The NFL season is already 1/4 overwith, can you believe it? This week around the NFC North: the Bears faced off against the Detroit Lions. The Minnesota Vikings got their first win of the season against the Steelers on foreign turf. And the Green Bay Packers got to rest in their bye week. How does any of this affect the Bears?
NFC North Standings
Detroit Lions: 3-1
Chicago Bears: 3-1
Green Bay Packers: 1-2
Minnesota Vikings 1-3
Green Bay Packers
Week 4 was a much needed bye week for the Green Bay Packers.
The Packers bye week couldn’t have come at a more perfect time, as injuries were their main concern. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Tyler Dunne wrote up a helpful injury update article this week on the featured Packers’ player injuries. Per the article: Starks injury shouldn’t be serious, Franklin’s status is ultimately uncertain, and cornerback Casey Hayward’s status is uncertain after missing all three regular season games thus far. Linebacker Clay Matthews apparently wasn’t concerned about the injury afterwards, but didn’t practice on Monday.
One very important roster change was made on Monday for the Packers. They signed running back Michael Hill to their active roster. Signed to be on Green Bay’s practice squad on Sept. 2, Hill is a rookie that played in all four preseason games for the San Diego Chargers. Now let’s step back for one second. In their last contest against the Bengals, fans saw Eddie Lacy, James Starks and Johnathan Franklin go down to injuries. With a week off, it’s expected those guys should be healthy for Week 5 but it’s not certain. Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin did practice on Monday. But I suspect that the move to sign Hill to the active roster is a sign that James Starks won’t be playing this week as a backup.
Johnathan Franklin and Eddie Lacy DID practice. Rookies might be carrying the load at RB this week. #packers
— Tyler Dunne (@TyDunne) September 30, 2013
Packers coach Mike McCarthy declared Eddie Lacy, coming off a concussion, a “full go” after Monday’s practice.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 30, 2013
Green Bay will host the Detroit Lions at noon on Sunday. It will be the first meeting between these two teams this year, and the Lions are 2-0 in the NFC North.
Chicago came to town to face the Detroit Lions this week…and we all know what happened. The Lions held onto the lead even with the late surge by the Bears to get the 40-32 victory.
I’ve been preaching this for weeks, and it’s sad to say it came true. Reggie Bush puts the Lions offense on another level and makes it extremely dynamic. The Bears defense were on top of Reggie’s catches in the backfield, but I guess they forgot that he can straight run the ball too. With 139 rushing yards, Reggie twisted, juked and leaped over Bears defenders making them look silly.
With the absence of wide receiver Nate Burleson, other wide outs needed to step up on Sunday. Quarterback Matthew Stafford shared the love as five receivers had 30+ yards receiving. Kris Durham led all receivers with 58 yards, and Brandon Pettigrew the next highest receiver with seven catches for 54 yards. Good signs for Lions fans as I thought the loss of Burleson would leave them only looking at Calvin Johnson.
Glover Quinn and Louis Delmas showed up to play. Who wouldn’t knowing the potential of Jay Cutler throwing three picks (which is what happened)? The Lions brought in Quinn this year to compliment Delmas as they proved to the Bears on Sunday. Of course, it was a combination of Cutler’s crappy throws/decision-making along with the Lions defense on their game. With those two in the backfield, the Lions have a dynamic duo that quarterbacks should be weary of.
The Lions defense stepped up against the Bears but the real test will be against the Green Bay Packers this week.
Cheerio to the Vikings! Minnesota got their first win of the season in London against the Pittsburgh Steelers 34-27.
Last week, the Vikings came out and said that quarterback Christian Ponder sustained a ‘rib injury’ early in the game against the Browns. Ponder was listed as inactive coming into the game against the Steelers. With that, Matt Cassel started and seemed to flourish on Sunday. Cassel went 16-for-25, 248 yards passing with two touchdowns and no turnovers. I pose the question, was this a cover for benching Ponder to give Matt Cassel a tryout? QB confusion is never good for a team. Leslie Frazier must actually make a decision whether they’re going to start Cassel anymore otherwise the Vikings might be in trouble.
Greg Jennings and Jerome Simpson looked like a great one-two punch. Simpson led the team in receptions with seven for 124 receiving yards, while Jennings had three receptions for 92 yards and two touchdowns. Did Cassel’s ability to throw make the Vikings biggest offseason move pay off? Greg Jennings said after the game that Cassel was more authoritative in the huddle. That’s experience folks.
One extra thing to note: the Vikings will welcome back one player this week. Offensive tackle DeMarcus Love will return from his four game suspension from violating the performance-enhancing drug policy. Love has yet to appear in a regular season game.
After getting their first win of the season, the Vikings head to their sole bye week of the season in Week 5.