NFC North: Vikings, Packers, Lions, Bears, and What We Learned from Week 1

Tony TuckerCorrespondent ISeptember 14, 2010

MINNEAPOLIS - OCTOBER 05:  Quarterback Brett Favre #4 of the Minnesota Vikings hugs Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers following the Vikings victory over the Packers on October 5, 2009 at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

With Week 1 complete, we have had the time to clear our heads and evaluate what we learned about the NFC North.

None of the these teams did anything overly impressive, but I think that there are positives and negatives that can be taken away from each team.


Minnesota Vikings

The Vikes lost a close game to the New Orleans Saints to open up the NFL season. Many people who weren't fans of either team classified this as a boring game.

The main thing we learned is that camp becomes very important when you struggle in Week 1. Brett Favre joined the Vikings at the same time the previous season, and because they opened with a win against the Cleveland Browns everyone started to forget about camp.

To the people who think that Favre missing camp is so important: Tony Romo, Matt Schaub, and Matt Ryan all attended their obligated training camp requirements and struggled in week 1. Why?

The same reason that Favre did—they all played good teams. Camp is overrated, and if it wasn't for a unfortunate injury to Sidney Rice, they would have been fine in Week 1 and pulled out that game.

We also learned that Brad Childress doesn't seem to think giving the ball to his stud running back Adrian Peterson is all that important.  In a close game during the second half he appeared to abandon a part of the offense that was going well.

The defense played better than we expected, especially against the passing attack of Drew Brees.  The offensive line gave Favre protection for the most part and provided run blocking for Peterson.

The Vikings get the Miami Dolphins at home this weekend. They will get back on track with Favre having a big game, and all will be right in Minnesota.


Green Bay Packers

Favre's replacement in Green Bay, Aaron Rogers, was talked about all offseason as being one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. Rogers had a good Sunday, but it was anything but great as he uncharacteristically forced balls into tight places leading to turnovers.

The Green Bay offensive line had its problems last season protecting Rogers. They seemed to show improvement, but its easy to improve when you were the worst pass blocking O-line in the league.

I think we learned that Charles Woodson will be listed with an injury every week and then go out and make plays on Sunday.

Ryan Grant is out fot the year and we are going to learn about the Packers depth at the RB position—maybe they have Maurice Clarett on speed dial and aren't as worried as they should be.

The biggest thing we learned, and what a lot of us already knew, is that their defense is overrated. They beat up on bad teams and get torched by good teams.

Chicago Bears

Even though they added the offensive master mind, Mike Martz, he can't throw the ball for Jay Cutler. People call Cutler a gun-slinger, but I call Cutler an idiot. You can't continue to force balls into places they don't belong and expect to have success.

The Bears were smart enough to realize that their most talented weapon on offense is Matt Forte, and got him the ball.

They still don't have a legitimate No. 1 wide receiver.

Finally, the Vikings should have found a way to keep Chester Taylor as a backup to Peterson.


Detroit Lions

The most important thing to come from the Bears and Lions game was that the NFL hates the Lions. The Calvin Johnson play at the end of the game was a catch and no one can tell me otherwise. I don't care about the incomprehensible rule that needs to be changed.

The Lions are definitely headed in the right direction since letting go of Matt Millen as GM. They drafted well and on Sunday it showed.

Jahvid Best scored twice and Ndamukong Suh applied great pressure on Cutler, getting to him once for a sack.

Matthew Stafford doesn't appear to have the shoulders to carry the weight of the NFL season—literally or figuratively.

The greatest thing I think we learned was about their head coach Jim Schwartz, when he made this comment after the soul shattering defeat, "The time I stand up here and start blaming officials for a loss is the day I don't need to be doing this anymore."


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