NFC North Roundup – Packers Punish the Dolphins, Lions Lose to the Bears

NFC North Roundup – Packers Punish the Dolphins, Lions Lose to the Bears
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This week in the NFL the Minnesota Vikings sat out on their bye week. With that in mind, the Chicago Bears looked to take advantage and mark their presence at the top of the North. They would, however, be tasked with defeating divisional rivals, the Detroit Lions. In the final game of week 10 for the North, the Green Bay Packers hosted the 5-4 Miami Dolphins. But who came out on top?

Chicago Crush the Lions

Travelling to the Windy City is never easy as evidenced by Sunday’s game at Soldier Field. The Bears really took the game to the Lions and emerged deserved winners, 34-22. 

This game was undoubtedly Mitchell Trubisky’s best since his arrival in 2017. He demonstrated everything that made him an asset in collegiate football as he completed 77% of his passes for 355 yards and 3 touchdowns. But more importantly, he also displayed his ability to make plays outside of the pocket by rushing three times for 18 yards and another touchdown. 

Similarly, Allen Robinson produced his best performance since arriving from Jacksonville. In the game he amassed 133 receiving yards and caught 2 TD passes in an offensive masterclass. Additionally, fellow wideout Anthony Miller gained 122 receiving yards and a touchdown of his own in a dominant standout performance. 

Defensively, the Bears were exquisite. Firstly because they commanded the turnover battle with Prince Amukamara and Bryce Callahan both intercepting Matthew Stafford, whilst Adrian Amos recovered a fumble. Furthermore, at the line of scrimmage they were simply unstoppable as Roquan Smith, Bryce Callahan, Leonard Floyd and Bilal Nichols all got on the sack sheet. Finally, Kahlil Mack marked his return to football with 2 sacks and 5 tackles, providing constant pressure in the backfield. 

Lackluste Lions Once More

On the other hand, the Detroit Lions’ effort appeared to be non-existent at times. First of all because Stafford was protected very minimally, despite posting 2 touchdowns and 274 yards. However, he was often given very little time in the pocket, therefore he misjudged many throws throughout the game.

Likewise, their defensive efforts appeared to be just as bad. There were countless missed tackles in the outfield, all whilst Mitchell Trubisky was given what felt like hours in the pocket. Da’Shawn Hand contributed the only sack of the day, however, it was merely too little too late. 

One factor which went the way of Detroit was kicking. Cody Parkey missed 2 of a possible 2 FG’s as well as 2 PAT’s, all of which nailed the uprights. His relapse will most likely force a decision to be made on the continuation of his career in Chicago. 

Packers Pack A Punch At Lambeau Field

The Green Bay Packers desperately needed to bounce back from a defeat to the Patriots in week 9, and they did exactly that. 

Aaron Rodgers was once again comfortable in the pocket as he took his time to dissect the Dolphins’ coverage in open field. His 199 passing yards and 2 touchdowns contributed significantly to the 31-12 victory, but it was different Aaron that stole the show. 

In his career best game, Aaron Jones compiled 172 all purpose yards (145 rushing, 27 receiving) and 2 touchdowns. All of which are career highs. This comes at a fantastic time because he was able to avenge his fumble from last week’s key fixture against the Patriots. Also, Jones has now cemented his role as the starting running back, and with some sense, Mike McCarthy ought to use him at every opportunity. 

In a much improved defensive performance the Packers notched 6 total sacks on Brock Osweiler. In addition, Bashaud Breeland also contributed an interception in the game. The most impressive thing about the defence is that they approached the game in a better manner. Clearly, the defensive scheming was altered appropriately ahead of this matchup.

Miami Mishaps 

Oppositely, the Miami Dolphins were atrocious. Brock Osweiler failed to convert on many third downs, thus he accumulated a grand total of 0 TD’s. Moreover, it wasn’t for lack of opportunity as the Dolphins were able to turn the ball over twice forcing a fumble on a punt and a punt return.  

In spite of that, there were some positives to be taken. Notably Frank Gore, who rushed for 90 yards on just 13 attempts as he broke yet another NFL record. This time for the most 500 yard rushing seasons in a row. 

Previewing Week 11 in the NFC North

Week 11 boasts many tantalising matchups for your football fix, the best of the bunch being on Thursday night. In that game, the Packers travel to Seattle to take on the Seahawks with both teams in need of a win. On SNF the Lions will play host to the Carolina Panthers, once again a match of epic proportions for both teams. Then, in the late game the Vikings face the Bears. This fixture is set to be a deciding factor in who captures the NFC North crown as all eyes will be directed to Soldier Field again. 

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