Another bye week in the NFC North means we were treated to just three games this week.
The Vikings participated in a dominant performance against the Cardinals in what was a relatively easy win. The Chicago Bears failed to continue their fine form, whilst the Green Bay Packers faced the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football. Your guide to week 6 in the North starts here!
Minnesota Vikings Cruise to Victory
With a pregame speech like this, it’s hard not to win the game.
"When I shoot, I score. When you shoot, I score."
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) October 14, 2018
Kirk Cousins’ electric speech ignited a flame inside the Vikings, something they made good on in the game. Cousins himself once again showed off his ability to maintain focus whilst under pressure in the pocket, throwing the ball for 233 passing yards and 1 touchdown.
Furthermore, Cousins ran the ball 4 times, including one rush for a touchdown. He did fall victim to his own style of play however, suffering a forced fumble and throwing one interception. However, Latavius Murray was an enigma in the backfield, rushing the ball for 155 yards and 1 touchdown. Likewise, Adam Thielen once again stole the show with 11 receptions for 123 yards, including catching the only Vikings touchdown pass of the game.
On defence, Xavier Rhodes was able to shutdown Larry Fitzgerald for the majority of the game, holding him to just 39 yards. Danielle Hunter was once again disruptive filling in for Everson Griffen, with 2 sacks and 5 total tackles in the game.
Josh Rosen of the Cardinals was able to throw the ball relatively well, however, he was unable to produce a touchdown pass with 240 passing yards in the game. Budda Baker’s fumble recovery granted the Cards their first touchdown of the game, yet the Vikings were unfazed and eventually ran up the score, 27-17. David Johnson was able to run the ball in the endzone on a relatively good day personally, rushing the ball for 55 yards. However, the Cardinals’ efforts were simply not enough, they now fall to a lowly win/loss record of 1-5.
The Chicago Bears Falter in Miami
The Bears were touted as the next dominant team in the North and coming off their bye week, they should’ve been exactly that. However, the Dolphins and an unsuspecting Brock Osweiler had other plans.
Despite the overtime victory for the Dolphins, let’s take a look at how the Bears performed. Mitchell Trubisky threw the ball fairly well, for 316 yards in-fact. He also produced 3 touchdowns, as well as rushing the ball for 47 yards on 8 attempts. In addition, Cohen and Howard provided a dual-threat run game on offence, rushing the ball for 100 yards collectively with a touchdown for the former in the game.
On defence, Kyle Fuller had a big game with 7 total tackles and 2 interceptions at the hands of Osweiler. However, the largest talking point of the day was the complete absence of Khalil Mack. His ferocious start to the season made him an early candidate for DPOTY, yet he simply failed to mark his presence on the field, compiling just 1 tackle.
The Dolphins played remarkably well on the other hand, what with Brock Osweiler’s late introduction into the game just 90 minutes before kickoff. Osweiler accumulated 380 passing yards and 3 touchdowns of his own in the game, whilst Frank Gore brought the first 100+ yard game for the Dolphins this season. Albert Wilson was the star of the show in Miami however, amassing 155 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns in an impressive performance.
The NFC North player of the week for me (if there was to be one, that is) would be Jordan Sanders. Converting on all 3 of his field goal attempts, Sanders capitalised on Cody Parkey’s missed field goal attempt in overtime (which would’ve won the game for the Bears) to give the Dolphins the victory. They improve to 4-2 for the season.
Monday Night Madness
Monday Night Football was nothing short of a shoot-out in Wisconsin. With the game flowing in both directions through fantastic offence on either side, the 49ers found themselves ahead 30-23 with just over 3 minutes remaining.
Enter, Aaron Rodgers. He marched his team downfield in just under 1.5 minutes with a scoring TD pass to Davante Adams. The following possession, Kevin King intercepted C.J. Beathard’s pass, which provided Rodgers with another opportunity. Bringing the team within FG distance, none-other than Mason Crosby nailed a 27-yard field goal for the win!
Aaron Rodgers’ unusually inaccurate display, completing just 25/46 passes thrown, was more than made up for with an impressive performance to close out the game. Mason Crosby also deserves enormous praise, completing 4 of 4 field goals, including a 51-yarder, in an emphatic comeback from recent misfortunes.
A thing of beauty by the #Packers and QB Aaron Rodgers. What are you supposed to do? Of course, Mason Crosby comes back in a redemption game to win it. A comeback on many levels.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 16, 2018
The San Francisco 49ers demonstrated grit and determination in the face of adversity, considering the loss of their star quarterback, Jimmy Garopolo, just a few weeks ago.
C.J. Beathard performed very well as his replacement, throwing the ball for 245 yards and 2 touchdowns in spite of the aforementioned interception. Furthermore, the O-line deserves credit for preventing copious amounts of pressures on the QB, with just 2 sacks allowed all game. Both Raheem Mostert and Matt Breida had solid games in the backfield, whilst Marquise Goodwin caught 2 touchdown passes and compiled 126 receiving yards on just 4 receptions.
Despite their best efforts, the San Francisco 49ers regress to a 1-5 win/loss record.
That does it for week 6 in the NFC North. The Bears remain atop the division with a game in hand, and a win/loss record of 3-2. Following closely behind are the Packers and Vikings who share a record of 3-2-1. Lastly, the Lions sit last place looking to bounce back from their bye week in Miami.
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