NFC North Week 2 Division Breakdown
Green Bay Packers-21 vs Minnesota Vikings-16
To say this was your average NFC North showdown would be false. These two teams battle year in and year out twice a year, and on 2 occasions 3 times in a year.
Lets head to Lambeau Field and see what they had to offer in their first meeting of the season.
Green Bay wasted little time getting going as they took the opening kickoff and in just 4 plays had a 7-0 lead. A 39 yd pass from Aaron Rodgers found Davonte Adams deep down the field before being forced out of bounds on the games first play. A couple of nifty runs from Aaron Jones, set up a swing pass from Rodgers to Jaamal Williams for the score, from 15 yards out, followed by a little shimmy and shake to celebrate.
Minnesota now had their chance to answer and let the Packers know they were in for a long afternoon, as they moved down the field in 8 plays covering 46 yards. Good fortune turned sour as the Vikings were unable to convert on a 47-yard field goal attempt off the foot of Dan Bailey. Rodgers and company took over at their own 37 and gave the home crowd a long drive of their own, 11 plays 68 yds, and took nearly 6 minutes off the clock with the result being a Packer touchdown. The offense mixed passes and runs well, with the big play of the drive being a 21 yd pass down the left side to Adams at the Viking 19. Rodgers followed with his 2nd TD pass of the quarter, this time to Geronimo Allison, after the PAT 14-0 Packers.
The Vikings quickly played into the hands of the Packer defense as on this drive they put pressure on Vikings QB Kirk Cousins. On 3rd down, Cousins was able to avoid the blitz and scamper for 11 yards, but on the next first down the results weren’t as favorable as Cousins was sacked and fumbled the ball, recovered by Dean Lowry at the Viking 33 yard line. Again, the Packers put the ball in the endzone, this time with a much shorter field to play with and were up 21-0 at the end of the first quarter. This drive ended with a 2-yard plunge from Jones off right guard for the score.
Being down 21-0 is not where a team wants to be for obvious reasons and on Minnesota’s first possession of the 2nd quarter, Dalvin Cook took matters into his own hands literally and took a simple handoff to the left, sidestepped to the right and outraced the Packers down the field for a 75-yard touchdown. 21-7. Minnesota then forced a Packer fumble but was only able to pick up 2 yards on the drive. The game now settled into tough nose, bend but don’t break contest as both teams traded punts playing the field game. Minnesota did manage to get into the end zone late in the quarter on a pass from Cousins to Stefon Diggs but an unusual offensive pass interference called nullified the score and they settled on a 31 yd Bailey FG to close out the 1st half scoring. 21-10 Packers.
Minnesota stayed within striking distance on their 2nd possession of the 2nd half, with a 45 yd pass deep over the middle from Cousins to Diggs, with two Packer defenders in coverage. An unsportsmanlike penalty was called on Diggs for removing his helmet after the catch, but what a catch it was. The extra point was blocked, taking the score to 21-16, which would ultimately be the final score.
The rest of this game was a battle of field position, with neither team able to put together enough of their opportunities to score. There was definitely a lot of hard hits going on from both sides as this one played out, as you would suspect from this rivalry.
- Rodgers 22/34 209 2 TD
- Jones 23 116 yds 1 TD
- Cousins 14/32 230 1 TD 2INT
- Cook 20 154 1 TD
Detroit Lions-13 vs LA Chargers-10
This game had all the makings to be a low scoring sloppy game. In fact, I thought the Lions would not only cover the 3 point spread but also win outright. The Lions did just as I thought. The Chargers had alot going against them in this game. They were without their starting kicker for the second straight week. They also were missing 8 other starters including tight end, Hunter Henry. This game was as expected. A low scoring sloppy game.
Both teams combined for five turnovers including a horrible interception by Phillip Rivers late in the fourth quarter to seal the game for the Lions. The Lions did not play great on the offensive side of the ball failing to reach the red zone once. However, Matt Stafford did what Matt Stafford does and led what would prove to be a game-winning touchdown drive. Kenny Golladay had a big game for Detroit catching 8 balls for 117 yards and a score. Kerryon Johnson scored the other touchdown for the Lions on a 36-yard catch. What is concerning is the usage of Johnson. He was only given 12 carries this game. He did catch 2 balls but going into this season we expected more from Kerryon. Hopefully, the Lions realize what they have with him in the backfield and start to feed him.
The Lions defense looked stout against Rivers and company. The Chargers were able to move the ball between the 20s no problem but once they got into the redzone they were only able to convert once.
The Lions are now 1-0-1 and are one bad quarter from being 2-0. The Lions will face a tough test this week as they travel to Philadelphia to take on an Eagles team coming off a loss to the Falcons.
Chicago Bears-16 vs Denver Broncos–14
This game had slobberknocker written all over it. Former Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio had his Broncos ready to go. The game was competitive throughout as both teams tried to establish the run early. The Bears would take the lead in the fourth quarter and the way their defense had been playing you would have thought the game was over. However, that would not be the case. The Broncos led by Joe Flacco and Emmaunel Sanders would drive down the field for what looked to be the game tying touchdown. It was. They converted on a Flacco to Sanders strike in the endzone and the Broncos and Bears looked to be tied…
Nope. Vic Fangio like Doug Marrone earlier in the day in Houston chose to go for the 2 point conversion and the win. Unlike Marrone and the Jaguars, Fangio’s Broncos converted the 2 point conversion and took a 14-13 lead over the Bears.
This left the Bears and QB Mitch Trubisky 32 seconds to get the ball downfield for a chance at a game-winning field goal. Mitch made his best play of the game on 4th down with 9 seconds to go. He hung in the pocket, evaded the rush, and threw a strike downfield to Allen Robinson. Mitch followed behind the play screaming for the timeout. The Bears were granted the timeout. There was 01 second left in the game. The game was now on Bears rookie kicker Eddie Pinero to hit a 53 yarder for the win. Bears fans have seen this one to many times. However, this time the kicker hits it! No double doink! The Bears win 16-14.
What a crazy way to end the game. Mitch Trubisky played another horrid game but bailed himself out from media backlash with the throw of the game.
The Bears offense played like crap for the second week in a row. The play calling was awful, the QB play of Mitch Trubisky was equally as bad as the play calling. The play calling was more balanced but it still felt off. Mitch didn’t throw the ball downfield until late in the 2nd quarter. Where he badly missed an open target. Everything else was dink and dunk check downs. Montgomery got 18 carries but only turned them into 62 yards. The offensive line was atrocious again.
If the Bears are going to get to the playoffs for the second season in a row they are going to have to get better on offense. Everyone thought the Bears offense was going to be much improved over last season however somehow they have regressed. A lot of that has to do with playcalling and Trubisky.
The Bears travel to Washington D.C for a Monday Night game against the Redskins. I think this will be the Bears offense’s coming out party.
- Green Bay 2-0
- Detroit 1-0-1
- Minnesota 1-1
- Chicago 1-1