Around the NFC North – Week 5

Just a quarter of the way into the young 2018 season, no one could have predicted where the NFC North stands at this point.

Detroit Lions

After a surprising and potentially season-saving victory against the New England Patriots, the Lions traveled to Dallas this past Sunday to take on the then 1-2 Cowboys.  After a back and forth game, Matthew Stafford marched the Lions down the field to take a one-point lead with a touchdown pass to Golden Tate with just over two minutes remaining in the game.  But like so many times before, the Lions defense couldn’t hold up their end of the bargain.  After the ensuing kickoff, Dak Prescott led the Cowboys offense quickly into field goal range where they won the game by a final score of 26-24 over the Lions.  With the loss, the Lions fell to 1-3 on the young season.

In the loss to the Cowboys, the Lions offense produced behind Matthew Stafford in a 23 for 30 effort with 307 yards and two touchdowns to wide receiver Golden Tate.  Rookie running back Kerryon Johnson ran for a touchdown on limited carries in the game and continues to be the Lions go to out of their backfield.  But where the Lions offense continues to produce, their defensive unit continues to disappoint.  Against the Cowboys, the Lions defense allowed Ezekiel Elliott to gash them for 152 yards on the ground while also tallying 88 receiving yards.  With the game on the line, the Lions defense couldn’t get it done.

This Sunday, the Lions welcome the Green Bay Packers to Ford Field with kickoff scheduled for noon CST. 

Chicago Bears

It may be a little early to say this, but the Bears seemed to put the entire NFL on notice with their 48-10 whooping of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Soldier Field this past Sunday.  In a game that was really a laugher at halftime with the Bears leading 38-3, Mitch Trubisky entered the break at 14 for 18 with 289 yards and five touchdowns.  Trubisky would finish 19 for 26 with 354 yards and six touchdowns. 

Matt Nagy’s offense was just too much for the Buccaneers to handle on a day where Trubisky threw touchdowns to five different receivers.  Wide receiver Taylor Gabriel and running back Tarik Cohen shouldered a majority of the catches, but the diversity of the Bears new offensive scheme was put on display with Trubisky performing well.  On the defensive side of the ball, the Bears held the once red-hot Bucs offense pretty stagnant on a day they were playing catch up from the start.

The Bears enter their bye week this week sitting atop the NFC North with a 3-1 record and really being just one half of football against the Packers from being undefeated on the season.  The Bears hold the highest average points scored in the division at this point in the season with 27.75 points per contest and they are coupling that with the divisions best points allowed per game at 16.25.  The numbers are real, but still the question begs to be asked: Are the Bears for real?  Entering the bye week on an extremely high note, the Bears will have all of the confidence in the world as they exit their bye in an odd fashion with four straight contests against AFC East opponents.

Minnesota Vikings

Following their devastating defeat to the Buffalo Bills, the Vikings traveled on short order to Los Angeles to take on the Rams on Thursday night football last week.  In an unexpected shootout, Jared Goff and the Rams offense outdueled the now 1-2-1 Vikings by a final score of 38-31 in front of a national audience.

The Rams, now sitting at 4-0 and looking like the top contender in the NFC, made the Vikings defense look completely outmatched once again and left many fans are questioning the legitimacy of a team thought to be the top contender to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl this year.  Kirk Cousins and the Vikings offense looked impressive through the air in the loss against a solid Rams defense but just didn’t have enough firepower in the tank to match the Rams high powered offense. 

Without a break in the action, the Vikings travel to Philadelphia this Sunday to take on the defending Super Bowl Champions in an NFC Championship Game rematch from last season.  With the Eagles sitting at 2-2 and coming off of a heartbreaking loss to the Titans in overtime last weekend, this is a pivotal game for the Vikings to prevent falling into a 1-3-1 hole to start the year.  For a team with high hopes, the need to respond to adversity comes this Sunday and the game against the Eagles could end up giving the league an indication of who the Vikings will be for the rest of the season.

