This was probably the first time since I took over for the NFC North series of articles where I was actually able to watch every division game live, thanks to the NFL spacing each of them out. On a short week, the Packers hosted the Eagles for “Thursday Night Football,” and things didn’t go too well for them. After dominating on defense through the first three weeks, the Packers D gave up a whopping 34 points, despite holding Philly to only 336 total yards.
The Packers had no answer for the Eagles’ run game, with 176 of their yards coming on the ground. Both Jordan Howard and Miles Sanders eclipsed 70 yards rushing and each of them averaged at least 5.8 yards per carry. The Eagles are still seemingly unstoppable when running in two tight end sets.
Davante Adams had a brilliant day with 180 receiving yards on 10 catches, but left the game with a toe injury. Early reports seem to indicate that he won’t be out for too long.
Aaron Rodgers actually had a pretty solid performance with 422 passing yards and a couple of touchdowns, but his untimely interception at the end of the game when trying to knot things up ultimately iced the game.
If you were skeptical about Green Bay’s defense or thought it was an overrated unit, then maybe you’re right. Maybe I was a fool to think they’re a legitimate top-10 defense. Or maybe this game was the fluke. All I know is I’m feeling much better about heading into Green Bay now than I was a week ago.
Next game: @ Cowboys (3-1)
The Bears suffered an early injury with their quarterback Mitchell Trubisky dislocating his left shoulder. However, this allowed them to field their better quarterback, Chase Daniel, who had a solid day with 195 passing yards on 22 completions and a touchdown (101.4 passer rating).
Chicago rushed the ball 33 times for only 72 yards (2.2 yards per carry as a team), struggling against Minnesota’s fearsome front seven. It was not a pretty day for either offense, but the Bears’ defense was able to put them in a position to win, much like every other week.
Khalil Mack continues to be an absolute monster and embarrassed Riley Reiff on more than one occasion. Even when double-teamed, he was still able to get to the quarterback. He’s not human.
Nick Kwiatkowski also chipped in with a sack along with two tackles for a loss and 10 total tackles. He doesn’t rush the passer often but made a big impact in that department despite only five pass rush attempts.
Next game: vs. Raiders (2-2)
It was only a matter of time before the Vikings ran into a team that could halt their rushing attack and force Kirk Cousins to win the game with his arm. That seems to be the key to beating Minnesota these days. Cousins has been awful to start the year and his offensive line has not been able to protect him. Even his own teammates sound frustrated with him.
"You have to be able to hit the deep balls"— Barstool Chicago (@barstoolchicago) September 30, 2019
Thoughts and prayers to Adam Thielen. No, nothing bad happened to him, he just has Kirk Cousins as his quarterback pic.twitter.com/ht7DZcmWy9
It’s going to be a rough year for Minnesota if things don’t get cleaned up offensively, because defensively, they are still one of the best units in the NFL. Their front seven played extremely well against the Bears, but there is only so much you can do when the offense can’t keep you off the field.
The Vikings look to bounce back against the Giants on the road, who are coming off of two straight wins led by their rookie quarterback, Daniel Jones.
Next game: @ Giants (2-2)
NFC North Week 5 Standings
t-1. Green Bay Packers (3-1)
t-1. Chicago Bears (3-1)
3. Detroit Lions (2-1-1)
4. Minnesota Vikings (2-2)
The Lions are still in pretty decent shape despite the loss considering it’s early in the season. They’re just a half a game back and have a huge opportunity coming up traveling on the road to Green Bay for their first divisional match of the year. They’ll have plenty of time to prepare and hopefully get healthy.