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NFC North Week 1 recap: Packers offense dominates, Vikings make franchise history

Defense was just about non-existent for all teams in the North in Week 1.

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Packers escape defeat in a barn burner, beat Vikings 43-34

Packers

With the Packers-Vikings game kicking off at the same time slot as the Lions, it was tough to get a close look at the other two division rivals. If the score was any indication, though, the offense for both sides did not have much rust to shake off in Game 1. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense got off to a fairly hot start moving the ball down the field, but only managed three points in their first two drives before getting a safety and making the score 7-5 in favor of the Vikings.

After that, the Packers scored in each of their next three drives, including two touchdown passes from Rodgers. They would end up taking a 22-10 lead into halftime. Rodgers continued to rain bombs through the air, getting out to a 36-18 lead. The Vikings did not give up, however, and made a late surge scoring 24 points in the fourth quarter, but it was not enough, and the Packers offense was just too much for so many new faces on the Vikings defense.

The big stars on offense were the usual suspects for the Packers. Rodgers was surgical from the pocket, ending the game with 364 passing yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions. 156 of those yards (and two touchdowns) went to Davante Adams who was tremendous. Aaron Jones led the teach in rushing with 66 yards on 16 carries and a touchdown.

Next game: vs. Lions (0-1)

Vikings

It was not a great start to the season for the team that many predicted to win the NFC North. After giving up 43 points to the Packers, many will blame the Vikings defense—and there is certainly a reason for that—but it was the Vikings offense that made it much harder for their defense with their inability to hold onto the ball for very long.

On their 10 offensive drives, Minnesota only had one of those drives go longer than three minutes and five seconds and the Packers more than doubled their time of possession at 41 minutes and 16 seconds.

The Vikings still managed to score 34 points despite not being able to run the clock much and it was Adam Thielen and Dalvin Cook who split the scores with two TDs each.

Both the run defense and pass defense struggled hard against the Packers, giving up 522 total yards (364 passing, 158 rushing). With no preseason, it could take a while for the defense to gain their bearings.

Next game: @ Colts (0-1)

Bears make epic comeback against Same Old Lions, 27-23

We all know what happened. No point in digging too deep into a loss we’ve already covered. If you want the full recap to this mess, click here.

The Bears did not look like a very good football team until the fourth quarter, where they scored 21 quick points against a depleted Lions defense to solidify a victory. Mitchell Trubisky was especially bad until the fourth quarter, where he was magnificent in the final 18 or so minutes of the game. The Lions completely went away from what was working and allowed Trubisky to get into a rhythm and the rest is history.

Chicago’s pass defense looked pretty good for the most part and came up with a clutch interception to put them in position to take the lead. It was their rushing defense that couldn’t stop the Lions, especially with Adrian Peterson toting the rock. When it mattered, however, the run defense clamped down against a predictable Lions fourth-quarter offense and came up with some key stops.

Next game: vs. Giants

NFC North Standings after Week 1

t-1. Green Bay Packers (1-0)
t-1. Chicago Bears (1-0)
t-3. Minnesota Vikings (0-1)
t-3. Detroit Lions (0-1)

It is still technically a young season for the Lions despite blowing a game they never should have lost. If this were Matt Patricia’s first or second year, there would be more hope for the Lions, but this looks like the same team we’ve seen under Patricia ever since he got here. It will take a lot for fans to trust this coaching staff, and I find it hard to believe that the conservative game calling will go away the next time the Lions have a second-half lead.