Around the NFC North 2022 Week 15

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

Just when you think a team can't get any luckier. The Vikings were the first 10-2 team ever to have a negative point differential. On Saturday, they built down that point differential even more, going down by 30 to the Colts, of all teams. Of course, when you're the Vikings, the universe conspires to make it so that the team you go down 30 down replaced their head coach with one of the owner's drinking buddies. Somehow, the Vikings pulled off the biggest comeback in NFL history. Meanwhile, the Bears, again, looked good in a loss and the Lions are rolling toward a playoff appearance. Let's get into the games. 

Detroit Lions

The Lions pulled off a victory versus the Jets, 20-17. 

Game Notes

  • The Jets have one of the league's top defenses (though they were admittedly without Quinnen Williams) and the Lions put up just enough points to win this one. Goff had a fairly pedestrian day with 255 yards and an 88 QB rating and De'Andre Swift led the team in rushing with 52 yards on 8 carries. 
  • Of course, the Sun god powered the offense with 7 catches for 76 yards. When he wasn't moving the chains, he was taking the focus of the Jets' defenders away from other receivers. 
  • Defensively, the Lions went against likely bust Zach Wilson and gave up over 300 yards to him. The Lions' defense has certainly improved since a midseason scheme change brought more zone and less man coverage, but they still just don't have the guys to consistently run a top defense. 

 

 

Former Packers

  • Jamaal Williams has turned into a pumpkin. He had another game averaging under 4 yards per carry with no touchdowns. Expect this offense to turn more toward De'Andrew Swift for the rest of the season. 

Next Week

The Lions take on the Panthers on Christmas Eve. 

Chicago Bears

The Bears lost to the Eagles 25-20. 

Game Notes

  • There's few places in the multiverse where the Bears pull off a win against the Eagles, but in most of them, they keep it close. The team's unique offense can keep them in games against even the NFL's superpowers. 
  • Justin Fields has the run of the year in this game to go with a 119.5 QB rating (thanks to 2 TDs and no picks) and 95 total rush yards. David Montgomery added 53 rush yards and a receiving touchdown. 
  • We've said all year that the Bears don't have the guys on defense (just like the Lions) and it's hard to deny after they traded away their 3 best defenders. But they definitely play hard and managed to intercept Jalen Hurts twice in this game. The Bears and Lions are clearly on upwards trajectories, it's time to start praying to the football gods. 

 

Former Packers

  • EQ St. Brown had a catch for 20 yards. 
  • Former Badger Jack Sanborn had 5 tackles and Joe Thomas had 6 tackles and a sack. 

Next Week

The Bears will give the Bills a good run on Christmas Eve and ultimately lose, keeping their draft spot intact. 

Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings somehow beat the Colts 39-36 in OT.

Game Notes

  • When you're down by double digits to a bad defense for more than a half it's a great way to put up stats. Kirk Cousins had 460 passing yards and 4 TDs (plus two picks) on 54 attempts. Unsurprisingly, Justin Jefferson had a ton of those yards, with 123 on 12 catches. Very surprisingly, KJ Osborn had even more, with 157 on 10 catches. 
  • Dalvin Cook also had a good day with 95 rush yards and 95 receiving. 
  • Defensively, the Vikings turned it on in the second half and Za'Darius Smith finally made it back onto the stat sheet with 2 forced fumbles and half a sack. 

Former Packers

  • Smith had 5 tackles to go with his half sack and 2 forced fumbles. Chandon Sullivan added 6 more tackles. 

Next Week

The Vikings take on the Giants on Christmas Eve. 

 

 

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Mike Price is a lifelong Packers fan who recently moved form Utah to Stoughton (a Madison suberb). You can follow him on twitter at @themikeprice.

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4 points
 

Comments (9)

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

December 20, 2022 at 01:37 pm

“Defensively, the Lions went against likely bust Zach Wilson and gave up over 300 yards to him.”

The Packers beat the worst Offense in the NFL and Baker Mayfield. Let's not forget too soon, we lost to the Jets.

“The Vikings somehow beat the Colts 39-36 in OT.”

Somehow, the Vikings are 11-4 and the Packers are 6-8. If the Packers could only have made a few more, much lesser comebacks, but they couldn't.

The Bears are the Bears and are not worth a comment in their defense.

5 points
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T7Steve's picture

December 20, 2022 at 02:27 pm

We shouda, culda, hada, oughta, beaten the Lions too.

2 points
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Leatherhead's picture

December 20, 2022 at 02:51 pm

The Lion game sticks out above the rest. 9 points against the worst defense in the NFL and we lose 15-9. It was a division loss, too. If the only thing different is that we win that game, we're 7-7 right now with a much better shot at the playoffs.

IMO, better to bench Rodgers for that game and play Love. We'd have had a better chance of winning that game.

3 points
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croatpackfan's picture

December 20, 2022 at 02:28 pm

Underestimating other teams brought Packers where they are today.

We are/were complaining how Packers play soft, both on O & D. Other teams not. We may believe we support team with better talent and quality of players, but if that player does not play with right mentality, all that talent and quality will not be presented.

For that to happen (players to play at level of talent and quality) they need to be prepared to give the most of themselves every practice and every game. That is how every player become better and develop his talent.

For that to happen, you need to have leader every player will follow, you nead to have group of coaches who knows what they are doing. If they know what to do with group of player that will be presented in the games and team will excel. If they are not doing well their job, players will be disapointed with themselves and will lose confidence in themselves and in coaching. The result is what we see today with Packers. They are not one organism on the field, just single parts of group people that cares about themselves and not about their teammates. And mistakes will be multiplay after every game.

Win over group of people who are not in position to respond to your group talent (like Rams vs Packers) is just consequence of that fact. Not the consequence of players play like one body, one organism.

If it is like it is, you will never be able to win by comeback from large or lesser deficite. Also, it is not helpful to be called after every game for your mistake publicly. Those things should be solved inside the team, not through public complaining. And it does not matter if you are calling your teammates with smile or with dark face.

1 points
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Gman1976's picture

December 20, 2022 at 03:00 pm

The run by Fields was amazing; but I often wonder how long running QBs will last.

2 points
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13TimeChamps's picture

December 20, 2022 at 03:19 pm

When I think of all the QBs who lasted into their late 30s, even early 40s, the names Elway, Marino, Ben, Manning(s), Favre, Breese, and of course Brady and Rodgers. All pocket passers. I'm hard pressed to come up with one "running QB" that lasted that long. Tarkenton, maybe? They just take so many hits over the years. There's a reason you don't see 38/39 year old RBs in the league.

3 points
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BirdDogUni's picture

December 26, 2022 at 11:41 pm

Steve Young was both and if you take USFL and NFL into consideration, he lasted long enough to make the HOF.

0 points
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Leatherhead's picture

December 20, 2022 at 04:01 pm

Quick, a list of all the running QBs that won a Super Bowl?

Having a QB who can run helps a lot, but at the end of the day, you win with QBs who can sit in the pocket and throw darts in the redzone.

2 points
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splitpea1's picture

December 20, 2022 at 03:13 pm

"Somehow, the Vikings pulled off the greatest comeback...."

They gave themselves the opportunity by not allowing the Colts to move the chains and eat clock. When Ryan continued to make throws short of the first down marker, Vikings defenders were in position to promptly make the tackle--not playing well off of the receivers like a certain DC within our division is fond of doing.

6 points
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