NFC North recap: 4-way tie, as Kirk Cousins’ primetime woes continue

Pride of Detroit

As we come to a close on Week 2 of the NFL season, let’s check in on how the rest of the NFC North is doing.

Packers bounce back in impressive fashion over the Bears, win 27-10

Packers

Just like the beginning of last year, the Packers had a rough first game of the season, but when you count them out too early, you get responses like this. The Bears came into this matchup with a 1-0 record, but they still clearly have a long way to go. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense were able to expose what the San Francisco 49ers couldn’t.

Throughout the second quarter, the Packers were firing on all cylinders. They scored all three of their touchdowns in the second, and the game was looking out of reach for the Bears quite early.

Running back Aaron Jones scored two of those touchdowns (one rushing, one passing) and had a fantastic day overall. He rushed for 132 yards on 15 attempts (8.8 yards per rush), which opened up the passing game for Rodgers to allow the QB to have a nice game as well (19-of-25, 234 passing yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs).

On the defensive side, the Packers not only held the Bears to just 10 points, but they had a smart game plan and clearly baited Chicago into beating them through the air, and the Bears did not accept the challenge. The Packers defense gave up only 228 total yards, with 48 of those total yards coming through the air. They also only gave up 11 first downs all game. Overall, it was a dominant performance by both the offense and defense.

Next game: @ Buccaneers (2-0)

Bears

Games like these will have other teams paying close attention to how to defeat the Bears. The Packers dared Chicago to have Justin Fields beat them through the air, and the Bears politely declined. Through the first two games of the season, Fields has attempted just 28 passes.

The Bears had plenty of success on the ground with David Montgomery rushing for 122 yards on 15 attempts, but when forced to throw the ball, the Bears were often put in third-and-long situations, and Fields more often than not chose to throw short of the sticks.

Late in the game, the Bears had a long drive where they had a chance to bring it to a one-score game, but a very questionable call on fourth-and-goal on the 1-yard line saw them turn the ball over on downs after a long review.

Next game: vs. Texans (0-1-1)

Kirk Cousins predictably folds on prime-time television, Vikings lose, 24-7

Following the Vikings’ loss to the Eagles on Monday night, Cousins now has a record of 10-18 in prime-time games, including a 2-10 record on “Monday Night Football.” At this point in his career, this doesn’t appear to be a fluke. The Vikings quarterback was visibly shook at many points of the game. When under pressure, he tried lobbing the ball up to his security blanket, Justin Jefferson, a few times, but it was Darius Slay who was often on the other end. Slay had a masterful game, finishing with two interceptions and should have had four.

Cousins ended the game with 27 completions on 46 attempts, 221 passing yards, a touchdown and three interceptions.

The Eagles, who had a hard time putting away the Lions last week, did not feel threatened by the Vikings at any point during the game. A lot of that had to do with how well Jalen Hurts was playing. Against the Lions, Hurts was using his legs to pick up first downs and gash the Lions’ defense, but when the Vikings took that away from him, he punished them through the air.

Hurts was on the money when the Eagles needed him the most, and the Vikings had no answers for him. The Eagles were 7-of-13 of third down attempts and scored all 24 of their points in the first half.

Justin Jefferson, coming off of an incredible performance in Week 1, was essentially invisible against the Eagles thanks to a huge day at the office from Slay.

Vikings star running back Dalvin Cook also struggled to get his bearings and only rushed for 17 yards on six carries. Minnesota’s leading rusher for the game was Cousins who finished with 20 rushing yards. Not exactly a recipe for success.

Next game: vs. Lions (1-1)

Standings after Week 2

t-1. Minnesota Vikings (1-1)
t-1. Green Bay Packers (1-1)
t-1. Detroit Lions (1-1)
t-1. Chicago Bears (1-1)

As predicted in last week’s NFC North recap, we find ourselves with a four-way tie for first place in the division after two weeks. None of these teams are looking like a powerhouse right now and it is truly anyone’s division unless you’re the Chicago Bears.

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