One-quarter of the 2015 NFL season is over and the pundits and fans are already crowning the Green Bay Packers the best team in the league. The Atlanta Falcons and the Carolina Panthers may have something to say about that.
Still, past often influence the present and in this case the Packers have been one of the best teams of the league for years now. So there is a legitimate reason why many say they’re the best now.
The Packers showed evidence that support the pundits in their win against the San Francisco 49ers last Sunday.
One reason why the Packers are good is their depth. They don’t have receiver Jordy Nelson playing now, but James Jones, who was signed after the Raiders cut him prior to the start of the season, stepped up making five catches for a total of 98-yards. Jones is familiar with the Packers, their front office and their fans. He played with them for seven years before skipping over to the Raiders during free agency last year.
Another thing the Packers have is quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who arguably could be the best QB in the league. He threw for 224 yards and a touchdown and ran 17 yards to set up a key second-half score.
Packers’ receiver Richard Rodgers (no relation) caught a 9-yard touchdown pass at the end of the Packs’ first drive. Packers’ running back Eddie Lacy rushed for 90 yards and converted two big fourth down plays and Randall Cobb and Rodgers (the receiver) each caught five passes.
The 49ers, especially their QB Colin Kaepernick, have been having their share of problems as they started this game against the Pack sitting at 1-2. Kaepernick threw his fifth interception in two games and was sacked on consecutive plays in the first half. The offense has scored only 28 points through three games. The defense has given up 107 points.
The Packers defense actually collected six sacks with Nick Perry getting two and Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers, Mike Neal and Jayrone Elliot getting one each. Packers’ defensive back Sam Shields had one pick on a deep pass to Anquan Boldin in the fourth quarter. PACKERS 17 49ERS 3
The Denver Broncos remain undefeated after winning a tough game against the Minnesota Vikings. The major contributor to the win was Ronnie Hillman who ran for a 72-yard score. It was the longest touchdown run by a Bronco running back in 15 years. Hillman finished with 103 yards on 11 carries. It was his third 100-yard game of his career.
The Broncos defense is rated the league’s best and experienced a sack field day with seven.
Meanwhile, Denver QB Peyton Manning had his problems throwing two interceptions that the Vikings were able to convert into 10 points.
While Hillman was having a big game, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was held to 81 yards on 16 carries.
The Vikings O-line was unable to protect quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. Yet he was able to complete 13 passes on 15 attempts for 131 yards in the second half and directed two drives to get two scores which ultimately tied the game with 5:11 remaining.
However, Manning, who seems to dig deep for a big drive when the game is on the line and his prior performance was mediocre at best, did it again. He led the Broncos on a 55 yards, nine play drive that was finished off with a Brandon McManus 39-yard field goal with 1:51 left in the game. BRONCOS 23 VIKINGS 20
The Chicago Bears stole a game from the Oakland Raiders when QB Jake Cutler engineered an 80-yard drive that culminated in a Robbie Gould field goal with just two seconds remaining.
The Raiders have been playing well this season winning two in a row and, if it wasn’t for the Gould field goal, could be sitting 3-1.
With just a little over two minutes in the game Raiders’ safety Charles Woodson intercepted a Cutler pass deep in Raider territory and Raiders’ kicker Sebastian Janikowski hit on a field goal with just over two minutes remaining.
Cutler completed 28 passes on 43 attempts for 281 yards. Matt Forte collected 91 yards rushing and 64 yards receiving; Martellus Bennett caught 11 passes for 83 yards and a touchdown; Marquess Wilson added 80 yards receiving and Eddie Royal caught a touchdown pass on the game’s opening drive.
Raiders’ quarterback Derek Car completed 20 passes on 33 attempts for 196-yards with two touchdowns and an interception. BEARS 22 RAIDERS 20
The Detroit Lions and their fans are screaming, “foul,” after the referees blew a call on a controversial play that helped the Seattle Seahawks claim a victory on Monday night.
The play went down like this. The Lions are on the verge of finishing off a 91-yard drive for a go-ahead touchdown with less than two minutes remaining. Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor punched the ball from the arm of Lions receiver Calvin Johnson. As the ball was bouncing around in the end zone Seahawks’ linebacker K.J. Wright illegally batted the ball out of the back of the end zone. The referee ruled a touchback and gave the ball back to the Seahawks. Actually, batting the ball out of the end zone is a penalty and the referee should have given the ball to the Lions on the Seahawks’ one-yard line.
The controversial play and call came after Lions QB Matthew Stafford engineered a 91-yard drive. He made clutch throws including a 22-yard pass to Golden Tate on third down that got the ball to the Seahawks 46-yard line with three minutes left. Running back Ameer Abdullah then rushed for nine years and then Stafford hit tight end Tim Wright on a 26-yard pass that brought the ball down to the Seahawks’ 20-yard line with 2:30 remaining. The lions reached the Seahawks’ 11 and then on a third and one play, Stafford hit Johnson, who fumbled the ball as he stretched across the goal line and Chancellor knocked the ball free.
Stafford finished with 24 completions on 35 attempts for 203 yards.
Seahawks’ quarterback Russell Wilson was harassed all night as the Seahawks’ O-line failed to protect him again. He was sacked six times, but still managed to throw for 287 yards and rush for 40 yards. Wilson had to use all of his athleticism to avoid the rush and hit Jermaine Kearse for 34 yards in the second quarter and then hit Doug Baldwin for a 24-yard touchdown on the next play. SEAHAWKS 13 LIONS 10
NFC NORTH STANDINGS
GREEN BAY PACKERS 4-0
MINNESOTA VIKINGS 2-2
CHICAGO BEARS 1-3
DETROIT LIONS 0-4
NFC NORTH SCHEDULE
BEARS @ CHIEFS SUNDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2015
RAMS @ PACKERS SUNDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2015
CARDINALS @ LIONS SUNDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2015
Courtesy of Sportsonearth.com