Around the NFC North: Week 3

Taking a look around the NFC North heading into week 3 of the NFL season.

Here’s a quick look around the NFC North heading into Week 3 of the NFL season.

Chicago Bears

The Bears defeated the Denver Broncos 16-14.

-Bears kicker Eddy Pineiro was named the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week after his performance in the Bears’ victory. He was 3/3 on field goals, including a 53-yard game winner. It appears the Bears finally have a kicker they can rely on. Now they just need an offense.

-There was certainly plenty of controversy surrounding the end of the Bears/Broncos game. There’s question as to whether or not the kick itself should have happened. Did the Bears legitimately get the timeout off with one second left? But more controversial was the ridiculous roughing the passer call on the Broncos that gave the Bears some yards and helped them get into position where a field goal was even going to be possible. Amid all the hemming and hawing over the NFL’s new replay rules for interference, we’ve forgotten the awful changes the league made last year to roughing the passer, and the Broncos are just the latest victims of a bogus call.

-It was another pedestrian outing for the Bears’ Mitch Trubisky. Just 120 yards on 27 attempts (16 completions). That’s an absolutely terrible 4.44 yards per attempt, coming just a week after he had a nearly-as-awful 5.06 yards per attempt against the Packers. Trubisky made the one throw at the end of the game to a wide open receiver to put the Bears into position, but he has shown little so far to indicate he can be relied on to carry the team to another postseason berth. If the Bears’ defense doesn’t repeat last season’s superhuman effort, it’s hard to envision this team making the postseason with a complete non-factor at the quarterback position.

This week the Bears will travel to DC to take on another struggling team in the Redskins.

Detroit Lions

The Lions managed a 13-10 win over the Chargers in week two.

-Certainly not a pretty game for the Lions. Matthew Stafford had a couple of interceptions, the offense couldn’t really get a whole lot going throughout most of the game. But Kenny Golladay did get eight receptions for 117 yards and what turned out to be the game-winning 31-yard touchdown. It was a positive sign for the Lions’ defense that they were able to keep the Chargers’ offense in check for the entire game.

-The Lions released CJ Anderson this week and brought up former Giants running back Paul Perkins to replace him. Ty Johnson saw some promising touches, but the fact is the Lions remain 26th in yards per carry on the ground after the first two weeks of the season. This is a constant struggle for the Lions, it seems, and it’s one they’re going to need to remedy to prevent Stafford from having to shoulder the entire burden with a wide receiving corps that doesn’t have many proven playmakers.

-Former Packer Mike Daniels has registered zeroes across the stat sheet for most metrics that matter for the Lions so far this season. The team is paying its defensive line a whole lot of money, and there hasn’t been a big return on that investment so far. For a team that was supposed to have arguably the best line in football on the defense, there really hasn’t been a whole lot to live up to the hype. The unit had a single sack against Philip Rivers this past week.

Next up the Lions travel to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles, who are banged up but tenacious, and coming off a tough one against the Falcons on Sunday Night.

Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings were defeated 21-16 by the Packers in week two. Go Pack Go!

-That was a pretty brutal performance for Kirk Cousins. The Vikings brought him in and gave him a landmark fully guaranteed deal that instantly made him one of the league’s top players. He failed to bring the Vikings back to the postseason last year despite Super Bowl hype. So far this season, the team only allowed him to throw 10 times in week one, and he looked terrible most of the game against the Packers, completing less than half of his passes and throwing two INTs, including an absolutely boneheaded throw on a first and goal in the endzone. The Vikings finally have a running game again, but Cousins simply cannot continue to give the game away like that if they hope to have any shot at the division, let alone a playoff berth.

-It’s hard to know what to make of this performance for the Vikings’ defense. After getting slaughtered in the first quarter and start of the second, the Vikings clamped down and didn’t allow another point all game. However, they did give up a 100-yard rushing performance by Aaron Jones and a 100-yard receiving performance by Davante Adams. Even while the Packers struggled to score, Rodgers didn’t look nearly as vexed by the Mike Zimmer defense as he often has in the past. Still, if you were to tell the Vikings they’d shut the Packers out for essentially three quarters, they’d expect to win. It’s going to be interesting to see the trajectory this defense takes this season.

-Dalvin Cook is really looking the part of a stud running back. He’s surprisingly strong for his size, and didn’t seem to wear down at all throughout the course of the game. It’s shocking they took the ball out of his hands toward the end of the game after he ran the team down the field to put them in position for a go-ahead score. My guess is they don’t make that same mistake again, knowing Cousins is liable to toss a moronic pick on a first down.

The Vikings return home this weekend to take on the Oakland Raiders.

 

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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 (8)

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PackfanNY's picture

September 18, 2019 at 02:07 pm

Good article Tim. The roughing the passer call on the Broncos vs the Bears was just as bad and dare I say worse than the call on Matthews last season. Certainly not as impactful since the nonsense from last year was game over. However, I have no idea what the penalty was since he simply hit Trubisky on the release. Playing football is now a penalty. Anyone see the leagues explanation? Of course not. Total bs when or if they provide explanation.

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flackcatcher's picture

September 19, 2019 at 05:41 am

Refs are in pre season football mode too. Lucky it was only one bad call.

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

September 18, 2019 at 03:12 pm

. Packers are interested in Dolphins’ running back Kenyan Drake along with a few other teams. This move would make sense at the right price. I would MOST definitely get this done!!!

Just don't want him to be another T. Montgomery...

D. Williams can go back on practice squad.

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

September 18, 2019 at 03:13 pm

But, Packers are 2-0 !!!

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I bleed green more's picture

September 18, 2019 at 04:05 pm

Yet Rodgers gets smacked on the head and no call at all.

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Lphill's picture

September 18, 2019 at 04:26 pm

The Vikings once had another stud running back who had some big games as well , I don’t remember them winning anything with him either.

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EddieLeeIvory's picture

September 18, 2019 at 04:43 pm

The refs totally screwed the Broncos with that bogus penalty.
And the refs screwed the Saints vs the Rams once again.
They helped us a bit.

I don't expect the zebras to be perfect.
But I still don't understand why none of them, or their bosses, are ever held accountable. There need to be consequences, punishments, for terrible calls.

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PatrickGB's picture

September 19, 2019 at 08:41 am

I once read that the refs do have some sort of grading system. Too many bad decisions and they don’t get to ref the big games and too many more of them and they don’t get to stay as NFL refs. Also, games and decisions are gone over with them and supposedly they are critiqued on them by the head ref.

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