Around the NFC North: Week 4

A look around the NFC North heading into week four of the regular season.

Here’s a look around the NFC North heading into week four of the regular season.

Chicago Bears

The Bears defeated Washington 31-15 at FedEx Field on Monday Night Football.

-Bust out your sarcastic celebrations! The Bears became the final team in the league to score a touchdown pass on Monday Night. It’s a monumental achievement for a team that looked incapable of pushing the ball forward through the air for two weeks.

-Former Packer and Redskin Ha Ha Clinton-Dix snagged two interceptions during the game, returning one of them for a touchdown. There’s been a lot of jawing in the offseason between Bears and Packers fans about who got the better end of the deal in what was essentially a safety swap between the two teams. Expect that debate to rage on throughout the year, but I’m sure Packer fans are more than satisfied with the way things turned out.

-The Bears did sustain some injuries that could be worrying. WR Taylor Gabriel left the game with a concussion, and DE Akiem Hicks sustained a knee injury. The loss of Hicks would be especially bad for the Bears, given DE Bilal Nichols is already out for multiple weeks with a broken hand. The line depth is going to be hurting until they’re able to get those guys back on the field—the edges will have to pick up the slack. But going up against the Vikings’ tough run offense this week, a lack of line depth could be a big issue for Chicago.

Detroit Lions

The Lions defeated Philadelphia 27-24 on the road.

-I’m not sure many people expected the Lions to come into Philly and take home the win. Yes, the Eagles had a lot of issues with dropped balls and were dealing with a lot of injuries, but it’s still a road game for the Lions against a team that’s won postseason games the last couple years. It wasn’t pretty for Detroit, but all that matters is the W.

-Detroit still is having big-time issues running the football. Outside of a 44-yard trick play, the Lions averaged just 1.7 yards per carry against the Eagles. If the Lions can’t get more out of their running game, they’re going to find themselves in a difficult spot as the season progresses.

-The Lions’ defense had its ups and downs. The team got the win, but there have to be some concerns over the way the Eagles were able to move the ball with relative ease. The Eagles routinely shot themselves in the foot with turnovers and dropped passes. The team has to feel a bit lucky escaping with a win. But again—lucky wins are still wins, and the Lions have not yet lost a football game this season.

-Danny Amendola is proving to be a clutch addition for the Lions. He’s not tearing up the field or anything, but he’s made some crucial plays on some key third-down situations. Considering the hole the Lions had at wide receiver this offseason, any contributions he can make to the team are going to be quite important.

Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings defeated the Oakland Raiders 34-14 at home.

-This is exactly the kind of rebound game the Vikings needed after a poor showing in Green Bay. Playing a bad team at home, they took advantage of every opportunity they had and got the offense going again.

-The rushing game continues to be very strong for the Vikings. Playing in his third season now, Dalvin Cook is looking like every bit the player the Vikings had hoped he would be. But the Vikings showed plenty of options with their running game across the board, carrying a total of 38 times for 211 yards and three touchdowns. Kirk Cousins dropped back just 21 times.

-The book appears to be out on the Vikings: if you can force them to pass, you’re going to have a much easier time taking them down. This is rather surprising for a team that has a couple studs at wide receiver, a great receiving back and a guy in Kirk Cousins who’s supposed to be a pro bowl caliber quarterback, but so far the Vikings appear much more comfortable using Cousins’ arm sparingly and letting the running game do the damage.

-Talk about subtraction by addition. https://t.co/JzNIozxE5I

The NFC North as a whole is looking mighty tough so far this year. Collectively, the four teams have only lost two games. Both of those losses were dealt by the Green Bay Packers.

 

__________________________

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.

2 points

Comments (13)

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

September 24, 2019 at 09:51 pm

NFC NORTH is 8-2 or 10-2 something like that.
Only losses were Bears vs Packers & Viqueens at Packers.

Keep it going fellas!

+ REPLY
3 points
3
0
EddieLeeIvory's picture

September 24, 2019 at 09:51 pm

NFC NORTH is 8-2 or 10-2 something like that.
Only losses were Bears vs Packers & Viqueens at Packers.

Keep it going fellas!

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Bearmeat's picture

September 24, 2019 at 09:57 pm

The Lions are a faux-good team. Their pass defense blows goatsand their running game is beyond putrid. Their OL is awful too. If you have a pass rush, Stafford is going to hurt after the game.

