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Week 2 NFC North recap: Detroit Lions jump into first place

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The Lions haven’t even played yet, but have assumed first place for the time being.

Green Bay Packers v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions didn’t play on Sunday, but they may have had the best day of any in Week 2. All three other teams in the NFC North traveled on the road for Week 2 and all three teams lost. For the time being, the Lions have assumed first place all by their lonesome. Of course, if the Lions also drop their first away game to the Giants on Monday night, there will be a three-way tie for the lead.

Here’s a quick recap of each NFC North team’s performance in Week 2.

Chicago Bears lose to Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 29-7

The Bears never really stood a chance against the Bucs, who were making their 2017 debut. Chicago fell behind 26-0 by halftime and never came close to mounting a comeback. Here are my quick thoughts on the game.

  • Mike Glennon brings absolutely nothing to this offense. He wasn’t pressured a ton this game, yet still turned the ball over in his first three drives of the game. The last of those turnovers was a pick-six that pushed the game to 23-0.
  • Despite this, I was shocked to hear that head coach John Fox is not even considering starting second overall pick Mitchell Trubisky next week, even though our friends at Windy City Gridiron think there’s no reason to wait.
  • Last week, running back Tarik Cohen had an impressive debut, but fell back to reality this week. He only had 13 rushing yards on seven carries, as the Bears had to abandon the run early. However, Cohen did add eight catches for 55 yards in the passing game.
  • The Bears offensive line was decimated by injuries this game. Both starting guards, Josh Sitton (rib) and Tom Compton (leg) left the game and did not return.
  • Despite the blowout, the Bears defense continues to be somewhat stout. Despite being given horrible field position all day, they allowed just 3.4 yards per carry and 194 passing yards. In fact, in terms of total yardage, the Bucs outgained the Bears by just a single yard: 311-310.

Next week: vs. Steelers (2-0)

Minnesota Vikings lose to Pittsburgh Steelers, 26-9

In a surprise turn of events, Sam Bradford was announced inactive after he experienced some knee swelling on his left knee, which had two previous ACL surgeries in the past. As a result, the Vikings offense looked helpless under Case Keenum.

  • After the game, head coach Mike Zimmer was very enigmatic about Bradford’s status going forward. I have no idea what this means:
  • The Vikings defense got off to a bad start, allowing two 60+ yard touchdown drives in the Steelers’ first three attempts. After that, they tightened up, allowing Le’Veon Bell to rush for just 87 yards (3.2 YPC).
  • Everson Griffen picked up another two sacks on Sunday, pushing his total to three on the year.
  • The Vikings offense was so dead that Minnesota tried a desperate fake punt early in the second half. It did not go well (via SB Nation):

Next week: vs. Buccaneers (1-0)

Green Bay Packers lose to Atlanta Falcons, 34-23

The Packers had an opportunity to avenge their last loss, an embarrassing blowout at the hands of the Falcons in the 2016 NFC Championship game. However, it was much of the same on Sunday night, as the Falcons jumped out to a 31-7 lead and never gave it back.

  • The Packers entered the game in trouble at offensive line. Starting tackles David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga were both inactive. That was bad news for Aaron Rodgers:
  • Rodgers uncharacteristically turned over the ball twice in the game, including a controversial backwards pass that was returned for a touchdown.
  • After a good defensive performance in Week 1, the Packers fell back to reality on Sunday night. Matt Ryan looked unstoppable against the Packers secondary, completing 67.9 percent of his passes for 9.0 yards per attempt.
  • The Packers entered this game beat up, but they left it in even worse shape:

Next week: vs. Bengals (0-2)

NFC North standings

  1. Detroit Lions: 1-0
    t-2. Minnesota Vikings: 1-1
    t-2. Green Bay Packers: 1-1
    4. Chicago Bears: 0-2