NFC North Roundup – 2 Wins and 2 Losses to Finish Week 3 Up North by Greg Forbes

NFC North Roundup – 2 Wins and 2 Losses to Finish Week 3 Up North by Greg Forbes
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Week 3 in the NFL was nothing short of brilliance. We were once again treated to really special performances and record-breaking games. On the other hand, two the NFC North teams found themselves in real trouble this week, with just the Bears and Lions picking up a win. Let’s dive in to the results.

Bills Crush the Vikings in Minnesota

In the most surprising story of the week, the Minnesota Vikings were thumped by the Bills. And yes, you read that correctly.

In the first half alone, Cousins had only compiled 46 all purpose yards, failed to reach the 50-yard marker, had been sacked 3 times and fumbled twice. Obviously, on offence things were not going to plan. As for the defence though, surely they were doing their bit? Not exactly. The Bills found themselves up at halftime, 27-0. After the halftime interval, the Vikings ended their opening drive with an interception, straight after reaching the 50-yard marker for the first time in the game. In a relatively uneventful second half, the Vikings would score their first touchdown in the final ten minutes. Proceeding to fail on the 2-point conversion.

Despite the Vikings’ performance, credit is due to the Bills. Their defence were completely rejuvenated from previous performances and were dynamite when limiting Cousins’ time in the pocket. Josh Allen was also superb, scoring 3 touchdowns, whilst throwing for 196-passing yards. Clearly scheme changes from management were pivotal in the Bills’ first victory on the season, which coach, Sean McDermott, alluded to in the locker room:

Redskins Romp the Packers

The Washington Redskins were immaculate in their week 3 win over the Green Bay Packers. Alex Smith accumulated 220-passing yards on offence, adding 2 touchdowns to his season’s tally. Adrian Peterson also looked dangerous in another great performance, scoring 2 touchdowns and gathering 190 rushing yards in the process.

As for the Packers, penalties and missed chances were their kryptonite. Rodgers completed just 27 of 44 passes, unaided by poor performances by his peers. Randall Cobb had a particularly quiet game, with just 23-receiving yards and 1 fumble on the day. This game is one to forget for the Packers, who’s record regresses to 1-1-1 on the season.

Chicago Bears Narrowly Beat the Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals got off to a great start in Phoenix with starting QB, Sam Bradford, scoring a touchdown on the opening drive of the game. As for the Bears, not so good. With just under 2 minutes in the quarter, Mitch Trubisky was strip-sacked, which Bradford was able to capitalise on connecting on a second touchdown pass to David Johnson. The Cards were up by 14 points to finish the quarter. In the second quarter, Cody Parkey knocked a 23-yard Field Goal through the uprights with 2 minutes to go in the second quarter. On the Bears’ next possession, Tre Boston was able to pickoff Mitch Trubisky’s pass to end the first half.

In the second half, Trubisky was able to get the offence firing on all cylinders. Jordan Howard drove in a 2-yard touchdown, whilst Cody Parkey nailed 2 FG’s to take the lead, 16-14, with less than five minutes to play. Rookie quarterback Josh Rosen was activated into the game, however he was  intercepted on a crucial 4th down and 5 by Bryce Callahan, which inevitably ended the ballgame.

The Bears’ victory puts them atop the NFC North with a record of, 2-1. The Cardinals fall to 0-3 on the season.

Detroit Lions Pull Off the Unthinkable

The New England Patriots headed into Detroit with their sights set on making up for their loss to the Jaguars last weekend. The Lions had other plans. By the end of the first half things weren’t looking great, down 3-13.

Entering the second half, Brady was able to pull it back within touching distance with a nice touchdown pass to James White. The score now, 10-13. Unfortunately for the Patriots, the Lions did not let up. Stafford led his team downfield throwing a touchdown to Marvin Jones in the third. They would then score via a Matt Prator Field Goal. On a pivotal 4th down and 12 in their own half, Brady was unable to get the ball downfield, which Prator capitalised on. The game ended with the Lions reigning supreme, 26-10.

This impressive performance by the Lions gets them their first victory of the season, improving to 1-2. As for the Patriots they fell to the same record with doubt beginning to creep in on their season.

For many it would’ve been hard to imagine that the Bears would be leading the NFC North heading into week 4. It appears that the addition of Khalil Mack has totally revitalised the Bears’ defence. As for the Packers and Vikings, they must bounce back next week or their seasons could be in jeopardy. Finally, the Detroit Lions will seek to use this massive victory as momentum for the remainder of the season.

This guest piece has been written by Greg Forbes. Greg is a Pittsburgh Steelers who not only has love for his team but the NFL itself too. You can follow Greg over on Twitter at @G29750721.




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