Around the NFC North 2022 Week 2

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

All is right in the world. The Packers murdered the Bears on primetime TV and they're back to being division favorites. In a game much like the Packers', the Lions also took care of business against the Commanders, and the Vikings turned into a pumpkin.  Let's discuss the week's worth of games. 

Chicago Bears

The Bears lost to the Packers 27-10 in Green Bay. 

Game Notes

  • The Bears started strong with a quick touchdown on their first drive and then put up a grand total of three more points on the night. 
  • Bears QB Justin Fields has had a disappointing two games to start the season. In this one, he had the worst PFF grade on his team and ended with just 70 yards, no touchdowns, and a pick on 11 attempts. 
  • Bears RB David Montgomery performed better, especially in one second-half drive where the Packers admittedly matched the wrong personnel. He ended the game with 122 yards on 15 carries, despite being the only reliable weapon on the Bears' offense this week.  
  • The Bears' defense didn't fare much better. An all-new creative Packers' offensive attack filled with pin and pull runs and more motion than ever did what it wanted in the first half and then sputtered due to poor snaps and fumbles in the second. 

Former Packers

  • Equanimeous St. Brown had 2 catches on 4 targets for 39 yards. He caught a long pass for 30 yards with Jaire Alexander in coverage. 
  • Lucas Patrick was on a snap count again, playing just 22 snaps. He had a very poor 30.7 pass blocking PFF grade. 
  • Mike Pennel played 23 snaps and had 1 tackle. 

Next Week

Next week, the Bears play the Texans in Chicago. Here's hoping it doesn't rain. 

Detroit Lions

The Lions defeated the Washington Commanders 36-27.

Game Notes

  • I'm sad to say the Lions have a legitimately good offense. They have a top offensive line, a creative run game, and they're getting just enough out of Jared Goff. 

  • D'Andre Swift, former Packer Jamaal Williams, and WR (the Sun God) Amon-Ra St. Brown all chipped in more than 50 rush yards against a Washington d-line that has 2 or 3 pro bowlers. 

  • St. Brown added another 118 yards and 2 touchdowns receiving and had an insane 39.8 points for my fantasy team. It's easier to watch these division games when you can at least root for a guy in fantasy.

  • The defense was still meh. Washington has a better offense than may have been expected, but the Lions still gave up 337 yards to Carson Wentz (I checked, and, no, it isn't 2017).

Former Packers

  • Jamaal Williams had 56 yards on 5 carries (50 of those came on one long run) and one catch for 7 yards. 
  • Tim Boyle still had no snaps and Quintez Cephus had 6, mostly relegated to run blocking. 

Next Week

The Lions travel to Minnesota to take on the Vikings. 

Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings were rolled by the Eagles 24-7. The score may have been closer than the actual game as the Eagles had 300 more yards than the Vikings by garbage time. 

Game Notes

Let's do a little change-up and specifically talk about what went differently for the Vikings in this game than in the week 1 win against Green Bay. 

  • Kirk Cousins went full Cousins. He threw 3 picks on the night and probably had another 4 or 5 turnover-worthy plays. 
  • Darius Slay covered Justin Jefferson for much of the game and ended up with 4 pass breakups and 2 interceptions. He did this even though the Eagles major in soft zone defense. 
  • Speaking of soft zone defense, the defense Philly plays is very similar to the Packers'. They want the offense to be forced to slowly matriculate the ball downfield and get pressure with 4 pass rushers. A key difference with the play calling this game was strategic blitzing by Philly. After two games, the Packers still haven't blitzed; Philly used blitzes to force a few 2nd and 3rd and longs. 
  • In the end, it comes down to big plays. The Eagles didn't give up many and they forced several turnovers. Packers DC Joe Barry said that there were 6 or 7 plays that his defense probably wanted back against the Vikings. When it's close, that many big plays going in the wrong direction is enough to turn the game into a blowout. 

 

 

Former Packers

  • Neither Za'Darius Smith nor Chandon Sullivan made much of an impact with 4 combined tackles

Next Week

Next week, the Vikings face the Lions at home. 

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

2 points

Comments (19)

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

September 20, 2022 at 01:23 pm

The Eagles provide the template to destroying the Queens. An aggressive, man defense which created Cousin mistakes. Keep Alexander on Jefferson most the game, much like Slay. A petal to the metal offense never letting off the accelerator. MLF and Berry should study both offensive and D game plans devised by the Eagles. GPG!

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canadapacker's picture

September 20, 2022 at 03:00 pm

I know I know autocorrect - it is PEDAL - dont want to be a flower

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LeotisHarris's picture

September 20, 2022 at 03:21 pm

I love the sound of chrysanthemums and zinnias against polished steel.

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LLCHESTY's picture

September 20, 2022 at 07:23 pm

Racing with wind
Heavy Metal flower.

Yeah, it could work!

