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NFC North Week 5 recap: Packers make a statement, Lions move to 2nd

Green Bay made a strong case for NFC contender in Week 5.

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Bears lose in London to Raiders, 24-21

The Chicago Bears are staring down a pretty intimidating set of opponents on their upcoming schedule, and this loss has to be a brutal blow to their confidence. Heading into the bye week, they have some serious concerns on offense, whether it’s their quarterback play, poor execution in the run game, or cowardice playcalling. They’re a mess.

The defense is still elite, but there may be at least a tiny shred of doubt there with how easily the Raiders were able to dominate them in the trenches in London. Josh Jacobs finished the game with 123 yards on 26 carries and two touchdowns, while Derek Carr and the passing game did what needed to be done to keep them in the game.

Despite the dominating play from the Raiders, the Bears still nearly won the game. The officials gave them every opportunity, too, wiping away an interception with a horrifyingly bad roughing the passer call, among other bad calls.

The Raiders also coughed the ball up twice. Once at the Bears’ 1-yard-line and another which lead to an easy Bears touchdown. It’s a miracle they won, really. The Bears had to squander away just about every opportunity, and they did.

On the bright side for the Bears, they’re still 3-2, and Allen Robinson is really good.

Next game: BYE WEEK

Minny’s offense rebounds against Giants, 28-10

Just when you thought the Vikings were spiraling downward, they go ahead and put together a dominating performance on the road. After a terrible start to the year, Kirk Cousins went and had one of his best performances I’ve ever seen from him. He wasn’t afraid to throw into tight windows, and he was making every type of throw. He finished with over 300 passing yards for the first time all year and with a passer rating of 138.6.

The running game also succeeded due to the passing game setting it up well, and Dalvin Cook notched another 100+ rushing yard game under his belt (21 rushes, 132 yards). Adam Thielen was the biggest beneficiary of Cousins’ performance and hauled in seven receptions for 130 yards and two touchdowns. The defense—other than Xavier Rhodes (Marvin Jones Jr.’s father)—did a fantastic job of holding the Giants to just 10 points on the day. They might be the scariest defense in the NFC North right now, but you can basically argue that for any of the four defenses.

Next game: vs. Eagles (3-2)

Packers make a statement on the road, beat Dallas, 34-24

It looked like maybe the Lions had a chance at re-claiming the NFC North lead after a Bears loss, but the Packers quickly squashed those dreams after an impressive win over the Cowboys during the afternoon slate. After a suspect performance from the Packers’ defense last week against the Eagles, they bounced back and did well to shut down the Cowboys for most of the game.

Dallas technically hung around and did well to score and march down the field in the second half, but it was too little too late after the Packers got out to a 31-3 deep into the third quarter.

With the Cowboys turning the ball over three times, the Packers had to do very little on offense to secure the win, but when they had the ball, they were efficient. Aaron Jones was the MVP for the offense, finishing the game with four rushing touchdowns and 182 total yards (107 rushing, 75 receiving).

The Packers’ secondary picked Dak Prescott off three separate times with Kevin King, Jaire Alexander and Chandon Sullivan all getting in on the action.

Next game: vs. Lions (2-1-1)

NFC North Week 6 Standings

1. Green Bay Packers (4-1)
2. Detroit Lions (2-1-1)
t-3. Chicago Bears (3-2)
t-3. Minnesota Vikings (3-2)

It’s simple. Beat the Packers, and re-claim first place in the division. The Lions have a tough task ahead of them, and it’s not easy to win on the road against the Packers, but they’ve won four straight against Green Bay. Now is the time.

This is a different Packers team, however, so it’s not going to be as easy. If the Lions lose, they drop all the way down to the bottom of the division, potentially in a tie with the Vikings. We don’t want that.

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