Around the NFC North Week 8

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

It's week 8 and the Vikings may have already locked up the division. The, now, 6-1 team isn't appreciably above average in any area, but every ball has rolled its way and the schedule has been a cinch so far. Meanwhile, the Packers have lost four in a row and look worse than they have in years.  Of course, we can take solace in the fact that the Bears and Lions are still bad. Let's get into the games. 

Detroit Lions

The Lions just lost to the Dolphins 31-27. 

Game Notes

  • The Lions looked better than they have in weeks against the Dolphins' meh defense but they again didn't pull out the win. 
  • This time it was because they couldn't keep up with Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle who totaled 20 catches, 294 yards and 2 touchdowns and affected the Lions defense on every play. 
  • On offense, Jared Goff put up efficient numbers and Jamaal Williams led the team with 53 rushing yards. The Sun God's much-ballyhooed full-time return amounted to just 69 yards on 10 targets.
  • One week the Lions look almost there and the next they totally no-show. It certainly isn't encouraging that the team fired secondary coach Aubrey Pleasant after this loss. Pleasant was a sought-after hire a few years ago but hasn't been able to do much with the Lions players.   

 

Former Packers

  • Jamaal Williams had 53 rush yards, 23 receiving yards, and 2 TDs. 

Next Week

Next Week, the Lions break the Packers losing streak. 

Chicago Bears

The Bears got blasted by the Cowboys, 49-29.

Game Notes

  • Can you call a 20-point loss encouraging? The Bears offense looked alright again, Justin Fields had probably his best career game (for the second week in a row) and the defense will either be traded or banished to the upside down by next season anyway, so who cares if they gave up 49 points to a Mike McCarthy coached team? 
  • Who could've guessed that allowing a 4.4 40 QB to run would unlock his game? Fields had 60 yards and a TD on 8 carries, but, more importantly, the threat of the run allowed him to throw for 151 yards and 2 TDs with a 120 QB rating. 
  • Khalil Herbert and David Montgomery both had at least 15 carries and the Bears have officially taken over the fun run first-team title belt in the division. For those asking, the Packers had the option to take the title, but Rodgers decided to whip it away to a receiver screen and missed him by 4 yards,
  • The defense got embarrassed and responded by trading Roquan Smith to the Ravens for a couple picks. Normally, I'd support not paying off-ball linebackers, but what the hell are the Bears going to do with the money? Who wants to go there? 

Former Packers

  • EQ St. Brown had one catch for 6 yards. 

Next Week

Next week, it's the Bears' turn to not cover Tyreek Hill and the Dolphins. 

Minnesota Vikings

Despite their best effort to give up the game in the fourth, the Vikings beat the Cardinals 34-26. 

Game Notes

  • The Vikings aren't that different this season than any Mike Zimmer season. Their stars make plays, Kirk Cousins doesn't, the defense is fine to good, and they flash really bad play. They're just winning the games this year. 
  • This week, Cousins had 232 pass yards and 2 TDs, Cook had 111 rush yards and a TD, and Jefferson had 6 catches for 98 yards. Each week Cousins is fine and Cook and Jefferson are superstars. No other Vikings really moves the needle on offense. 
  • Depressingly, Za'Darius Smith is the biggest star on defense. He had another 3 sacks this week and another TFL on top of that. 
  • The Vikings defense is reminiscent of the Packers. It looks fine 80% fo the time and then gives up a huge play. They play a lot of two-shell coverage and generate pressure by moving Smith around the formation. 

Former Packers

  • Za'Darius had another great game, but at least Chandon Sullivan didn't too. He had 3 tackles. 

Next Week

The Vikings' cushy schedule continues with a game against the Commanders.  

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

0 points

Comments (24)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
PackyCheese500's picture

November 01, 2022 at 01:08 pm

The Minnesota Vikings just traded for Lions TE T.J. Hockenson, and the Bears just traded for Steelers WR Chase Claypool.

Brian Gutekunst should be fired after this season. He must think it's still Halloween, because he is scaring me. He made a stupid move re-signing Rodgers. Darnell Savage, Sean Rhyan, Amari Rodgers, and Devonte Wyatt look like busts, and Myers, Walker, and Stokes are not great.

He has busted in picking players, and giving up 2 seconds for oft-injured Watson was brutal when we could've gotten a player like Alec Pierce or George Pickens and had another 2nd round pick too. Choosing Walker over Devin Lloyd, Jace Sternberger over Terry McLaurin, Amari over Amon-Ra St. Brown, Myers over Creed Humphrey...the list goes on. Packers need to fire all of their upper management after this season...Gutey, MLF, Barry, everyone. Bissacia is the only keeper.

