Around the NFC North 2022 Week 7

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

There's not much to be happy about these days for Packers fans, but at least the Vikings didn't increase their division lead by a full game this week. Since they had a bye. The Packers lost to another inferior-on-paper team, the Bears won (?), and the Lions aren't even good on offense anymore. This article may be the happiest one you'll read this week since we don't discuss the Packers' ineptness but we will talk about how bad the Lions are and how overrated the Vikings are. Let's get into it. 

Detroit Lions

The Lions lost to the Cowboys 24-6.

Game Notes

  • The Lions's offense has officially turned into a pumpkin. The team came out of the gate gangbusters this year and looked surprisingly well-run, until their last two games, where they've put up a total of 6 points. 
  • This week, they took 56 plays to get to just 312 yards. Jared Goff had two picks and a QB rating of 71.2 Jamall Williams got to 79 yards on 15 carries and their leading receiver was Kalif Raymond with 75 yards. The early loss of the Sun God admittedly took the wind out of the team's sails. 
  • The defense has never been good and holding Mike McCarthy's Cowboys team with a backup QB to 24 points might be its best performance of the season. The Cowboys had fewer than 20 more yards than Detroit, but just 1 turnover to the Lions' 5 (!). 
  • One bright spot was rookie Aidan Hutchinson, who had his best game with 2 sacks and a few more hurries. 

Former Packers

  • Jamaal Williams was the powerhouse on the Lions offense this week, he had 79 yards on 15 carries for an average of 5.3. 

Next Week

The Lions take on the Dolphins in Detroit next week. 

Minnesota Vikings

Let's do our season-to-date review:

  • The Vikings have feasted on an easy schedule so far and went into their bye week with a 5-1 record and a big lead in the division. You can already pencil in their first-round loss to the Cowboys in the playoffs. 
  • While the team has a 5-1 record, it has the 24th-best DVOA, 14th-best offensive EPA, and 15th-best defensive EPA. For comparison, in those three stats, the Packers are 25th, 20th, and 16th. Don't be surprised if the Vikings hit a prolonged bump in the road at some point. In less than a month, the team will start a 4-week run of the Bills, Cowboys, Patriots, and then Jets. Assuming the Jets have any players left off the IR, the Vikings could easily go 1-3 or 0-4 over that stretch. 
  • It isn't all bad, however, Justin Jefferson is having an all-pro level year, Dalvin Cook is still great, and ex-Packer Za'Darius Smith has a top 15 PFF edge grade.
  • The Vikings are a true stars and scrubs team. On offense, they have Jefferson, Cook, Cousins when he's hypnotized into thinking that no one is watching, and Christian Darrisaw.  On defense, they have Smith, Danielle Hunter, and Harrison Smith. Almost everyone else is just a guy. 

Chicago Bears

The Bears beat the Patriots 33-14.

Game Notes

  • One of the last feelings of pride for Packers fans this year was that the team beat future hall of fame Bailey Zappe and a strong Patriots right before the losing streak. That's gone now. The Bears ran all over the Pats (243 total rush yards) en route to a 19-point victory. 
  • Fields had his best game of the season thanks to 11 designed runs. He totaled 82 rush yards and a TD and the Bears' run game opened up the pass game for him, as he was able to average 8.5 yards per attempt and end with an 85.2 passer rating. The 11 designed runs were double his previous high and obviously were added to the game plan because I dropped Fields in a two-QB fantasy league. 
  •  Khalil Herbert and David Montgomery also had good games running the ball and Equanimeous St. Brown led the team in receptions with 4 for 48 yards. 
  • The defense also looked good thanks to the Pats benching Mac Jones early for Bailey Zappe who fell off a cliff with 2 picks and a lost fumble. 

 

 

Former Packers

  • EQ St. Brown led the team in receptions with 4 for 48 yards on 7 targets. 
  • The Penneltentiary added two tackles. 

Next Week

The Bears come back to earth against the Cowboys in Dallas. 

 

 

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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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Comments (5)

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Leatherhead's picture

October 25, 2022 at 01:18 pm

I think the Vikings are not going to finish 16-1. For 50 years, I've watched them fade as the season churned on and it's not going to surprise me if it happens again.

The Lions will continue to be terrible. It is their destiny, their raison de etre. Did you see them fumble it at the goal line? These are the same old Lions. They have invented more ways to lose than any other organization in any other sport.

The Bears. Don't sleep on them. The term "ugly win" was coined to describe the Bears.

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T7Steve's picture

October 25, 2022 at 01:39 pm

Yes, I was thinking that the Vikings reminded me of Arizona last year. Guess you think about the same.

The Bears handled a bad and injured team the way it's supposed to be done. The Packers better take notice. They always seem to play at the other teams' level (or below lately).

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Leatherhead's picture

October 25, 2022 at 02:27 pm

I've been watching the Vikings fail since they traded away a HOF QB (Tarkenton) and then traded to get him back. 0-4 in Super Bowls. Some classic, Depends-worthy moments, like the time the FG kicker made every kick all season and then missed the one that would have sent them back to the Super Bowl for the first time since disco. And of course, the classic fail in the Championship game against New Orleans.

It's not a question of whether or not they'll fail, it's when. I'm hoping the game means something when we meet them in Lambeau.

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BuckyBadger's picture

October 25, 2022 at 01:51 pm

Took the Packers under the 10.5 wins at +110 a couple of weeks ago. I thought 11 wins was a stretch even before the Jets game because the next 5 games starting now will likely be 2-3 at best. They had 13 win seasons for 3 years in a row with a lot of good luck. Regression had to be expected this year.

Vikings analytics might not be great but those teams take divisions and playoff spots when the bottom falls out of the reigning champ. Sure they will hit a rough patch but the Packers just had what we though were 3 wins and they lost them all. The Vikings are 3-0 vs their non-contenders and 2-1 vs contenders (if you count the Packers). Packers are in dog fights with teams that are dumpster fires.

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Ima Payne's picture

October 25, 2022 at 02:52 pm

1. Vikes will take it one game at a time. They have a very young and very talented pass d. The pass rush is still very good and of course one of the best rb's and receivers in the game. All through clever drafting and dumping decent players who were getting long on the tooth for picks, bundling picks and getting fat in the first round.
2. The Bears are re building and need one more good draft to be more competitive. Thus their future is brighter rather then bleaker.
3. As one analyst said last week. The Lions have some of their top talent on offense returning soon plus their first round pick should be ready to start to so this team could become problamatic with both defense and offense churning. No pushovers in the future.
4. Now the pack. Outdated plays. RB's who arent doing much. O line in disarray, cant pass or run block much. Pass d still sucks big time. One interception in 7 games. Holes galore to manuever in. This is not a talented football team. There are not pro bowlers on it. No all stars. Just average guys who arent getting it done. Sunday we can compare their overall talent to the Bills then you'll know.

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