Lions' Front 7 Gave DBs a Chance at Interceptions & More NFC North News

Andrew Garda@andrew_gardaFeatured ColumnistOctober 17, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 14: A pass intended for wide receiver Riley Cooper #14 of the Philadelphia Eagles is broken up in the end zone by Amari Spievey #42 and Chris Houston #23 of the Detroit Lions ending the first half during a game at Lincoln Financial Field on October 14, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Lions head coach Jim Schwartz  was happy with his defense this past week, according to Carlos Monarrez of the Free Press.

After an early part of the season where his defense was struggling to generate turnovers—and hadn't had an interception—Schwartz had reason to be pleased.

As the 2011 Packers can tell you, if you aren't getting the right pressure, the interceptions are hard to come by.

If you look at it deeper, even the overall struggles of the defense (ranked a middle-of-the-road 16th against the pass) comes from issues on the defensive front.

While 12 sacks isn't anything to sneeze at, it's not the pressure we expected from the Lions, and since the expectations are high, mediocrity is unacceptable.

Especially when your record is 2-3. 

This team has been doubted for almost a whole calender year, since it was bounced in the first round in the playoffs.

As a unit, it has to come together—both sides of the ball.

This game against the Bears is the biggest game since the playoffs. The Lions' defense has to play at the top of its game if it wants to avoid a repeat of that outcome.

On to the rest of the NFC North.


Chicago Bears

With the release of Chris Williams, the fallout of the poor tenure of Jerry Angelo continues according to Michael Wright of ESPN Chicago.

Fred Mitchell of the Tribune talks to Brandon Marshall about his time with the Bears so far.

Bleacher Report's Matt Eurich says that Nick Roach is a guy whose contributions are overlooked in this defense


Detroit Lions

The Lions brought heavy pressure on Michael Vick this past weekend, but they were also successful when they didn't bring the house according to's Justin Rogers.

In that vein, Rogers also writes that Nick Fairley finally played like the first-round pick he is.

Josh Katzenstein of the Detroit News talks about linebacker Stephen Tulloch's efforts to help high school kids stay on the right path.


Green Bay Packers

ESPN Wisconsin's Jason Wilde relays some serious man-love from Aaron Rodgers regarding Randall Cobb.

Lori Nickel of the Journal-Sentinel says a key part of the Packers' wins is the immense speed they have.

Bleacher Report's Dave Radcliffe says critics should lay off Jermichael Finley.


Minnesota Vikings

With the announcement that Minnesota will play the Pittsburgh Steelers next season in London, Brian Murphy of the Pioneer Press reminds us that the Vikings have played internationally four times before.

Also in the Pioneer Press, Fran Tarkenton says how the Vikings respond to the loss to Washington will tell us a lot about this team.

The Star-Tribune's Dan Wiederer says the Vikings' defense could go off against a shaky Cardinals offensive line.