Around the NFC North: Week 8

A look around the NFC North heading into week 8 of the regular season.

Here's a look around the NFC North heading into week 8 of the regular seaon.

Chicago Bears

The Bears lost 36-25 to the New Orleans Saints at home, and still suck.

-Woof. That's all you can say about this one. This game wasn't nearly as close as the score indicates, as there were a couple garbage time scoring drives. The Bears' vaunted defense got lit up at home by a Saints team missing both Drew Brees and Alvin Kamara. There's no way to sugarcoat this one: it was a terrible loss for the Bears that put them two and a half games back in the division standings and left a lot of hard questions for the team to consider about its season.

-Sans Allen Robinson, the offense was dreadful. A lot of the blame has to fall with Matt Nagy. How do you once again let Mitch Trubisky throw the ball more than 50 times? That's something that should never, ever happen with a quarterback of Trubisky's middling caliber. The team managed just 252 yards of total offense, and remains the ONLY team in the NFL to not have a single game this season where they've eclipsed 300 total yards in offense. That's an absolutely terrible look for Nagy.

-Speaking of awful looks, how do you have Tarik Cohen and David Montgomery and barely let them handle the football? In fact, what's even the purpose of drafting Montgomery at all if you don't plan to even attempt to make use of his talents? Montgomery is a player with a lot of potential who the Bears have inexplicably failed to take advantage of at all so far this season. Why are you letting Mitch Trubisky drop back on 80 percent or more of your snaps when the kid has shown he simply doesn't have what it takes to carry the team to victory with his arm? Yes, the offense is performing poorly, but this is absolutely terrible coaching and game planning by Matt Nagy, who was the darling of the 2018 season and 2019 offseason. 

This was simply a disastrous performance coming off a bye. They take on a flailing Chargers team at home this weekend in what has suddenly become a must-win game as the Packers and Vikings both remain hot. After that, they have a tough three week stretch going on the road to play the Eagles, coming back home to play a feisty Lions team and going back on the road to Los Angeles to play the Rams. Their season could be close to slipping away.

Detroit Lions

The Lions lost 42-30 to the Minnesota Vikings.

-Lions fans certainly can't blame the refs for this one. They were outplayed every step of the way by a Vikings team that was more talented and better prepared. Even though they managed to put 30 points on the board, the game wasn't really as close as you might expect from the score.

-The Lions have managed to play better on defense than some expected them to this year, even despite not having a pass rush. Well, that lack of pass rush blew up in their face this last week against the Vikings. They got eaten alive by the Vikings' passing attack, and rarely blitzed or won their matchups up front. Kirk Cousins had all day to throw, and the Lions simply couldn't stop it.

-The Lions are having a rough go of it in the NFC North so far this season. After a close loss to the Packers and a blowout by the Vikings, the team is reeling, falling way to the bottom of the pack in on eof the league's most competitive divisions. Things are going to have to turn around for them in a hurry in order forthem to have a chance at a playoff push. 

Up next, the Lions have a visit from the Giants, whcih comes at a crucial time. A win gets the Lions back to .500 and possibly helps the team regain some confidence after a couple tough division losses.

Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings defeated the Lions 42-20 in Detroit.

-It's hard to believe this Vikings team was on the verge of self-destruction just a few weeks ago, with both its star receivers going off on Kirk Cousins and one even starting to hint at trade demands. Give some credit to Kirk Cousins, he's really turned his play around, and him being dialed in is as big part of why the Vikings have now won three in a row. This sort of play is the reason Cousins was paid all that guaranteed cash. The question remains, though: can he actually do it in big game situations? Throughout the rest of his career so far, the answer has been a resouinding "no."

-Dalvin Cook is some kind of weapon. He had another big day against the Lions, going off for more than 140 yards and giving some support to the passing game to open up more room for receivers. When this Vikings offense is in sync, they're relaly tough to stop. 

-The Vikings did lose Adam Thielen during the game to an injury, and as of the moment it looks like he's unlikely to play on Thursday night against the Redskins (not that he'll necessarily be needed against one of the league's worst teams). The hamstring injury was deemed not serious, but four days isn't necessarily enough to rehab such an injury, and against an inferior opponent it would probably be wise for the Vikings to let him get some rest. Otherwise, as Packer fans know all too well, hamstring injuries can become long-term problems if not given the proper rest.

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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 (4)

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Point-Packer's picture

October 23, 2019 at 12:56 pm

The Bears blow donkey dick.

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jsb937's picture

October 23, 2019 at 05:38 pm

The Vikings are coming on strong.

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dobber's picture

October 24, 2019 at 08:20 am

Who's going to complain about snaps, or targets, or money, or demand a trade this week to keep their offense going? The Squeaky Wheel...

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edp1959's picture

October 23, 2019 at 08:07 pm

Just read that Adams could be a game time decision Sunday night.

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