NFC North: Little to Feel Good About After Division Gets Swept

The argument among teams in the NFC North Division in Week 2 centered around which took the worst loss. The Detroit Lions earned a high by opening the season with a high-profile road win over the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. The Lions followed that by laying an egg at home and losing in overtime to the Seattle Seahawks.

It is likely when we look back at this week, Chicago will have taken the worst loss here. Tampa Bay has shown through two weeks that Baker Mayfield is comfortable managing an offense, but it is unlikely the Buccaneers will stay in contention. Green Bay came agonizingly close to starting 2-0. The Packers blew a double-digit, fourth-quarter lead in a one-point loss to Atlanta. 

Minnesota fell behind by a large deficit before rallying in the second half against Philadelphia. The Vikings will feel the pressure to get in the win column following a challenging 0-2 start to the season.

 

Place Team W L T Week 2 Result
1. Green Bay Packers 1 1 0 L, 25-24 at Atlanta Falcons
1. Detroit Lions 1 1 0 L, 37-31 OT vs. Seattle Seahawks
3. Minnesota Vikings 0 2 0 L, 34-28 at Philadelphia Eagles
3. Chicago Bears 0 2 0 L, 27-17 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Packers Get No Love in Fourth Quarter

Little to Feel Good About After Division Gets Swept
Jordan Love

Green Bay led 24-12 entering the fourth quarter and would have likely put the game away with one more scoring drive, which would have preserved their unbeaten start in the NCFC North. But Packers quarterback Jordan Love, who had played well up to that point, and Green Bay’s offense would fall on its face. During their last three possessions of the game, the Packers only gained 11 yards and didn’t produce any first downs.

Love attempted six passes, and all of them fell incomplete. Other than the final quarter, Love had a good performance. He completed 14 of 25 passes for 151 yards and three touchdowns. Jayden Reed (two) and Dontayvion Wicks each caught touchdown passes from Love.

Beating the Packers was necessary for the Atlanta Falcons, who moved to 2-0 for just the 11th time in franchise history. Thanks to how things went for the rest of the division Sunday, Green Bay’s loss didn’t seem so bad by comparison.

 

Goff Sees Interception-Less Streak End

 

Detroit quarterback Jared Goff had gone a long time without throwing an intersection before throwing a pick-six to Seahawks defensive back Tre Brown. The stretch covered 383 passes, which dates back to Detroit’s Week 9 win over Green Bay.

Goff has done a much better job of caring for the ball since he came to Detroit in the NFC North. During the 2018-20 season with the Los Angeles Rams, Goff threw 41 interceptions. In his first two seasons with Detroit, Goff tossed 15 picks. Goff hopes to get a few more games in the win column as the Lions’ quarterback.

Goff is 13-19-1 with Detroit as a starter. He was 42-27 with the Rams. Goff also took the Rams to a Super Bowl appearance while he has yet to appear in a playoff game with the Lions.

 

Jefferson Hit With Rare Rule During Vikings’ Loss

 

Minnesota wide receiver Justin Jefferson nearly had a massive play at the end of the first half last Thursday. The problem for the Vikings’ wide receiver was his effort ended in disaster. While stretching for the pylon during Minnesota’s 34-28 loss, Jefferson lost control of the ball, and it went flying out of bounds with 33 seconds left in the first half.

What should have been a 30-yard touchdown pass turned into a touchback with the ball going back to Philadelphia. The Eagles quickly moved the ball down the field and kicked a 61-yard field goal to extend the lead to six points at halftime. While Jefferson’s fumble was a big hit for Minnesota, the Vikings will be hard-pressed to complain about his play.

Jefferson caught 11 passes for 159 yards against the Eagles. He now has 150 or more receiving yards in the Vikings’ first two games. He has yet to score a touchdown.

 

Chicago Hasn’t Found Any Sort of Momentum in NFC North

 

The Bears have now lost 12 straight games and another bottom placed finish in the NFC North beckons. Losing to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who journeyman quarterback Baker Mayfield leads, calls a lot of things into question. The Bears have become the first NFL team to lose straight games while allowing at least 25 points in each game.

Quarterback Justin Fields has continued to struggle. Fields tossed two interceptions and completed 16 of 29 passes for 211 yards and scored a touchdown.

 

Jones Hamstring Injury Hurts Green Bay

 

Packers coach Matt Lafleur said Aaron Jones likely could have gone back into Green Bay’s Week 1 victory over the Bears. Jones had pulled up with a hamstring injury in the third quarter. However, Jones’ injury proved worse than either man thought.

He didn’t practice all week and was unavailable for the Packers’ 25-24 loss to Atlanta. In Jones’ absence, the running game didn’t have the same pop. A.J. Dillon was asked to carry the workload and he picked up 55 yards on 15 carries. Green Bay didn’t have a solid second option to shoulder the load. Love was second on the team in rushing with two carries for 23 yards.

 

Detroit’s Secondary Takes Big Blow

NFC North: Little to Feel Good About After Division Gets Swept
Detroit Lions

The Lions made a big investment in repairing a leaky defense this offseason. Detroit signed cornerback Cam Sutton and safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson to make the unit more productive. Gardner-Johnson played all but two snaps in the Lions’ loss to the Seahawks.

The team fears he has a torn pectoral muscle and will miss the season. Gardner-Johnson was out of last Sunday’s game for a few plays on the first drive but returned to play in the rest of the contest. That would be a crushing blow for Detroit. Gardner-Johnson led the Lions with eight tackles.