NFC North roundup: Vikings and Bears fall, Packers prevail in Week 1

USA Today


After the Detroit Lions secured a victory over the Kansas City Chiefs, we had the opportunity to sit back and enjoy the remaining NFC North games. The Minnesota Vikings faced off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who were without Tom Brady, while the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears had their early divisional clash.

In terms of the Lions’ pursuit of the division title, the matchups played out relatively favorably. Let’s take a look at how the other NFC North teams fared.

Minnesota Vikings

(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)

The Minnesota Vikings lost their first game of the season to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by a score of 20-17. The Vikings had a hard time holding on to the ball, committing three turnovers, two of which were attributed to Kirk Cousins – a fumble and an interception. The offensive line struggled to keep up with the Buccaneers’ defensive line, which may have contributed to the issues that plagued Cousins and the running game that was mostly ineffective throughout the game.

On a more positive note for the Vikings, their first-round receiver Jordan Addison made an early contribution by catching a touchdown in his debut game. Justin Jefferson also had a good showing, and the two receivers seem to be forming a good tandem for the Vikings offense. Although the Vikings lost, their defense showed promise and only needs to finish out plays.

The Vikings have a short week as they host the Philadelphia Eagles, who pulled out a 25-20 win over the New England Patriots.

Green Bay Packers

Green Bay Packers offensive tackle David Bakhtiari (69) celebrates a victory against the Chicago Bears during their football game Sunday, September 10, 2023, at Soldier Field in Chicago, Ill. Green Bay won 38-20.

The Green Bay Packers have started a new era at quarterback by giving the responsibility to Jordan Love, who had a commendable performance against the Chicago Bears. He threw three touchdowns and made some clutch plays to convert downs at the right time, avoiding negative outcomes. Although he received contributions from everywhere on the field, he relied heavily on Aaron Jones, who scored a touchdown and made another big catch that led to a touchdown.

The defense was able to force two turnovers, both at the expense of Justin Fields, one of which resulted in a pick-six. Except for a Darnell Mooney touchdown, they were largely successful in keeping the big plays at bay, making life very difficult for the Bears. The Packer defense sacked Fields four times and made seven tackles for losses. They took full advantage of a porous Bears offensive line, leaving the Bears struggling all day to find a rhythm.

The Packers will continue their road trip by facing the Atlanta Falcons, who defeated the Carolina Panthers by a score of 24-10.

Chicago Bears

Sep 10, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Green Bay Packers linebacker Rashan Gary (52) hits the arm of Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) causing an incomplete pass in the first half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears were optimistic about their team’s performance this season after acquiring D.J. Moore to support Justin Fields’ development. However, their hopes were shattered when Fields struggled to find his rhythm on the field. He couldn’t make the big plays that he was known for, and his staring down of receivers led to a pick-six. The offensive line didn’t perform well either, failing to deliver pass protection or run blocking. This caused the Bears offense to struggle right from the start of the game.

The defense also had a tough day, allowing Jordan Love to look like a capable starting quarterback. The Bears couldn’t create any pressure, allowing Love to comfortably pick apart their aerial defense. Most people thought that the Bears’ saving grace would be their defense, which they are known for building up, but they struggled in every department today.

Next, the Bears will face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who already defeated one of their NFC North opponents, the Vikings.

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