It is a certainty that the Detroit Lions will not be winless in 2015 thanks to QB Matthew Stafford, who threw four touchdown passes, one of them to Calvin Johnson as they beat the Chicago Bears. The touchdown pass to Johnson was for 6-yards with 21 seconds remaining, which gave them the lead. However, Bears kicker Robbie Gould kicked a 29-yard field goal as time expired in regulation after Lions’ DB Darius Slay was called for pass interference twice on Cutler passes of 25 and 24 yards to Alshon Jeffery.
Johnson was also the target of a 57-yard reception that set up Matt Prater’s 27-yard field goal that won the game with 2:29 left in overtime.
Believing that their offensive strategy was flawed because they didn’t try to hit deep passes, Lions’ Offensive Coordinator Joe Lombardi, opted to spend the game in the coach’s box rather than on the sidelines so that he could call for the deeper routes. Lombardi is the grandson of former NFL head coach Vince Lombardi.
It appears that the long ball was just what the doctor ordered to revive Stafford’s game. He threw three interceptions and was benched for his play last week. Stafford completed 27 passes on 42 attempts for a season-high 405 yards and one interception.
The plan also revived Johnson’s play. He torched the Bears for 166 yards on six receptions, which doubled his season high. It was the first time Johnson caught a touchdown pass since week two and it was his 45th career game with at least 100 yards receiving, which leaped him over Jerry Rice for fourth place in NFL history.
Bears’ QB Jay Cutler completed 26 throws out of 41 attempts for a season-high 353 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Three of Cutler’s top receivers –- Jeffery, Eddie Royal and Martellus Bennett –- were designated as questionable as performers in the game due to injuries. However, they all played. Jeffery has been out since week one. In this game he caught eight passes for 147 yards and a touchdown.
One controversial touchdown was scored when Stafford hit Golden Tate with a short pass as he crossed the goal line in the final minute of the first half. Bears’ DB Kyle Fuller knocked the ball loose and the Bears intercepted it. However, the referee changed the call to a touchdown after a replay review because he thought Tate had possession long enough to call it a catch. LIONS 37 BEARS 34
The Green Bay Packers got a scare from the San Diego Chargers in Lambeau Field when on fourth down and goal and the ball on the Packers’ 3-yard line, rookie Corner Damarious Randall tipped a pass from Chargers’ QB Philip Rivers that was targeted for Danny Woodhead preventing a touchdown that would have won the game for the Chargers. The play preserved the Packers’ undefeated season for at least one more week.
Rivers was sensational. He set franchise records of 43 completions on 65 attempts for 503 yards and two touchdowns. The 43 completions were the most in NFL history in a loss.
The Packers’ defense stood up when they needed to. For example, on a third down seven play from the Pack 40 yard line defensive end Datone Jones sacked Rivers.
Packers’ running back James Starks scored twice –- one a 65-yard run and the other a 5-yard pass reception – in the first quarter. The Packers took the lead for good when Aaron Rodgers hit James Jones on an 8-yard touchdown pass with 40 seconds left in the third quarter.
Rodgers completed 16 passes on 29 attempts for 255 yards. He reached a major milestone in this game achieving 30,000 passing yards in the fewest attempts in league history. Second year receiver Jeff Janis was the most effective receiver for the Packers. He caught two passes for 79 yards. PACKERS 27 CHARGERS 20
Although Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson struggled, rookie wide receiver Stefon Diggs caught seven passes for 129 yards and kicker Blair Walsh was good on three field goals to help the Vikings defeat the Kansas City Chiefs. The Vikings defense also contributed. The Chiefs’ offense could only collect 51 yards in the first half and were hurt by penalties that cost them another 50 yards.
Chiefs’ QB Alex Smith struck on a 42-yard touchdown pass to Albert Wilson in the fourth quarter that brought them to within three points of the Vikings. Smith finished with 22 completions on 37 attempts for 282 yards and one touchdown.
It was obvious that the Chiefs missed injured running back Jamaal Charles. His replacement, Charcandrick West, fumbled once and rushed for 33 yards on nine carries. Vikings’ QB Teddy Bridgewater completed 17 passes on 31 attempts for 249 yards. He overthrew receivers several times and was intercepted twice. He threw a touchdown pass to Kyle Rudolph in the second quarter.
Peterson finished with only 60 yards on 26 carries. VIKINGS 16 CHIEFS 10
NFC NORTH STANDINGS
OVERALL DIV. REC.
GREEN BAY PACKERS 6-0 1-0
MINNESOTA VIKINGS 3-2 1-0
CHICAGO BEARS 2-4 0-2
DETROIT LIONS 1-5 1-1
NFC NORTH SCHEDULE
VIKINGS @ LIONS SUNDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2015
Courtesy of Ign.com