs.

Coldworld's picture

Sorry to interrupt, but are we privy to any real information on his condition that supports a decision to rest him against perhaps our prime divisional adversary?

Tarynfor12's picture

No and why I said rumor. But IMO, watching Rodgers drag/hop on his leg etc, the possible of having him healthier with another week off is a better move. Of coarse he may play and all I say is don't cry if it goes badly .The season isn't won or lost on one game,especially the second of the season.
Do fans want another miracle play at a cost of season ending or more security of a long season via a one week game sit.

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

Tarynfor12, I don't know all the other teams as well as you or some of the other fans here. For as little as I know, I would be talking to Philly, Detroit, & Minn. I'd even put in a call to CBS & talk to Tony R. Not that Tony Kornhouser is a Guru on QB's, but when I hear a statement on National TV that we have the WORST BACK-UP QB in NFL History, it's time to at least look around.

When was the season Not put on AR?? (Last Year). I'm afraid that could be in our future again. We need a reliable Back-up, capable of moving the offense, even if the defense turns out to be poor.

I know you were only thinking of sitting AR this week. I should have said things differently. It just makes me SICK that GB will pay Mathews Millions of Dollars, & not spend any money or Draft Choices to get Quality Players to help AR. We need an Established QB, & a Game Changing WR or Tight End, like Bennett. Oh Wait!!, We had one. Bennett didn't work out too well like some people here thought. Quality Players cost money & draft choices, None of which The Good Ole Boy's Club is willing to part with. Maybe we can get Hawk back. He was another Fan Favorite.

croatpackfan's picture

LVT, if Packers have the worst back up QB in NFL History, what to say about Lions and their first game. They have 2 QB that throws 5 INT (together) and one was pick-six...

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

croatpackfan, I've always enjoyed your posts. Maybe you don't read so well. I understand that. Go back & read my post again. "I didn't say that". I said I heard that statement on National TV. It was said on "Pardon The Interruption. Apparently there are others who also don't think this guy is any good. It's my guess that AR will not make it through this season without injury. I believe we need a Quality Back-Up QB, & a game changing WR or Tight End. You disagree with that??

4thand1's picture

Hey Tom, howya doin.

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

Hi 4thand1, I'm doing ok, but my wife is having some bad health issues. I posted you the other day. you must have missed it. Nice to hear from you. Hope you're really enjoying retirement. I'm not planning on doing much Football this year. My stress tolerance is all used up. I didn't plan on posting much, but after last Sunday's game, I had to throw in a few posts. I'll be thinking about you. Go Pack!!

4thand1's picture

Sorry to here Tom, hope all goes well. Should I take the Pack-1, I think so.

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

Hey 4thand 1, 1st, where do you get GB-1? There isn't a line out here yet unless Stations hasn't posted it on line. You're asking the wrong guy. I play the same regardless of who we're playing. You've seen me post a number of times that GB - or + 1-3 is almost always an automatic Loss, unless it's against NE or what used to be Seattle. Maybe the Rodgers injury changes things. I'd advise against it. Under normal circumstances, it would be a Loss. If you're not betting a lot, sure take GB, Why Not??

fastmoving's picture

Your post does not make any least to me. never get the time back for reading that stuff .......
maybe you should end it sad, so sad

LAS VEGAS-TOM's picture

Maybe if you got the Fish Hooks out of your pockets, It Would.

Johnblood27's picture

This is the most posts I have seen from you without asking Taryn for a date.

Lphill's picture

Teams need at least 3 games to be evaluated , limited pre season action limited practice , learning and following new schemes takes time , the Lions are better than that , the Saints too , many games could have gone either way . I have to admit the Patriots seemed ready and Brady plays more in the pre season so maybe that's the formula , Rodgers had I think one series all pre season and don't forget how long it was before that he last played, Rodgers should have at least played a half a game to shake off the rust.

Johnblood27's picture

People, regain your senses.

AR has a sprain. A SPRAIN. That is a stretched ligament, not torn, not a dislocation, not that serious except for the discomfort, given that the swelling has or will subside.

That he played a half of NFL football on it this past Sunday night.

Yeah, it hurts a little.

It is not debilitating and there is no risk of making it worse from using it, only if it gets stretched more severely (or torn) again. Not more probable by playing on it than by playing 100% healthy.

This we know because he was allowed to return on Sunday night by the very conservative (with apologies to M. Bennett) Dr. McKenzie. Unless it was Spuds McKenzie who barked that it was OK for AR to return.

He is sore, and is taking treatment for the swelling and pain. He will play, most probably with some support or a brace.

As my father told me every time I was ever hurt or injured... Its a long way from the heart, get back out there and play.

Oppy's picture

If your father didn't make a distinction between being hurt and being injured, he did you a disservice. That era may not have known the difference, probably not his fault, but we know better now. Playing hurt is one thing, but we should never play injured. We're not fighting wars for people's freedoms, we're playing football for a trophy. Players playing injured leads to men not being able to play catch with their 6 year olds, or needing help from their wives to change their shorts when they're 50 years old.

I miss Spuds McKenzie, the original party terrier.

Samson's picture

A little dramatic --- but you're basically correct.

Also, play this game a little injured & it's very possible that any player will place his entire season on the line by being injured even more. --- If AR can't move as he is used to moving, he may very well get smashed by a very good Viking "D".

Oppy's picture

I definitely chose the extremes; but they are real extremes that do affect more players than is acceptable. I don't know if it still holds true, but a study during the early to mid 80's found that the long-term affects of playing Pro football resulted in the average player having a lifespan almost 20 years shorter than the population average. Frightening stuff. I hope that the medical awareness today leads to less playing injured and helps maintain players' long term quality of life.

There is definitely a difference between being tough and being stupid.

ironman3169's picture

I almost prefer it when 12 is hobbled. He gets the ball OUT!! When he’s got his legs, it seems to take him until mid-season to quit holding the ball for 7 seconds only to throw it away or take a sack.
Play him!!

BoCallahan's picture

Well said! You expressed just how I feel (except that part about being a stockholder). I imagine there are a number of NFL Quarterbacks watching film of that game with their jaws on the floor.

cheesycowboy's picture

Reality vs Gloom and Doom .
I only gamble with my life, I watch the Packers for enjoyment and pride as a stockholder.
The defense gave up 16 points.
I will take that every week until next spring. Aaron Rodgers transcends the game regardless of injury.
It's a fool's errand to minimize what we all watched Sunday night. The Packers are the best team in the NFL after week one. Take that to the bank.

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