NFC North Week 2 Review: Vikings, Packers, Bears, and Lions

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NFC North Week 2 Review: Vikings, Packers, Bears, and Lions
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The NFC North defending champion, Minnesota Vikings, fell to 0 – 2 with a loss at home against the Miami Dolphins.  The Detroit Lions also fell to 0 – 2 this week in a great game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Green Bay Packers are no surprise to be leading at 2 – 0, but the Chicago Bears also have the same record with a unexpected win against the Dallas Cowboys.

This is were they stand after two weeks, lets take a deeper look at how they got there and what they need to do in order to get things turned around or keep them rolling.

Minnesota Vikings

This game for the Vikings was crucial because it was a home game, they couldn’t afford to fall two games behind the Packers, and their schedule following the bye in week four is really tough – Jets, Cowboys, Patriots, and Packers.

It pains me to say this, but I put this loss solely on the shoulders of Brett Favre. Favre had three interceptions; two of them were picked at the one-yard line of the Dolphins and a fumble resulting in a touchdown. Although, one of the INTs wasn’t his fault the other two were terrible decisions.

The defense played great allowing only seven points in the first quarter and forced two fumbles which gave their offense a chance to redeem themselves and win the game.

The offense wasn’t all terrible with Adrian Peterson running for 145-yards on 28 carries and a touchdown.  If there was one fault it would have been the inability to punch it in on 4th and goal late in the forth quarter.

Percy Harvin entered the game questionable with a hip injury and may have injured it worse during the game – he will undergo an MRI this week.

The Harvin injury is another of many reasons as to why the Vikings need help at wide receiver. The talks about trading for Vincent Jackson remain around the rumor mills, but he isn’t eligible until he serves a four game suspension - so I'm not sure what that would do for the immediate crisis they seem to be facing.

The passing game has to work itself out for this team to get things turned around and support the rest of the team which is playing well.

The Vikings are in trouble and have to get a win next weekend against the Lions otherwise they will head into their bye and most likely be saying goodbye to any playoff chances at 0 – 3.

Green Bay Packers

The Packers beat up the Bills at home as they should.  The defense dominated a very poor team allowing less than 250-yards of total offense.

Aaron Rodgers looked much better than he did the week before throwing for 255-yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.  Rodgers is what elevates this team from good to great.

The running game looked meek with Brandon Jackson filling in for the injured Ryan Grant.  However, collectively John Kuhn and Rodgers picked up the slack carrying the ball 14 times for 56-yards and a Rodgers touchdown.

If the Packers are going to continue winning I think it is important for them to find a way to run the ball effectively.  This is a passing team that can only become better when they find a running attack.

The Packers look to be the best all around team after two games from the NFC North and we should find out a lot about them next Monday night when they play the Bears for the division lead.

Chicago Bears

I didn’t see this win coming from Chicago after the way they played against the Lions last week.  I thought the Cowboys would play better at home on defense and offense.

Jay Cutler seems to love this new Mike Martz offense, throwing for 277-yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions.

The Bears don’t seem to be much of a threat to run the ball after winning their second straight game without a running back even approaching 100-yards on the ground - Matt Forte only 10 carries for 29-yards.

The run defense played outstanding, only allowing 36-yards on the ground and no rushing touchdowns.

Even though the pass defense was able to intercept Tony Romo twice, they did allowed 374-yards. This is something they can’t have happen if they want to beat the Packers.

The key for the Bears success will be contingent on Cutler’s ball security.  If he protects the ball next week against the Packers the Bears could be leading this division after week 3.

Detroit Lions

The Lions put up a fight for the second week in a row and I thought they were going to pull this one off.  They fell short in the forth quarter, but that was not because of Jahvid Best.

Best is proving to be a special player when he gets the ball in space.  Last week he didn’t have many yards, but got into the end zone twice.  This week he put on a show running for 78-yards and scoring another two touchdowns on the ground.  Best added 154-yards in the receiving game and a touchdown.

The defense is clearly the weak link on this team even though they played well against the Bears.

Sean Hill filled in nicely for the injured Matthew Stafford, but the two interceptions put his team in a bad situation.

If the Lions tighten up on defense and take care of the ball they have the players to win games.

This Lions team plays with more fight than I have seen in the past years and as I said last week I like where this team is heading. The Lions play the Vikings next Sunday, and if the Vikes think this is the same team from the past it will result in a Lions win.

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