NFC North Know-It-All 10/29/13


Oct 27, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81) celebrates with cornerback Chris Houston (23) after defeating the Dallas Cowboys 31-30 at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

We’re past the midway point of the season, and wins to sit atop of the NFC North are becoming more and more valuable. Green Bay and Detroit pulled out wins, while Minnesota embarrassed the fans at home. What can you take out of the NFC North this week? And how does it effect the Bears?

NFC North Standings

Green Bay Packers: 5-2 (2-0 in division)

Detroit Lions: 5-3 (2-1 in division)

Chicago Bears: 4-3 (1-1 in division)

Minnesota Vikings: 1-6 (0-3 in division)

Green Bay Packers

Green Bay made it look a little too easy on Sunday Night when they beat the Minnesota Vikings 44-31.

The Packers scored on every possession against the Vikings. That’s pretty impressive to obtain in the NFL these days. Their offense is in the zone right now. Eddie Lacy got 29 carries, giving the offense the balance to be pretty darn good. Wide receiver Jarrett Boykin is consistently getting better. Even rookie wide out Myles White got a handful of targets to finish with a career-high 35 yards receiving. It’s almost staggering how the Packers are such a well-oiled machine without James Jones and Randall Cobb. And I did say last week that Jordy Nelson is about to emerge in elite, pro bowl status. He’s sure on pace.

Clay Matthews will have pins removed from this broke right thumb this week, but it appears that he may be eyeing a return on November 10th against the Philadelphia Eagles. That would be one quick recovery for a broken thumb. He will probably be wearing some sort of cast.

After a big win, the Green Bay Packers will host the Chicago Bears without Jay Cutler on Monday Night Football this week.

Detroit Lions

The Detroit Lions managed to pull out the last minute victory over the Dallas Cowboys 31-30.

Calvin Johnson played back to back weeks of awesomeness. Megatron finished the game with 329 receiving yards and one touchdown, the most yards by a receiver in regulation in history. His performance was unbelievable to say the least, but the Lions just don’t have another receiver.

Head coach Jim Schwartz confirmed on Monday that wide receiver Ryan Broyles is out for the season with a torn Achilles. That’s one less target for Stafford to throw too. The Lions better hope that Nate Burleson makes a quick recovery.

The Lions can kick back and relax this week as Week 9 is their bye week.

Minnesota Vikings

It was the second straight week that the Minnesota Vikings played during primetime, and the second straight week that they put on a shameful show. Their losing streak in the NFC North continued on Sunday with the loss to the Green Bay Packers 44-31. Josh Freeman sat out with an injury, and Christian Ponder played quarterback.

Boy, the Minnesota Vikings front office have no idea who to play at starting quarterback. I think they’re really scratching their heads as to who gives them the best chance to win. Christian Ponder got the start this week in place of a hurt Josh Freeman. He showed that he can pass the ball, a little, and run the ball, a little. He has more wheels then Freeman, but less of a canon. It was clear during the Monday press conferences that head coach Leslie Frazier was not impressed and that the hot potato at quarterback will continue.

I’m not sure when the Vikings front office will notice that Greg Jennings really isn’t worth all that money. First, they can’t get him the ball. Second, he’s no Jordy, Dez or Calvin. Jennings was targeted three times for one nine-yard catch. He is just not that good.

Cordarrelle Patterson and Kyle Rudolph are probably the only things the Vikings can take away from Sunday’s loss. Patterson took one back for a touchdown on the very first play, continuing to prove that he’s a special teams force to be reckoned with. Rudolph was one of the shining stars of the 2012 Vikings team, and he’s been getting back to that person week by week. This week he led all receivers with four catches for 51 yards.

Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys will try to bounce back from their NFC North loss this week to get a win from another NFC North team as they host the Minnesota Vikings in Dallas on Sunday at noon.

Quick hits – for Bears fans

Packers: going up against them without Jay Cutler is almost dreading. The Packers offense are so in sync right now, that it will take every man on defense on their A game. The three people to focus: Jarrett Boykin, Eddie Lacy and Jordy Nelson.

Lions: After a tough loss to the Bengals, the Lions rebounded in the best way for them…but not exactly with the Bears. Calvin Johnson is getting his mojo back, but he will always be a factor. If they could lock him down, they could lock down the Lions. It’s back to back weeks that the Lions defense has allowed multiple big plays, the Bears need to exploit that.

Vikings: Well, no matter what quarterback the Bears will face against the Vikings…they will at least have tape on them all. If they really need it…