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Ryan Brunner is an avid Packers fan hailing from Chippewa Falls, WI.  He is a firm believer that punters are NFL players too!  Follow him on Twitter @brunwardo

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Comments (47)

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

October 03, 2018 at 12:14 pm

The Bears offense will not be for real until Mitch Trubisky can read more than 1/3 of the field. Their front 7 is very for real, but if you have a good QB and can give him 3 seconds, that secondary is very beatable.

Minny continues to prove that everything went right for them in 2017. They should be 1-3 right now.

Detroit is Matt Stafford, a middling OL, and 3 WRs. Oh and Slay, when he's not hurt. They're not a good team.

The division is absolutely there for GB to win. If they don't win it, the entire coaching staff needs to be fired post haste.

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TarynsEyes's picture

October 03, 2018 at 12:53 pm

" if you have a good QB and can give him 3 seconds, that secondary is very beatable."

This is true pre- Mack....you're not getting a steady or enough 3 second pockets now vs Mack
Many still ride that 2nd half comeback as miraculous but,as many say about GB, the team isn't in season form or game condition. This is something that many forget about the Bears defense week one...Mack was gassed( holdout) as was others.
The Bears defense seems to be getting more breath and with that comes more offensive possession time which results in a opposition defense tiring. Trubisky is learning and he seems to be doing so faster than GB fans will accept...which is par when it comes to accepting anything contrary to them or the Packers.
We play the Bears this week..we lose.

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Fire_Gute's picture

October 03, 2018 at 01:15 pm

Claiming Trubisky has turned the corner after one game against a terrible D is like saying the Packers defense is legit after a shutout and 7 sacks against the Bills. Trubisky looked like shit against the Packers and Cardinals and not very good against the Seahawks. Nothing magically flipped overnight. The bears are way better than most people thought. Im sure you knew they were going to be in 1st place. But Trubisky is probably reason number 25 that they are where they are and reason number one they won't get far

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TarynsEyes's picture

October 03, 2018 at 01:20 pm

" Turned the corner "
I said he's learning which means he's on the curve with an up arrow...big difference between positive learning curve and turning the corner.

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SpudRapids's picture

October 03, 2018 at 01:22 pm

Yes and as more of the Bears offense gets on tape the better teams can scout it

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TarynsEyes's picture

October 03, 2018 at 01:52 pm

Yes, the ' better ' teams can scout it.

The Packers got a shutout and 6 sacks vs the horrible Bills offense....rah-rah...great...awesome.

The Bears Trubisky throws 6 TD's and the Bears defense shuts down what was putting up high points even vs the Steelers and to most here...he and Bears suck.

This is what's wrong with so many....everything GB does is great and no matter how good another does.... it sucks.

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Rak47's picture

October 03, 2018 at 02:39 pm

The only thing wrong here is you Taryn. This is a Packer site, yet you have nothing but negativity to spread concerning the Packers while doling out effuse praise for anything Duh Bares and Queens do. Laughable how you complain about the rose colored cheese head eyeglasses all the while yours are shaded pitch black.

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TarynsEyes's picture

October 03, 2018 at 02:54 pm

Yeah,yeah,yeah...what else is new...Boo-hoo...Taryn won't talk everything nice,sugar and spice about the Packers....she's so negative and a meany.

I feel like a teacher of spoiled little brats who use this site as a safe space from truth.

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fthisJack's picture

October 04, 2018 at 08:20 am

the only truthful thing coming out of you is your negativity. every week you have some angle on why another team is so great and the Packers are not. and it is not based on any factual information. "if the Bears and Packers played today....Bears win." what is the basis of this baseless statement?

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TarynsEyes's picture

October 04, 2018 at 12:54 pm

In my first comment...the upward play curve of Trubisky and Mack and the defense being in more full game mode.

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Paul Konieczny's picture

October 04, 2018 at 08:20 am

The Bears do suck.

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Bearmeat's picture

October 03, 2018 at 02:25 pm

Yep.

And good OLs can block the Bears front 7. They're excellent. But they're not the '00 Ravens.

