Around the NFC North 2022 Week 3

Here's what's happening this week and next with the teams in the NFC North. 

The NFC North has been unpredictable this season. The Vikings blew out the Packers, got blown out by the Eagles, and then outlasted the Lions this week. The Lions have had strong performances in each game with disappointing endings in two. And the Bears somehow have two wins (what on earth?). Let's get into this week's games. 

Chicago Bears

The Bears had a surprising victory over the Texans thanks to a strong run game. They won 23-20.

Game Notes

  • Former Packer WR and QB Coach Luke Getsy hasn't managed to get the passing game going with Justin Fields and Co, but he's shown a talent for designing and calling a strong run game. This week, the Bears ended up with 281 yards on 41 carries in a revenge game against Lovie Smith. 
  • The run game was powered by backup Khalil Herbert's impressive 20 carries for 157 yards and a 41-yard jet sweep by former Packer Equanimeous St. Brown. 
  • The defense looked better than it did last week against the Packers and managed to pick off Texans QB Davis Mills twice. 
  •  Roquan Smith, mid-contract dispute, was the leader of the Bears' defense. He put up an NFL season-high 16 tackles (2 for loss) and added an interception. 

 

 

Former Packers

  • Equanimeous St. Brown had the jet sweep and caught 1 pass for 20 yards. 
  • Lucas Patrick played 41 out of a total 67 snaps and had the team's worst PFF grade: just 41.5

Next Week

Next week, the Bears take on the Giants in New York. 

Vikings and Lions

The Vikings eked out a 28-24 victory over the Lions. 

Game Notes

  • In a game won by the Vikings, the Lions may have still been the bigger story. Third-year CB Jeffrey Okudah covered Justin Jefferson for much of the game and shut him down and the Lions outgained the Vikings 416 - 373. 
  • Jefferson, who ended the game with just 18 yards, has disappeared in the two games since he dominated the Packers in week 1. Both defenses used more press-man coverage on him than Green Bay did. It will be interesting to see how he responds next week. 
  • In lieu of a big Jefferson game, the Vikings offense was led by Dalvin Cook who had 96 yards rushing and a TD before separating his shoulder. He is considered day-to-day. 
  • The Sun God, Amon-Ra St. Brown, had another good game for Detroit, finishing with 73 receiving yards. Former Packer Jamaal Williams had the team's highest PFF grade and 107 total yards after D'Andre Swift got hurt (again). 
  • A good rush offense and poor rush defense is becoming a trend for the entire division, The Lions, who have spent a lot of draft capital building up their d-line, have the worst defensive success rate against the run and the other three teams have been gashed at times.

 

Former Packers

  • Jamaal Williams had a big day, to the chagrin of D'Andre Swift anchored fantasy teams. 
  • Za'Darius Smith had 2 TFLs and his first good PFF grade of the season. 
  • Chandon Sullivan, on the other hand, had another poor PFF grade. Watching Tom Brady target Keisean Nixon over and over again on Sunday felt like Sullivan was back in Green Bay. 

Next Week

Next Week, the Lions play the Seahawks in Detroit and the Vikings travel to New Orleans to play the Saints. 

 

Mike Price is a lifelong Packers fan currently living in Utah. You can follow him on twitter at @themikeprice.

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Comments (26)

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coolhand's picture

September 27, 2022 at 01:39 pm

I thought the Lions really blew it when, on 4th down late, Campbell called for a long field goal, which was missed, and gave the Vikes the ball near midfield with time on the clock. He should have punted and pinned them deep instead.

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Johnblood27's picture

September 27, 2022 at 02:10 pm

its hard to bite the kneecap when you are stuck nibbling on the ankle.

just not the same kind of threat...

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dobber's picture

September 27, 2022 at 02:59 pm

He apologized to his team and the fans after the game. Campbell is a kook, but he's got his team's back, and they play hard for him. I'm going to have to admit that maybe I was wrong about the Lions. They're better than advertised, and they were better than the Vikings on Sunday...I don't think they're a playoff team, but they could come close if they keep that OL healthy. They're going to give up a lot of points.

