NFC North Know-It-All 9/10/13


Sep 8, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions running back Reggie Bush (21) gets past Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen (69) during the third quarter at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Week 1 has come and go…already. It featured the first NFC North matchup between the Detroit Lions and the Minnesota Vikings. The Packers got the rematch they wanted by playing the San Francisco 49ers in Week 1. But what did we learn?

The NFC North Know-It-All is to help others, especially Bears fans, know what’s going on around the NFC North. And also give fans an idea as to how it will affect their play against the Bears.

Green Bay Packers

The San Francisco 49ers got the best of the Green Bay Packers for the third time in the past year as they won 34-28.

Packers RB Eddie Lacy looked tough, yet unimpressive, finishing with 11 attempts and 41 yards. Yes, the 49ers have a fierce defense, but the Packers were looking for an upgrade at the RB position. I’m not convinced that they got one. They played the traditional one-back system for this game, but have plenty of rushing weapons to mix things up. The Packers said in the off season/preseason that rushing would be more prominent in the offense…but I’m really doubting that now.

Many people are still talking about the ferociousness of Packers linebacker Clay Mathews and the hit against Colin Kaepernick. Okay, the hit was a little uncalled for. But I can’t remember a recent time that the Packers defense has been so pumped up. I didn’t think they had the personnel to keep up with the 49ers offense, but they did a much better job than in the playoffs last year. But then again they did give up almost 500 yards of total offense…which is unacceptable.

It looks like it will be the Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb receiving show. Both receivers gained 100+ receiving yards and a touchdown each against the 49ers. And it appears that Jordy is completely healthy again.

The Packers will be looking to bounce back and get their first win of the season as they host the pistol-happy Washington Redskins in Lambeau Field on Sunday at noon.

Detroit Lions

In their season debut, the Detroit Lions took their first NFC North win in more than a season against the Minnesota Vikings 34-24.

The Lions offensive performance can be described in two words…Reggie Bush. He was really all over the place. Bush led all rushers with 21 attempts for 90 yards, and led all receiving yards with four attempts for 101 yards and a touchdown. Fantasy heaven! But really…Bush is a force to be reckon with. After the game, Reggie admitted that he had a dislocated left thumb and pulled groin after the game. No one has hinted up to this point how serious those injuries are.

Calvin Johnson might be continuing to add onto his miscues in the red zone/endzone. Two catches made in the endzone by Megatron were eventually brought back to be incompletions. The result…Calvin finished the game with four catches for 37 yards.

The fantasy vulture of the week was, without question, Joique Bell. But fantasy aside, he’s the true second string back on the team. Former first stringer for the Lions, Mikel Leshoure, was listed as inactive for Sunday’s NFC North showdown. Hmmm…smells like someone is in the dog house with Jim Schwartz.

Overall, I was a little impressed at the performance by the Lions against the Vikings. Good way to gain momentum where they will have to face Larry Fitzgerald along with the up-and-coming hot cornerback Tyrann Mathieu on Sunday at 3:05 CT.

Minnesota Vikings

Even with three Adrian Peterson touchdowns, the Minnesota Vikings couldn’t best the Detroit Lions in Week 1.

This week more than ever it was apparent that the Vikings offensive line has serious problems. Peterson has five rushes for negative yardage. Ponder had three interceptions and got sacked twice. Okay numbers don’t tell the story or give rhyme or reason for it…but still. That line needs to do some fixing.

It’s still extremely early, but I think Greg Jennings and Christian Ponder need to work on their chemistry. It seems that Jerome Simpson is winning in that department. Simpson was targeted eight times, catching seven for a whopping 140 receiving yards. While Jennings was targeted almost as many times (7) but only caught three for 33 yards. Definitely something to be watching for in the next game as Simpson and Jennings will be going up against Peanut Tillman and Tim Jennings.

The Vikings offensive line will need to bring their A-game as they face the Chicago Bears in Chicago on Sunday at noon.