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NFC North News and Notes: October 2

Posted Oct 2, 2013

We take a look around the NFC North to see what the Vikings closest competition has going on…

Vikings

Last Week: 40-32 loss at Detroit

After a pair of tight wins plus their Week 3 blowout of the Steelers, the Bears fortunes finally turned for the worse last Sunday as they suffered their first loss of the season by a 40-32 score to the Lions at Ford Field.

Jay Cutler was slightly more bad than good on this day and that more than anything else proved to be the difference in the game.  He threw three interceptions, with the Lions getting the ball in Bears territory on all three occasions.  The Lions got ten points off those three turnovers, but the most costly mistake of Cutler’s day was a fumbled that stemmed from an Ndamukong Suh sack late in the 3rd quarter.  Cutler coughed up the ball and Nick Fairly recovered for a Lions touchdown, putting Detroit up 36-17.

To his credit, Cutler rallied the Bears in the 4th quarter, scoring two touchdowns and adding two-point conversions as well to make it a one possession game, but the Bears were unable to recover a late onside kick.

Unlike the first three games, the Bears played this one without DT Henry Melton, who is out for the year with a knee injury, and their defense suffered.  The Lions racked up 159 yards on the ground for an average of 5.3 yards per carry, compared to the 3.5 yards per carry they gave up through the first three weeks of the season.

Matt Forte had a 53-yard touchdown run and was held in check through the air, catching just five balls.  One of the main bright spots for the Bears was Alshon Jeffery’s first 100-yard receiving day of his young career, as he hauled in five catches for 107 yards and his fourth career touchdown.

This Week: Bears vs. Saints, Sunday at Noon

After struggling vs. the Lions’ high-octane offense a week ago, things won’t get an easier for the Bears this week as they host the 4-0 Saints.  Fortunately for the Bears, the game is on the somewhat sloppy track at Soldier Field and the Saints have to travel on a short week after playing this past Monday vs. Miami.


Offseason Overview

Vikings

Last Week: 40-32 win vs. Chicago

Just as he did against the Vikings in Detroit’s Week 1 victory over Minnesota, Reggie Bush ran up and down Ford Field against the Bears last Sunday, leading the Lions to a 40-32 victory and catapulting them into a 1st place tie with Chicago.

Bush missed last week’s Lions win over the Redskins due to a knee injury, but he returned to the lineup in a big way last Sunday, rushing for 139 yards on just 18 carries and scored a dazzling 37-yard touchdown.

Bush’s touchdown run late in the 1st half capped a 27-point 2nd quarter for the Lions, who led 30-13 at the half.  After a Jay Cutler 3rd quarter fumble that DT Nick Fairley returned for a score, the game was essentially put out of each thought the Bears scored a pair of late touchdowns coupled with two-point conversions to make the final score seem a little closer than the game actually was.

The two teams combined for seven turnovers, with Cutler accounting for all four of Chicago’s while Matthew Stafford throwing just one interception for the Lions.

Calvin Johnson was mostly shut down by the Beards as he had just four catches but with such a large lead for most of the game the Lions were forced to pass the ball much less than is usually the case.

This Week: Lions at Packers, Sunday at Noon

Despite the fact the Lions are 4-1 and sit atop the NFC North, the 1-2 Packers are seven-point favorites heading into this Sunday’s game at Lambeau Field.  Green Bay has won 22 of their last 25 games against the Lions, and Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy has lost just once to Detroit.


Last Week: BYE

This Week: Packers vs. Lions, Noon on Sunday

After blowing a large lead at Cincinnati in their 34-30 loss to the Bengals in Week 3, the Packers – who sit at 1-2 on the season – will look to get things back on track as they host the 3-1 Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field on Sunday.