Week 4 was a pivotal week for the NFC North. The Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers faced off, while the Detroit Lions headed to Minnesota to take on the Vikings. Three teams were heading into the week riding high off a win, while the Lions were still riding a wave of optimism after a heartbreaker to the Falcons.
But the week would end with only two teams having proven themselves as division contenders, while the other two are searching for answers. Here’s our Week 4 NFC North recap:
Green Bay Packers defeat Chicago Bears, 35-14
- The Packers looked anything but dominant through three weeks of the season, but they made a big statement on Thursday night. Green Bay dominated in all three phases of the game and from start to finish.
- The Aaron Rodgers to Jordy Nelson connection is back, and that should terrify opposing defenses. In the past two games, Nelson has 10 catches for 124 yards and four touchdowns.
- Although Green Bay has to feel good about this divisional win, they left the game even more beaten up than they entered the game, and they entered Thursday night without their top five offensive tackles.
Here are all the players that left with injury on Thursday:
- WR Davante Adams (concussion)
- RB Ty Montgomery (ribs)
- RB Jamaal Williams (knee)
- LB Joe Thomas (knee)
- The struggles in the Packers’ secondary continue. This week, Green Bay benched starting cornerback Damarious Randall after he allowed a touchdown pass in the second quarter. The Packers are currently starting two rookies in their secondary, so they remain a little vulnerable there, despite forcing two interceptions on Thursday.
Next week: at Cowboys (2-2)
Chicago Bears lose to Green Bay Packers, 14-35
- This was an all-out disaster for the Bears. Just over six minutes into the game, Chicago already was down two touchdowns.
Here’s how Chicago’s first six offensive drives went on Thursday:
- As a result, the Mike Glennon era has finally come to an end. Head coach John Fox announced on Monday that Mitch Trubisky will start next Sunday. “It was just a decision I thought needed to be made,” Fox said on Chicago radio on Monday.
- For all the talk about Chicago’s offense, the defense didn’t really do much to help the situation. The Packers scored five touchdowns on the day, and although three of those came off turnovers, three of those drives started in the Packers’ own territory.
- This hit by Danny Trevathan earned himself a two-game suspension, and it was well-deserved.
Absolutely DIRTY hit by Trevathan (@Grindin_59). Guy was already wrapped up. No need. #PackersvsBears pic.twitter.com/phLc0BIOiN— Switzer Statue (@switzerstatue) September 29, 2017
- For the first time in 80 years, the Packers now lead the series over the Bears in their rivalry. Green Bay now holds a 95-94-6 record over Chicago all-time.
Next week: vs. Vikings (2-2) — Monday Night Football
Minnesota Vikings lose to Detroit Lions, 7-14
- Despite another good defensive performance, the Vikings’ offense was handed a healthy dose of reality against the Lions. Minnesota produced just 284 yards of offense, a 210 yard drop-off from their game against the Buccaneers last week.
- Perhaps most devastating for the Vikings, however, was the loss of Dalvin Cook. The Vikings confirmed on Monday that Cook suffered an ACL tear and will miss the rest of the 2017 season. Through 3.5 games, Cook had 354 rushing yards and was averaging 4.8 yards per carry. He’s currently third in rushing yards and second in rushing touchdowns (4).
- Case Keenum also got a dose of reality against Detroit. Despite completing 84.4 percent of his passes against Detroit as a member of the Rams last year, Keenum managed just a 53.3 percent completion rate on Sunday.
- While the offense was turning the ball over three times, the Vikings defense was swarming. Led by Danielle Hunter and Everson Griffen, who both had 2.0 sacks, the Vikings were able to take down Matthew Stafford six times in this game, while holding Marvin Jones Jr. and Golden Tate to just five total catches.
Next week: at Bears (1-3)—Monday Night Football
NFC North Week 5 standings:
t-1. Detroit Lions: 3-1 (1-0 in division)
t-1. Green Bay Packers: 3-1 (1-0)
3. Minnesota Vikings: 2-2 (0-1)
4. Chicago Bears: 1-3 (0-1)