The story of last week for the Vikings was their inability to hold onto the ball on offense and the same goes for this week. Once again, they lost the time of possession battle by nearly a 2:1 ratio and turned the ball over three times. All three of those turnovers were interceptions from Kirk Cousins, who turned in a statline of 11-for-26, 113 passing yards, zero touchdowns and three interceptions. Yikes.
The Vikings defense has now given up 71 points combined in their first two games of the season, which is very uncharacteristic of them. It goes to show how much they really needed a regular offseason this year to get all of these new faces acclimated to the team and develop some cohesion.
The only slight positive for the Vikings on Sunday was the rushing offense averaging a respectable 4.4 yards per carry. Dalvin Cook had 63 of the team’s 80 rushing yards and punched one in late during garbage time.
One little random tidbit... The Vikings have now allowed a safety to the opposing team in three consecutive NFL regular season games. Weird.
Next game: vs. Titans (0-2)
If you were expecting a high-scoring bout from these two teams, then you were sorely mistaken. The Bears got out to a quick 7-0 lead on a touchdown pass from Mitchell Trubisky to running back David Montgomery and added a field goal on their next possession to give themselves a 10-point lead. It was the Bears defense that helped carry them to victory, though.
The Giants were held to zero points for the entire first half and didn’t score until 9:50 left in the third quarter. They only managed to move the ball 4 yards after intercepting Trubisky in Bears territory before electing to kick a field goal to get on the board. However, to the Giants’ credit, they did have a shot to win this game and nearly did it.
After scoring on their next possession, the Giants followed it up with another interception and kicked a field goal to bring the score to 17-13. On their final possession, they made it to Chicago’s own 10-yard line and had one play to win the game. Bears defender Eddie Jackson came up with a nice deflection in the end zone on a play that was officially ruled as offensive pass interference on Golden Tate before the game was deemed over.
For the second week in a row, the Packers put up 40-plus points with relative ease. Is the Packers offense that good, or are the Vikings and Lions defenses just that bad at this point? Probably both.
For this week’s Packers win, it was all about the rushing offense. Somehow, the Lions run defense has gotten much worse than it ever was before. Aaron Jones needed just 18 carries to rush for 168 yards and two touchdowns, including a 75-yard scamper where he was nearly untouched. It was just as easy for Jamaal Williams who added another 63 yards on the ground and the Packers rushing offense combined for 259 yards 7.4 per carry. Something has to change for Detroit.
Aaron Rodgers was his usual self and had no issues picking apart the Lions’ secondary. He added two more touchdowns through the air and was mistake free.
After getting out to a 14-3 lead, the Lions offense only managed to score once more on a late third-quarter TD. Green Bay’s defense did a nice job of not keeping the game close, and once the scripted plays were over for Detroit, they struggled to get any momentum going. Matthew Stafford’s poor decision to throw the ball toward the sideline at his own 5-yard line resulted in the biggest play of the game for the Packers defense, where Chandon Sullivan turned in a pick-six for the dagger.
Next game: @ Saints (1-0)
NFC North Standings after Week 2
After two weeks, it’s not looking good for the Vikings, whom many picked to win the division. Expectations should be lowered for them until they can reconnect with their defensive identity and hold onto the ball on offense.
Though the Bears are undefeated, they haven’t exactly looked good doing it, barely getting by in the first two weeks against two bad teams, but they’re about to hit a tough stretch in their schedule. If they can pull off some big wins in the upcoming weeks, they might prove to be a real threat in the NFC. The Packers do look like the real deal, though, and it’s looking more and more likely that they will repeat as NFC North champions.
For the Lions, I don’t have much to say other than it might be time to start thinking about life after Bob Quinn, Matt Patricia and maybe even Matthew Stafford. It hurts to say it.