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Around the NFC North preseason Week 2: It’s a defensive division again

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Recapping how the NFC North performed in Week 2 of the preseason.

Green Bay Packers v Washington Redskins Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Now that we’ve fully digested the Detroit Lions’ second preseason game, let’s look around the division to see how the other NFC North teams performed over the weekend.

Green Bay Packers defeat Washington, 21-17

Read Acme Packing Company’s recap here

The Packers defense looked wildly improved after a subpar performance last week. Green Bay’s defense didn’t allow a single first down until the final play of the first quarter.

Despite the fact that Kirk Cousins played all the way until the end of the half, Washington couldn’t get much going on offense. Cousins finally broke through on the final possession, though, throwing a touchdown pass on fourth-and-goal.

On offense, Aaron Rodgers made a brief preseason appearance. His only drive of the game would have ended with a three-and-out, if it weren’t for one of those annoying hurry-up, too-many-men penalties the Packers are so good at extracting. After the automatic first down, Rodgers looked like his dominant self, driving the Packers 75 yards down the field and connecting to new tight end Martellus Bennett for the opening score.

It was a much better performance for the Packers, though they still have some issues on the offensive line they’re working through.

Next week: at Denver Broncos

Chicago Bears defeat Arizona Cardinals, 24-23

Read the Windy City Gridiron recap here

The Bears defense came to play against what should be a pretty solid Cardinals offense. Carson Palmer was constantly under duress, and Arizona could get nothing going on the ground. In total, they rushed for just 40 yards on 19 carries.

Still, Chicago’s secondary didn’t play all too well. Palmer completed 9-of-14 passes for 67 yards and one touchdown in three offensive series.

Offensively, it’s clear that Mike Glennon will not be the starting quarterback for long. Glennon threw one bad interception in the red zone and nearly threw a few others. The Bears’ offense moved alright with and without him, but Glennon’s accuracy and decision making are still very much in question.

Mitchell Trubisky’s second game wasn’t nearly as impressive as his first, but he still looked like a legitimate quarterback. For some reason, the Bears had him in as the third-string quarterback, but that won’t last long.

Perhaps the most impressive performance of the night came from the Bears’ fourth-round pick, running back Tarik Cohen. Cohen finished with 77 rushing yards on 11 carries, and had some impressive tackle-breaking abilities. Check it out:

Next week: at Tennessee Titans

Minnesota Vikings lose to Seattle Seahawks, 13-20

Read the Daily Norseman recap here

The Vikings have the best defense in the division, but they couldn’t stop the Seahawks from scoring on their first possession of the game. In fact, Russell Wilson had his way with the Vikings secondary, throwing for over 200 yards and two touchdowns in four possessions—although the second score was against the Vikings’ twos.

Offensively, Minnesota struggled to keep up. Their first drive was promising. Sam Bradford connected with Stefon Diggs on a huge 39-yard gain, but Minnesota stalled in the red zone and settled for a field goal. They would end up punting on the final two possession for the first-team offense.

After a slow start against a good Seahawks defense, Dalvin Cook impressed on Saturday. Cook finished with 40 rushing yards on seven carries and an additional 10 receiving yards on a single catch.

The good news for the Vikings is that the offensive line actually looked improved, Diggs continued to look like a legitimate offensive threat and Cook could be a key piece to this team’s future. The bad news is the defense looks like it took a step back, mostly because of a shaky secondary.

Next week: vs. San Francisco 49ers