Also, hearing MLF's Barry loyalty only makes whatever low opinion I already have of him even lower.

I would not be suprised if the Packers lose to the Lions next week. They are better than their record and play hard & passionately...something the Packers are allergic to.

2 points
7
5
Leatherhead's picture

November 01, 2022 at 01:20 pm

I had to check that. Damn. The Vikings did steal Hockenson from the Lions. What a great freakin' idea!!

"The Vikings acquired Hockenson, a 2023 fourth-round pick and a conditional 2024 fourth-round pick from the Lions on Tuesday in exchange for a 2023 second-round pick and a 2024 fourth-round pick, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports."

We should have been trying to steal Hockenson since last offseason.

1 points
3
2
jannes bjornson's picture

November 01, 2022 at 02:01 pm

Too little, and as usual, too late.

2 points
3
1
Leatherhead's picture

November 01, 2022 at 07:01 pm

Well, to make it sting a little more.....

His salary cap hit this year? Only 500K!!

If we're trying to put the strongest offense around Rodgers/Love that we can, who are we playing at TE who is better?

0 points
0
0
CheesedDeadHead's picture

November 01, 2022 at 05:33 pm

"We should have been trying to steal Hockenson since last offseason."

Nah, We got Davis! Why would we need Hockenson?!!!? So what if Hockenson, or Toure for that matter, look great in game when the really important measure is how do they look in practice against Joe Barry's defense..

1 points
1
0
Dragon5's picture

November 01, 2022 at 02:00 pm

Well said...I've been sounding mgmt incompetence for years on (mostly) deaf ears.
Here's another perspective from not capitalizing on trading Rodgers at peak value:

"The Dolphins got three first-rounders back in the deal the 49ers did with them to go up for Trey Lance. Miami traded all three of them.

• '21 pick packaged to trade up for Jaylen Waddle.
• '22 pick sent to Chiefs for Tyreek Hill.
• '23 pick sent to Broncos for Bradley Chubb."

https://twitter.com/AlbertBreer/status/1587514787700801536?s=20&t=zmqFvB...

2 points
2
0
NickPerry's picture

November 01, 2022 at 02:38 pm

This comment is just priceless. Mastercard should request ytour permission to use it it's so DEAD ON!

Claypool was the only WR I would have liked to see in GB. Hockenson was a draft crush of mine but I was always blasted because people say, "NEVER draft a TE in round one". He p[robably wasn't worth the pick the Lions used but it's the Lions. WHO ever is?

Gute HAS to go. I've been his biggest supporter but no more. Bring in a a NEW Team President. I imagine the BOD needs to get rid of Murphy and hire the new Team President. Bring in someone from perhaps the Ravens organization but bring in someone new. Murphy has burned this great franschise to the ground.

2 points
3
1
Packerfansupreme's picture

November 01, 2022 at 03:01 pm

2 dislikes? What's it going to take for the 2 disliker's to realize our GM is a moron

-3 points
1
4
Dragon5's picture

November 01, 2022 at 03:49 pm

mass psychosis...tough to shake...know / see someone still living in fear driving alone in their vehicles with a mask on?

how to defeat it? avoid the status quo / group psyche, arm yourself with incessant humor & ridicule

-6 points
0
6
LeotisHarris's picture

November 01, 2022 at 06:20 pm

Does all that hold true if one is in an enemy year?

3 points
3
0
Fubared's picture

November 01, 2022 at 03:05 pm

The sad truth, Gutts inablitity to evalutate playes almost things he mails it in and has someone advise him who to draft.
I mean what tapes are they looking at pre draft? Stokes, Savage, too guys who couldnt tackle and old lady on crutches in a cross walk.
Walker and Wyatt werent rated anywhere near where Gutt took them. Analyst said they were a reach and looked better then they were because of the talent around them at GA.
Watson is a string bean body not cut out for pro ball and was oft missing games due to hammy issues. How fast is he sitting on the bench eternally?
Gutt will be the ghost of haloween for years to come.

-2 points
1
3
NJ-RICK's picture

November 01, 2022 at 01:18 pm

Been saying it for years, ever since the debacle with AR12 I lost all respect for Gute. The guy has made poor draft picks, and horrible free agent trades. Packers look like there headed for the bottom of the NFC North division. Time for some major changes in Upper MGT. Bears, Viking and Lions all making trades today to better their team. Packers nothing but CRICKETS...!!!!! Very Sad..!!!

2 points
4
2
Leatherhead's picture

November 01, 2022 at 01:34 pm

First off, Mike, this is becoming my favorite weekly feature. Sorry, TGR. I'm a Division guy. Winning the division, being a better organization, making smarter moves than Chicago, Detroit, and Minnesota..... that's the starting point every year for me.