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LLCHESTY's picture

September 27, 2022 at 04:22 pm

I watched a couple of the Hard Knocks shows this year and he's definitely a rah rah coach. That's all well and good but if the team keeps losing his schtick will eventually wear thin with the players. They'll eventually have to replace Goff too and it's was really surprising they didn't take advantage of some of those QBs slipping in the draft this year.

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Leatherhead's picture

September 27, 2022 at 05:02 pm

Missed FGs are the same as a turnover. Better to punt. Better to go for it, IMO. The Loins could have gone for it on 4th and 4 at the Minny 36, but made a bad decision,IMO.

If you go for it and succeed, you've won the game since Minny won't be able to stop the clock from running out. If you go for it and fail Minny gets it at the 36 instead of the 43. If you kick the FG and make it, it's still only a 6 point game. If you kick and miss, as they did, it puts the Minny with the ball on their own 43 needing only a FG to tie.

This is Detroit. This has always been Detroit. It's their role in the universe. Yeah, they've got quite an exciting offense. They'll still find ways to lose. They'll win a few games and you'll forget but you should never expect Detroit to win on the road.

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Starrbrite's picture

September 27, 2022 at 07:47 pm

Excellent analysis LH.
As you know however, we will always disagree on special teams.

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Leatherhead's picture

September 28, 2022 at 03:21 pm

I know. It's funny. Amari Rodgers drops a ball he's returning and we're still willing to return punts. We take penalty that wipes out a long return, and we still think it's a good idea. Quite frankly, I don't know what would have to happen before people start saying "We shouldn't give the special teams so many opportunities to screw us".

The day will come, IMO, when a team takes punt returns out of the game. The average # of returns has declined quite a bit in the last 20 years as coaches are realizing it's often better to just fair catch and put your stars on the field than to put the game in the hands of the bottom of the roster. The Rams only had 9 punts returned on them last year. More than half the teams in the league had 26 or fewer returns.....in a 17 game season. 20 years ago, every team in the league except one had more returns than that, with most of the league having over 30 returns.

If it's me, I'm fair catching every punt and hoping to go through the season with no turnovers, no penalties, and no injuries on punt returns. When we have to punt, launch it out of bounds. 0 punts returned for 0 yards.

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PhantomII's picture

September 27, 2022 at 02:53 pm

I miss Williams in the backfield and overall his energy. Never put the ball on the ground and was a good check down receiver. He was never indecisive running the rock and had pretty good vision. Glad ESB has been healthy enough for....Any work on the field. Always thought he'd be okay if he could stay healthy at all. His brother hit the ground and has shown something day 1. Happy for those 2 and wish them success until we play them. GPG

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jont's picture

September 27, 2022 at 03:13 pm

After watching all conference games, no team has shown itself to be the class of the group, but I can say objectively that the Packers are the best of the bunch. Moreover, the needle is pointing up for GB: receivers getting more experience, Tonyan is playing & should catch a few balls, Bakh is back & eager to play full-time, and ST have improved.

Looking at da Bears, that needle is stuck; Fields doesn't appear to be growing into his role. In MN, wow, that team is just so vikings... up and down week to week; I almost feel bad for vikes fans, .500 here we come. And in Detroit anything good is good compared to the past 20 or 30 years, but they still find new ways to lose.

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dobber's picture

September 27, 2022 at 03:13 pm

Oddsmakers are giving the Pats no love against the Packers this week. Virtually all have the Packers as 9-10.5 point favorites. Last thing I want is for them to let the Pats and BB feel disrespected.

The Bears are still a 6-win team, at best. They've been able to run the ball, and their defense has been decent, but Fields is so far from ready that he's a real liability. The Giants should win on Sunday, but I think it will be fairly close--24-17 GMen.

Vikings go to NO this weekend (assuming no hurricane issues). Winston is always a wild card, and Cousins has had two iffy games in a row. Saints will follow Jefferson with Lattimore and should win, but we'll see. 27-21 Saints.

Lions get a softie at home v. Seattle. Seahawk defense might could keep this from being a total laugher, but unless Goff plays really Goffy or the Lions are feeling a hangover from Sunday, yet, Lions 34-20.

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PhantomII's picture

September 27, 2022 at 03:25 pm

The last time BB complimented the heck out of AR, I think AR believed all of it and he played very poorly. Hopefully the run game is on point cause everyone knows AR does not perform under duress and BB is gonna bring it. I think our "D" will need a pick six and more. We are still not clicking for 4 quarters.

