Through the first three weeks of what has been a roughing the passer penalty possessed NFL regular season, here is where things sit amidst the NFC North:
In honor of the division standings looking a hell of a lot different than the preseason predictors drew them up, we decided to breakdown this confusing cluster on a team-by-team basis.
Chicago Bears (2-1)
First of all, Jon Gruden’s status as a national treasure is obviously well-deserved. The grown man who goes full kid in a candy store over a well-executed Spider 2 Y Banana reached legend status a long time ago.
With that being said, the now head coach of the Raiders’ decision to trade the all-world Khalil Mack to the Bears was a dick (and dumb) move.
Chicago’s ability to win two of their first three contests, despite quarterback Mitch Trubisky currently sitting 25th overall in Total QBR, is mostly due to the stout play of their defensive.
Sam Bradford might be blowing this game for the Cardinals. Third turnover of the second half, this one in the red zone, gives the ball back to the Bears.
— Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) September 23, 2018
Sidebar: Damnit, Sam.
While the Bears are obviously improved from last season’s squad, it’s hard to envision them retaining the division’s top spot for an extended period of time. After back to back wins over what are considered to be sub-par NFC West teams, first year head coach Matt Nagy will see the new future throw him some presumably higher-leveled tests.
In our eyes, Trubisky’s shortcomings will eventually catch up to Nagy and his up-and-coming Bears.
- Next 3 weeks — vs. TB, @ MIA, vs. NE
Green Bay Packers (1-1-1)
Sidebar: Appreciate it, Adrian.
While his numbers aren’t as out of this world as his season opening second-half against Chicago, Aaron Rodgers, the best quarterback in the world, is still averaging an impressive 277.33 passing yards and 2 touchdowns per game. On top of that, Mr. Discount Double Check himself is yet to throw a pick.
As long as number 12 is under center for
the f*cken Cheeseheads Green Bay, the sky remains the limit for that offense.
The main question around Lambeau field, per usual, revolves around the opposite side of the pigskin.
After Minnesota closed out week 2 by torching the Packers defense like they were the reincarnation of Sheryl’s She Shed, Green Bay responded by allowing Washington to repeatedly run the ball down their throat.
Also, to add injury to the Green and Yellow’s recent insults, Mike McCarthy and his staff will be moving forward without the services of DE Muhammad Wilkerson.
Regardless of all that, as long as Rodgers is the man playing QB, even a small amount of defensive support can result in the Packers racking up victories.
- Next 3 weeks — vs. BUF, @ DET, vs. SF
Minnesota Vikings (1-1-1)
Before discussing the Purple, we want to send our best wishes to Everson Griffen and his family. Obviously, the importance of his health comes before anything relating to the game of football.
In what feels like an afterthought to that note, the Vikings do still have a week 4 matchup to address.
After getting busted by the Bills, Minnesota is rewarded with a TNF matchup against the Rams (followed by a trip to Philly to face the Champs).
Despite, outside of their kicking game, looking pretty crisp through the first two games of the Kirk Cousins era, the stacked Vikings roster laid an egg and a half against the Bills.
Regardless of whether or not that game was an outlier remains to be seen. However, for Minnesota to have a chance at repeating last year’s feat of obtaining a playoff bye, it’s obvious that they can’t be having this bullshit from their offensive line:
According to @PFF, Riley Reiff allowed 12 pressures (one sack, two QB hits and nine hurries) on Sunday. Kirk Cousins was pressured on 32 of his 60 dropbacks, the highest total in the league in Week 3.
— Ben Goessling (@GoesslingStrib) September 24, 2018
- Next 3 weeks — @ LAR, @ PHI, vs. ARI
Detroit Lions (1-2)
The Lions were having staring contest against an 0-3 until pulling off an ultra-important upset over the Belichick and Brady machine.
During their SNF victory, Detroit rookie Kerryon Johnson became the first Lions RB to eclipse the 100 yard rushing mark since 11/28/2013. The Auburn alum looked damn good during his 5.6 yard per carry performance (29 attempts, 161 yards).
Despite the opening week ass kicking given to them by the Jets, Detroit has played somewhat surprisingly well. Prior to their handling of New England, the Motor City Kitties lost by only three points to an at the time Jimmy Garoppolo lead 49ers team.
While you know Matt Stafford will spend the rest of the season chucking it all over the yard, it will be interesting to see if Detroit’s offensive line, Kerryon Johnson, and their other RBs can finally provide adequate support for their gunslinging QB. In the event they can, the Lions could easily mess around and make the playoffs.
- Next 3 Weeks — @ DAL, vs. GB, @ MIA
In conclusion, when attempting to look down the road that is the NFL regular season, it doesn’t take a Jon Gruden level football brain to see that the 16 game race in the NFC North is more open than a Walmart at midnight. It’s parody on PEDs.