The Green Bay Packers appear to be the most probable winner in the NFC North. They are undefeated as they prepare for their Monday Night Game against the Kansas City Chiefs tonight (September 28, 2015).
However, the way the standings of the NORTH sit after week three for the other members of the division, things indeed look good for the Pack.
The Bears and Lions now have a 0-3 start.
The Bears had to play their game against the Seattle Seahawks, who was destined to be 0-3 if they had lost. That was enough of an incentive to play well enough against the Bears. Furthermore, the Bears had Jimmy Clausen at quarterback replacing an injured Jay Cutler and they had to play the Seahawks in Seattle. That means they also had to contend with the 12th man.
Suffice to say, things went as expected. Clausen, who was 1-10 lifetime as a starting QB before kickoff, notched another one in the lost column. He was 9 for 17 for 63 yards. Taking sacks into account, the Bears gained only a net 48 yards passing.
To show how bad things went, the Seahawks used a trick play during a punt return. It’s actually an old play in which the player believed to be fielding the punt drifts some steps back as he looks up presumably at the ball and signals for a fair catch. However, another player catches the ball and returns it. The Seahawks ran the play as if it was their own. The Bears thought the punt was drifting toward their right while Richard Sherman caught it on the left hash mark and returned it 60 yards, resulting in a Seahawks’ field goal in the first quarter.
In addition, Seahawks’ Tyler Lockett returned a kickoff 105 yards for a touchdown in the second half.
Still, it could have been worse. The Seahawks were somewhat flat in the first half, scoring just 6 points. As a result, the normally content Seahawks fans, also known as the 12th man, weren’t happy. Staring at a possible 0-3 start, they booed their legends. Lockett’s kickoff return changed their boos into cheers and the Seahawks added a total of four field goals. Seahawks 26 Bears 0.
The Lions have definitely dug a hole for themselves. Many sports pundits are saying that they could be 0-5 before achieving their first victory.
The Lions offense was sporadic at best in their game against the Denver Broncos. There was some progress. However, bad penalties like false starts and offensive pass interferences stymied drives. The stats show that the Lions were flagged nine times for 75 yards. Moreover, Broncos’ QB Payton Manning took advantage of one-on-one coverage permitting Bronco receivers to make big plays. Lions’ D-back Darius Slay was responsible for the coverage that resulted in two touchdowns for the Broncos.
Lions QB Matthew Stafford may have been the victim of a bad call by the referee when an incomplete pass was ruled a fumble. In fact, Stafford accounted for three turnovers. The Lions were also guilty of special teams mishaps.
Stafford completed 31 passes in 45 attempts for a total of 282 yards. The Lions’ running back Ameer Abdullah accounted for one TD on a 16-yard pass reception and running back Joique Bell accounted for the other on a 1-yard run.
Manning completed 31 passes on 42 attempts for a total of 324 yards for the Broncos. Broncos 24 Lions 12.
The Minnesota Vikings showed that they might be the only competition for the Packers in the division. However, they had to depend on Adrian Peterson. He rushed for 126 yards on 20 carries and scored two touchdowns in the victory over the San Diego Chargers.
The Vikings front seven made the day miserable for Chargers’ QB Philip Rivers, who completed 21 passes on 34 tries for 246 yards and a touchdown, was sacked four times. Chargers’ second string QB Kellen Clemens replaced him halfway through the fourth quarter once the game appeared out of reach.
Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater’s performance was nothing to write home about. He completed only 13 passes on 24 attempts for 121 yards and an interception. Vikings 31 Chargers 14.
NFC NORTH STANDINGS
GREEN BAY PACKERS 2-0
MINNESOTA VIKINGS 2-1
DETROIT LIONS 0-3
CHICAGO BEARS 0-3
NFC NORTH SCHEDULE
PACKERS @ 49ERS, SUNDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2015
VIKINGS @ BRONCOS, SUNDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2015
LIONS @ SEAHAWKS, MONDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2015
RAIDERS @ BEARS, SUNDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2015