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packergal's picture

October 03, 2018 at 03:26 pm

Taryn,

Completely agree.
I live in Illinois and LOVE the Pack and HATE the fact that the Bears are as formidable as they are--this early in season.

Nagy is sharp--Bears are well coached and players like RB Cohen, Jordan Howard, WR Robinson and TE Burton execute well with Bears offense visibly improved over John Fox team--just ask Tampa Bay.

Yes, the Bears GM will have cap issues in the future, but adding Mack to an already very good defense makes me ill!

UGH.

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Roadking's picture

October 03, 2018 at 03:54 pm

We could 1 and 3 also a dropped into and some missed field goals we are there

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arthurl's picture

October 03, 2018 at 01:19 pm

A bit surprised at Vikings defense; maybe teams figured them out after last year's Eagles game. Detroit has a pretty good offense, but their defense is holding them back. As for the Bears, good defense, but suspect offense. I suspect Bears will beat Dolphins, Vikes will lose another to Eagles. As for Pack and Lions, if GB's offense shows up they win. I look at other high octane team's offense and play selection; Packers looks outdated and too deliberate. Turn ARod loose.

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Jonathan Spader's picture

October 03, 2018 at 03:18 pm

Author how do you turn Arod loose when he's on 1 leg? What this offense needs is more short crossing routes underneath with MVS or Moore taking the top off the defense. Detroit will be a big test without Cobb or Allison. MM will be forced to try and get the rookies involved.

I want to see ESB in the slot with TY motioned to the slot as well. Adams on one side splitting more towards the middle of the field and MVS or Moore on the otherside out wide running slants and go routes. Use Jones early and often with TY mixed in.

For TE more Graham and Lewis looks with some Tonyan opportunities. I've seen enough dropped passes from Kendericks but he still has done a good job as a blocker. Rather than passing to him just let him block for Jones. Here's hoping unfortunate injuries lead to MM and Philbin being forced to be more creative

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TarynsEyes's picture

October 03, 2018 at 03:42 pm

" Author how do you turn Arod loose when he's on 1 leg?"

Seriously...did you just completely ignore how Rodgers moved and ran last week. That isn't a viable excuse anymore moving forward. Rodgers deserves the Rothlisberger Award for using the gimp as a decoy. Also, I don't care if he's doing rehab on Wednesday...I rehab my fingers on Wednesday also....but I'm out here typing...ooh-ouch. : )

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Jonathan Spader's picture

October 03, 2018 at 06:09 pm

I saw Rodgers laying on the ground fixing a leg brace after a shirt run to pick up a 1st down. Did you completely ignore how off Rodgers looked throwing the ball? I'm saying Rodgers isn't playing like Rodgers that's a fact. I'm hoping it's due to the knee that's a hope.

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Tundraboy's picture

October 04, 2018 at 10:45 pm

Wirh MM, your dreaming. Right, but dreaming. And hoping for injuries? Who the hell wishes for that.

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porupack's picture

October 03, 2018 at 02:56 pm

Minnie was unprepared against a very good Rams team, and that Bufflo game was a September blip. Bears are good and getting better and will be deep in playoffs if packers don't take them seriously. Chigo and Minnie are on par with GB, all 3 have some weak area of uncertainties but it will be a tough division.
Why oh why does NE Pats benefit for decade and half by having 3 bumbling clubs to contend with to pad Brady's stats? Put an asteriks next to all of Brady's records as their season includes 6 practice squad matchups.

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Bearmeat's picture

October 03, 2018 at 03:08 pm

Please don't feed the troll. Just ignore her, downvote her, and toggle the switch on your preferences that mutes extreme negative ratings. Either she eventually goes away, or (more likely), whatever she types isn't seen by anyone.

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Jonathan Spader's picture

October 03, 2018 at 03:21 pm

Do people on CHTV know what a troll is?

In Internet slang, a troll (/troʊl, trɒl/) is a person who starts quarrels or upsets people on the Internet to distract and sow discord by posting inflammatory and digressive,[1] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the intent of provokingreaders into displaying emotional responses[2] and normalizing tangential discussion,[3] whether for the troll's amusement or a specific gain.