The Bears have a nasty front 7, a good secondary, very good weapons and an average OL. If they had a good QB, they'd be the best team in the league. But they don't. Mitch. Is. Awful. They beat up on one of the worst 10 teams in the past decade on MNF. As long as they have Mith back there, I'm not worried.

The Vikings probably have the most talent in the division. Yes, more than GB does. Their front 7 is excellent, and heir secondary is nasty. Two all pros at WR, a solid, if unspectacular TE, an all world RB, an average but overpaid QB, and a below-average offensive line. They're starting 22 is overall really good. that said, if they get one injury at running back or offensive line or wide receiver they're in big trouble. Their salary cap is way too skewed to the top 15 people on their roster. They have no depth.

I continue to be most concerned about the Vikings. I picked them to win the division before you're started and I still think it's quite possible they do. Green Bay needs to be to up on them when they go into Minnesota at the end of the year.

+ REPLY
6 points
6
0
NickPerry's picture

September 25, 2019 at 04:20 am

"Their salary cap is way too skewed to the top 15 people on their roster. They have no depth."

I thought there was no way the Vikings would get EVERYBODY they did signed but Spielman got it done. BUT he also tied his hands moving forward. They had to redo Kendricks contract I believe it was to sign their 1st round pick this year and are in the hole next year already.

It will be interesting to watch how Spielman handles this next year and the year after.

+ REPLY
1 points
1
0
Bearmeat's picture

September 25, 2019 at 04:54 pm

I can tell you how: They're going to cut people. The Vikings window ends next year. Then it's time to blow it up.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
I am Gute's picture

September 24, 2019 at 10:22 pm

The only division where every team has a winning record. Crazy

+ REPLY
2 points
2
0
Rak47's picture

September 25, 2019 at 04:07 am

The NFC North is 9-2-1 with both losses coming at the hands of Packers, while the Lions tied with the Cardinals.

Looks like it's going to be a dogfight all year.

+ REPLY
2 points
2
0
Gman1976's picture

September 25, 2019 at 09:54 pm

The record of the Black and Blue division speaks for itself. It's quite an achievement even though it's early in the season. Who would of thought that the Packers and the Lions would be undefeated at this point and the division would be undefeated against the entire NFL?!!!

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Minniman's picture

September 25, 2019 at 04:39 am

"There’s been a lot of jawing in the offseason between Bears and Packers fans about who got the better end of the deal in what was essentially a safety swap between the two teams. "

Sad that Ha-Ha had to get his butt fired to re-focus and regain form. Both he and Clay Matthews are having a good start to the year on new teams....... Not saying that I'd change anything, just mentioning it.

Also noted that Morgan Burnett is playing for the Bears this year too. That will be weird to watch when they play the Packers again at Lambeau.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
Spock's picture

September 25, 2019 at 11:12 am

Well, Ha-Ha got his first Bears interception the same way he did for the Packers ... he was back of the play and an over-thrown ball fell into his hands. He's athletic enough to catch that ball, lol. I'll take our guy; he makes his own plays (doesn't depend on getting a lucky catch) by being in position and assignment sure. The book on Ha-Ha has yet to be written. We shall see.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
0
CAG123's picture

September 25, 2019 at 09:51 am

MB plays for the Browns and I don’t think HHCD is doing anything differently than what he did in GB he’s always been able to intercept overthrown passes and he had an open field in front of him it’s the physical part of the game is where he lacked and the tendency to take bad angles on passing plays.

+ REPLY
4 points
4
0
Leatherhead's picture

September 25, 2019 at 11:56 am

The Lions don't play as good on defense as the other three teams in the division, which is why I can't see them winning the division.

Dalvin Cook is the best offensive player in the division right now.

The Packers have an advantage over the Vikings and Bears because they don't turn the ball over very much.

Injuries will probably decide the division title. So far, we've been fortunate, but that can change in a hurry.

+ REPLY
-1 points
0
1
Lofton82's picture

September 26, 2019 at 04:51 am

NFC North is a crucible this year. By playing these teams regularly (and even the Lions aren't bad) we'll sharpen our edge and slice through most teams we'll face outside the division.
I like our chances of winning the division because there's great unity amongst the D. There's great talent there, sure. Like the Viking and Bears - and they arguably have more. However, you can have all the talent in the world on paper but if you're playing with the juice our D is - on turf - that's where it counts.

And our O will only get better. Not elite, but good enough perhaps.

+ REPLY
0 points
0
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.