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Packerlifer's picture

September 20, 2022 at 08:32 pm

Such a drastic difference for the Vikes from week 1. They weren’t playing in their stadium. And they say it isn’t rigged. 😜

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NJ-RICK's picture

September 20, 2022 at 01:51 pm

I sure hope Defense coach Barry was paying close attention to the the Eagles defense last night. The Eagles are good on paper as well as on the field. Man to man coverage and BLITZ BLITZ BLITZ... Vikings looked manhandled, confused and scared.... The Eagles a physical attack style defense similar to the Buc's, 49ers and Rams will give the Packers cause for concern. Considering the Packers never play well against these type of ball clubs. Thank God it's only week 3 plenty of time to prepare for these type of teams. GPG.

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T7Steve's picture

September 20, 2022 at 02:20 pm

Both you guys are right. Except the Eagles got their game plan from last week's game. All they had to do was what the Packers decided not to do. Do hope we can start getting pressure without the blitz though, but, if you show blitz at the start of the game, the O has to account for it the whole game. If you show no tendency they aren't going to honor it and take their chances till it happens..

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Leatherhead's picture

September 20, 2022 at 04:56 pm

The thing about blitzing is that you are sacrificing coverage for pressure, and by decreasing the number of guys in coverage it increases the chance of a big play. The Tuesday Morning Quarterback repeatedly pointed out the instances of this in his “stop me before I blitz again” segments. We’re getting pressure with 4. That’s a good thing.

Lombardi was quoted as being anti-blitz, back in the day. My own observations over 50 years is that it creates some big plays but gives them up, too. It’s about a wash, imo. It seems like good QBs burn you for it.

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LLCHESTY's picture

September 20, 2022 at 07:26 pm

That's why you green dog blitz, you don't lose a man in coverage.

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jont's picture

September 20, 2022 at 02:20 pm

Odd thing about Detroit and Chicago fans-- both have had rotten teams for a long time, but lions fans are less delusional.

The Bears still suck and their fans are still what we know them to be. But I am not in the 'dump Fields' camp. Considering he's been thrown into the fire I have low expectations so, you know, but he appears to have the skills. If this coaching staff doesn't ruin him, he'll be better as time goes on.

Lions fans are now being rewarded. The team is halfway good, and their fans are enjoying it. The Lions have the makings of a decent team and will definitely give teams trouble as the season goes on. The Pack cannot pencil these two in anymore, not at all.

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splitpea1's picture

September 20, 2022 at 02:22 pm

Vikings--Eagles: Another key difference between the Eagles and and Packers approaches on defense is that the Eagles aggressively matched up their best CB against the Vikings' best receiver. See what happens when you do what makes sense? I expect Barry to correct his mistake in the home game.

And then there was Irv Smith doing his (hope I don't have to say this anymore) Christian Watson impersonation with that drop down the left sideline.

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Fubared's picture

September 20, 2022 at 06:55 pm

You expect too much. Stokes is too stupid to play cover, they tried it over and over in practice and he just doesnt get it. Also, he hates tackling and making contact unless he can hit someone from behind

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mrtundra's picture

September 21, 2022 at 08:42 am

Imfubared has got to be a vikings or Bears fan. Poor guy will watch his team struggle to go .500, again this year.

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Leatherhead's picture

September 20, 2022 at 05:14 pm

All 4 teams have won at home and lost on the road. This week, Minny hosts Detoit., Chicago hosts the Texans, and Green Bay has one of their toughest road games of the year in Tampa. Until somebody breaks through on the road nobody is a favorite.

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Fubared's picture

September 20, 2022 at 06:54 pm

I got the packers behind the vikes and lions and ahead of the bears.

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GregC's picture

September 20, 2022 at 08:52 pm

What I'd like to know--and this is a real question, not a rhetorical one--is why the Vikings weren't moving Justin Jefferson around before the snap, causing the entire Eagles' defense to collapse into disarray. This is what we were told would happen to the Packers if Jaire Alexander tried to cover Jefferson on every snap. I didn't see Jefferson moving around a lot before the snap. Did I miss that?

I never stop being surprised by how NFL teams can look so drastically different from one week to the next.

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mrtundra's picture

September 21, 2022 at 08:45 am

I'd like to know why their DC, Donatell, did not make any adjustments, on Defense, to stop Phillie's Offense from moving the ball? Out of ideas, already! Gotta love that!

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croatpackfan's picture

September 21, 2022 at 03:43 am

I say Lions looks like trouble opponent at the moment. They really play hard and they almost win vs Eagles. And did scored 35+ points in 2 games. What the hell is going there?

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mrtundra's picture

September 21, 2022 at 08:39 am

Do not sleep on the Lions! They ALWAYS play GB tough! Last season we split with them. I am picking the Lions to beat the vikings, at least once, this season. I also pick the Lions to finish 2nd in the NFC North, right behind the Packers. Packers go 13-4; The Lions go 9-8; the vikings go 8-9 and Chicago goes 6-11. GO PACK, GO!!!

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