If you give up 49 points, there's probably nobody on the defense that's indispensable.

" A source told ESPN's Adam Schefter the Ravens are sending the Bears a second- and a fifth-round pick in 2023 for Smith"

Again, that's some cheap stuff. If somebody had told me that I could add Hock and Roquan for those prices I'd have jumped on both deals . But I'm sure that there are salary cap complications that made that impossible.

It shakes out like this:

Minnesota smells blood, they see that the Packers are giving them an opening, and they're trying hard to seize it. They'll probably win the division. They aren't that good, but Hockenson definitely makes them a better team. It remains to be seen how many "good" teams there'll be in the NFC this season, so they're making hay while the sun shines.

Chicago recognizes they aren't heading to the playoffs and so they're going to let Fields take a beating while he "grows" and then they'll put a bunch of rookies around him next year. That's the Chicago way.

Detroit is a constant in my universe. They've been mediocre, bad, and really bad my entire life. They invent ways to lose. And if we lose to Detroit this week, this season is absolutely on life support. We'd be 3-6 and on a 5 game losing streak. It would effect a sea change at 1265.

2 points
3
1
Fubared's picture

November 01, 2022 at 03:16 pm

The Vikes are not seizing an opportunity, they have already seized it.
Its over. Were fighting for second or third now and the playoffs are out of the question. Probably get out ass kicked by the Lions.

-2 points
0
2
Fubared's picture

November 01, 2022 at 03:13 pm

If Goof as I call him lights up our pass defense and Williams runs wild over us, it will be time for LeFlower to Adios to Barry. My take it would be some assistant to Barry they will blame. Barry is a Gutt and Murphy pick so they will have the final say.
I for one see this as a tough game. LIons do put points on the board but they give up more.

-4 points
0
4
EnemyTerritory's picture

November 01, 2022 at 04:03 pm

TJ Hockenson from Kirk Cousins. I can hear the play by play Announcer Paul Allen already. Unfortunately this will be for years to come.

-2 points
0
2
Leatherhead's picture

November 01, 2022 at 06:55 pm

Hockenson will be a FA after 2023. So will Cousins, who will be 35 when next season starts. The likelihood is that this is a 1 1/2 year plan and they're taking advantage of the rest of the division being down to go for it this year. I'd bet the Packers don't face the Cousins/Hockenson combo more than 3 times.

1 points
1
0
LeotisHarris's picture

November 01, 2022 at 08:56 pm

Paul Allen, you say? I feakin' LOVE Paul Allen's calls! This is my all-time favorite:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UUeqvquXZI

He excels with "wide left" and "wide right" calls, too. Raw emotion.

1 points
1
0
PackyCheese500's picture

November 01, 2022 at 04:34 pm

Lol…Jared Goof…I don’t see the Packers winning this one, though

0 points
1
1
Rudedawg67's picture

November 01, 2022 at 04:05 pm

We are now in Bizarro World. The freakin Bears made a move offensively and Green Bay stayed silent. Does the GM realize the season has started or is he still confused about how Daylight savings works.

1 points
3
2
PackAttack4155's picture

November 01, 2022 at 04:21 pm

A lot of Steeler fans saying a second round pick for Claypool is a steal for Pittsburgh. We'll see.

1 points
1
0
PackAttack4155's picture

November 01, 2022 at 04:17 pm

Saw this list of free agent WRs on Twitter:

OBJ
Will Fuller
TY Hilton
Isiah Ford
Mohamed Sanu
Keelan Cole

Do any of them make the team better? OBJ isn't ready to go, Fuller retired, maybe Hilton or Sanu? At least they can run routes, but I suspect their primary route will be to the medical tent after a series or two. Does another player make a difference if Rodgers has no time to throw more than a check down? Protection is getting better at least.

I never anticipate movement around the trade deadline with the Packers, but I had hoped they'd make two deals: trade Savage for maybe a WR/TE/picks, and Amari Rodgers for maybe a S/pick. Too bad other front offices have tape of their play though. At this point, air is as good a tackler as Savage, and he's got the fifth year option, which isn't worth it. We are all fully aware about Rodgers, nothing more to say there. Getting anything in return would be better than an outright release. Wishful thinking on my part.

1 points
3
2
barutanseijin's picture

November 01, 2022 at 09:48 pm

Amari Rodgers is worth no more than an 8 or 9 pick.

0 points
0
0
coolhand's picture

November 01, 2022 at 07:14 pm

I can understand the bears trading Smith. He wanted a huge new deal before the season started and threatened to hold out in TC. He wised up and played to get paid, but burned his bridge with the bears' new management. I thought he would have looked good in green and gold with Campbell, but signing 12 ended that right away.

-3 points
0
3