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LLCHESTY's picture

September 27, 2022 at 04:28 pm

Vikings-Saints is in London. Fairly big game for the Saints.

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dobber's picture

September 27, 2022 at 06:24 pm

You are correct!

<<tips hat>>

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Leatherhead's picture

September 27, 2022 at 05:21 pm

I think it's early yet, but the Packers have won a game on the road and that gives them a leg up on every other team in the division.

I agree that nobody is really sticking out as way better than the Packers at this point, but it's early. The good news is we finally have Bakhtiari and Jenkins back, and Tonyan, and we haven't lost anybody else for the season.

This 3 game home stretch could have us sitting at 5-1. We should be favored against New England, the Giants, and Jets, and then we come home to play the Commies. We could be 6-1 before we go to Buffalo.

Our alleged rival, Minnesota, plays at home against New Orleans and Chicago, but then has to go to Miami. I don't think they'll win all three, and they might lose more than one of these.

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LombardiSince65's picture

September 27, 2022 at 06:22 pm

The Vikings play the Saints in LONDON this week (not at at home and not in New Orleans)!

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LeotisHarris's picture

September 27, 2022 at 06:23 pm

The Minnesota NFL franchise must travel to London to lose to the Saints.

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Leatherhead's picture

September 27, 2022 at 07:23 pm

It’s the same as us playing a home game in London.

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LLCHESTY's picture

September 28, 2022 at 04:59 am

Says the man who can never be wrong.

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Leatherhead's picture

September 28, 2022 at 10:08 am

Chesty....do you come here to talk about the Packers, or just to be a nit-picking asshole towards me?
It's a home game. Period. Says so on the schedule. Period. Yes, I know it's in London.

I can be wrong. I'm wrong a lot. If you think I can never be wrong, that's on you, not me.

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13TimeChamps's picture

September 28, 2022 at 06:58 pm

Ahh... the LH who wanted me to be banned for telling him to "grow the fuck up" is totally fine with calling someone else a "nit-picking asshole". Got it.

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LeotisHarris's picture

September 27, 2022 at 06:23 pm

duplicate.

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Starrbrite's picture

September 27, 2022 at 07:49 pm

Agree—nailed it!

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Leatherhead's picture

September 28, 2022 at 03:47 pm

No. The Vikings are not going to New Orleans. They are going to LONDON to play New Orleans. It is considered a home game for the Vikes, just like it'll be considered a home game for the Packers the next week.

Don't underestimate the Bears. You can win a lot of games by running the ball and playing defense. Fields may or may not get better, but I don't see how he survives a season. He's a real good athlete, but he's taking some hard shots from guys who are bigger and stronger. I don't understand why you take a QB at the top of the draft and throw him into the fire with a shaky line and not many weapons. How is that a recipe for success?

The Loins should win at home, but this is a terrible defense. They are giving up 31ppg. Holding Minnesota to 28 in their own place last week actually IMPROVED the average of what they did at home the first two weeks against Philly and the Commies.

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MooPack's picture

September 27, 2022 at 07:07 pm

"Jefferson, who ended the game with just 18 yards, has disappeared in the two games since he dominated the Packers in week 1. Both defenses used more press-man coverage on him than Green Bay did."

Astounding what press-man coverage can do instead of CB zone play 8-10 yards off the receivers. The Packers have 2 of the best press corners in the game with speed to burn. More speed than probably 95% of the WRs. Use it.

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PhantomII's picture

September 28, 2022 at 05:57 am

Thanks for stating the obvious...most coaches can't figure out. These folks get paid millions and operate in oblivion as S.O.P These are the things that drive me bat shit crazy about my team. It happens on offense as much also or it's a complete inability of coaches to recognize and adjust in game or even at the half.

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Starrbrite's picture

September 27, 2022 at 08:04 pm

Well, we all know how BellyCheck operates—attack the opponents strength, i.e., our run game.
He will try to make our receivers move the chains.
I recall when McCarthy beat BB at Lambeau. When the game ended, he met McCarthy at midfield and it was clear he was impressed by McCarthy’s game plan—embracing and congratulating him for a couple of minutes. I’ve never witnessed BB do that before or after.

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