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Bearmeat's picture

October 03, 2018 at 03:31 pm

And you wouldn't say that's what she does? I'd say that's exactly what she does.

She's off point most of the time. You can hardly understand what she says about half the time. She's not reasonable in her criticisms - there's very little: "We should have done X instead of Y." No, just "we suck as entire organization." (Which is obviously not true). And to top it off, she pokes at other people mercilessly, then turns into Justin Martyr the second the tables turn on her. Ugh.

I tried to talk sense with her for months, then lost my temper at her and gave up for months. I just downvoted her automatically and skipped right over whatever she had to say. It was the best time I've had at CHTV in years. Then, I allowed myself to read her drivel again - starting last summer. I don't know why.

So I'm taking my own advice again. Know that every single Tarynfor12 post I see will be auto-downvoted and not read by at least this guy. I hope others will join me. Maybe she'll go away if enough people join me. Probably not, but at least she'll disappear more often due to the "fan-friendly" filter CHTV so kindly makes available.

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TarynsEyes's picture

October 03, 2018 at 05:06 pm

This must be the 100th time or more you have stated, you won't reply to me and yet, here you are for the 100th time or more failing like a little cry baby.
Down vote anything you wish but your cry for down voting regardless of any POV made by me,shows you for what you are.____I'll let others fill in the blank on their own since I never speak for others as you seem to want to do.
Happiness is getting Bearmeat upset like a baby !
: )

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fthisJack's picture

October 04, 2018 at 08:30 am

i, for one, don't even read your crap anymore,. just give a down vote and move on. you have nothing of substance to add.

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TarynsEyes's picture

October 04, 2018 at 10:55 am

If you don' t read my comments anymore..why are you commenting on them...like Bearmeat,

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Skip greenBayless's picture

October 03, 2018 at 06:09 pm

Bearmeat, quit your whining. Good Lord. She has an opinion that you don't like. Wow, I can't take it. She must be downvoted and thrown out for life. Give me a break!!

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Bearmeat's picture

October 03, 2018 at 07:46 pm

Fair enough. It is just my opinion and I do realize no one has to agree with me.

Have a nice day.

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Skip greenBayless's picture

October 03, 2018 at 08:42 pm

Bearmeat, I hate witch hunts and this one by you against Taryn is no different. Just ignore her (you won't) and don't respond but to take her away from here simply because she pisses you off is the wrong thing to do. Let it go. Taryn is pure entertainment. I love reading what she has to say and I guarantee you others do too. Funny as hell. Try to not take her as serious as you apparently do and you'll be better off.

Dash

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Bearmeat's picture

October 03, 2018 at 09:39 pm

To each their own. :)

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splitpea1's picture

October 03, 2018 at 08:44 pm

Oh, come on. Every yin needs a yang. To hell with that "fan-friendly" crap--this isn't a communist dictatorship where everyone must speak the party line. A diversity of opinions is a good thing, and most of hers seem pretty valid to me.

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Bearmeat's picture

October 03, 2018 at 09:42 pm

The fan-friendly button is great for me. I am no Pollyanna nor Eeyore. The Packers have not been as successful as they should have been since 91, but they also have not absolutely sucked. The truth is somewhere in between...

I do expect a reasoned argument from anyone expressing their opinion strongly. When someone says something crazy, it usually gets to that fan-friendly toggle soon, and I don't have to read it.

Packers football is my fun time, and I don't have much of it. I'd prefer it to be spent on thought-provoking issues and not nonsense. But that's just me.

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Royalty Free GM's picture

October 03, 2018 at 11:55 pm

This site has about twenty angry Hillary voters who will downvote whatever you write.
Or maybe less, let’s find out how many...

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packergal's picture

October 03, 2018 at 06:29 pm

Perspective everyone!

While I do not agree with points made by opposites on several topics; I like reading ALL comments--including Taryns.

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flackcatcher's picture

October 03, 2018 at 06:48 pm

So do I. But Bearmeat has a point here. Taryn does go out of her way to be trollish. And it has caught up to her. It is just stupid and sad.

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TarynsEyes's picture

October 03, 2018 at 07:24 pm

What in my comments for this article or in reply to another was trolling?

What most miss here is that Bearmeat takes unnecessary point to inflame everything I say. He's mad because I don't think Trubisky and their defense suck. C'mon, tell what was so troll like.

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CJ Bauckham's picture

October 03, 2018 at 07:42 pm

I disagree with Taryn lots. But I don't think Taryn trolls.

Of course.. I also miss Cow sometimes. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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Bearmeat's picture

October 03, 2018 at 07:47 pm

What are you smoking? And can I have some? lol.

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flackcatcher's picture

October 03, 2018 at 06:41 pm

Both the Bears and Rams may have shown too much to early. Might come back to bite them later in the season. Every team is thin at some position, Head coaches get paid for exposing their oppose number weakness. Teams now got video on both Bears and Rams, no more 'one offs' like they pulled last week. Now real strengths and real weakness of each team will be exposed Such is life in the NFL.

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Royalty Free GM's picture

October 04, 2018 at 09:53 am

Yeah, let’s not start winning early ;) Every team wants to win early!!

If opponents have time to adjust their defense, you can be sure that offense can be adjusted too.
They have time to develop both, new defense AND offense plays. Or at least the good ones can, we don’t?

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Samson's picture

October 03, 2018 at 10:27 pm

I just hope the North Division Champ doesn't finish 9-6-1 or 9-7. --- If this does happen, you're pretty much guaranteed that the NFC Champ isn't coming from the North.

I'm still not sure the Pack have the depth to sustain a slew of injuries. --- They still have the best player (AR) but that's only 1 of 53.

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Royalty Free GM's picture

October 04, 2018 at 01:05 am

I am one of the few who writes “We should have done X instead of Y." I would like to read more bold statements like that from you all, I really do. Have your own opinions, instead of echoing cheesetv all the time; Gute has done perfect job, wouldn’t change a thing.

GuTTe is one of the reason this team doesn’t soar.

We should have done... Ridley AND Mike Hughes/Donte Jackson/Carlton Davis (take your pick, you can trade up or down). You can make an argument that each of these guys are even better than Alexander.

...instead of Alexander and Jackson.

We should be talking about winning the Superbowl and having a home field advantage during the playoffs, Lambeau!
Instead we are talking about “can we even win NFC North?”

If that’s what we are talking when we have one the greatest QB of all time... yes, then we suck as a organisation!

Add Mack and we would be soaring defensively AND offensively! Next 4-5 years would have been awesome and successful.

Extra: In the last year or earlier... dump TT AND MM at the same time. And we would have a creative COACH now.

Problems we are talking right now, should have been fixed already with draft and FA.
We have blown some great opportunities and made average FA moves...

Playoffs?

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fthisJack's picture

October 04, 2018 at 08:36 am

you do realize that the Bears had more to offer....end of story....suck it up buttercup!

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Royalty Free GM's picture

October 04, 2018 at 09:41 am

You do realize that the Bears offered more? You bid more if you wanna win. They did, we didn’t.

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Royalty Free GM's picture

October 04, 2018 at 02:12 am

Those who asked who would replace MM, if we fire him.
I could you give a name if you really want...?

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J0hn Denver's Gavel's picture

October 04, 2018 at 03:17 am

wouldn't the packers just replace Mac with some no name qb coach from some terrible team like the 49ers or something? ;)

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packergal's picture

October 04, 2018 at 10:08 am

John Denver: Not sure who replaces MM when it is appropriate.

However, speaking of terrible coaches from terrible teams, NO to the Jim Tomsula and NO to the Marc Tressman "types".

Each has the identical resume: non descript backgrounds with zero noteworthy achievements in performance metrics etc. and each proved horrific in short-termed head coach tenure.

Perhaps we should look to successful coach OCs like Reid's Matt Nagy.

More to think about...ask yourself: How many times in the past did teams in search of a new heard coach ask to speak to Packers OC or DC or ST coaches?

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