Mid-Week NFC North Round-Up: Questions for Each Team in Week 2

7 Most Surprising Takeaways Learned about the Vikings in Week 1
Sep 11, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (19) and Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

With Week 1 in the rear-view mirror, it’s time to look ahead to Week 2 of the NFL season. The NFC North is a division that has been abuzz with excitement and overreaction over the past week. Are the Vikings the new favorites? Is Green Bay in trouble? Should the Bears play all their home games in a pigpen? All pertinent questions, and we should have answers by the end of the weekend.

Can Chicago Find a Flow on Offense?

The Bears got off to a dreadful start on the offensive side of the ball in Week 1. As the field progressively got worse in the torrential downpour, that’s when Justin Fields came alive against the 49ers. Ultimately, Chicago came away with a 19-10 win over San Francisco, but should we take this win seriously?

If the Bears are going to win games, it’s because Justin Fields takes a massive leap forward as a quarterback. He began showing flashes, but there is very little chance that they can steal a win on the road in Green Bay. The lack of wide receiver talent is glaring in this Bears offense, and their defense won’t be able to stop an angry Aaron Rodgers.

Are the Lions Feisty?

The Detroit Lions went down big against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, falling down by as much as 17 points in the 3rd quarter. They proceeded to fight their way back in the second half, with some help from Jared Goff, who threw for 2 TDs in the second half. Ultimately, Detroit lost 38-35, but should we give them a chance to win a few more games this year, including Week 2 against the Washington Commanders?

As of now, the Lions are favored by a single point against the Commanders on Sunday, but the problem with Detroit really isn’t the offense, in my opinion. It’s always been the defense’s ability to hold teams in check, and they failed to do that against Philadelphia.

With the roller coaster ride that is Carson Wentz coming to town this week, this makes sense as a game they could win, and the Kardiak Kitties may keep games close this year. They won’t win too many of them, though.

Should We Expect a Green Bay Bounce Back?

The Green Bay Packers came out completely flat against the Minnesota Vikings this week, scoring just seven points in Week 1. Despite the weak performance, many people still consider them the top team in the NFC North, and they are favored to win in many sportsbooks. That said, one of the more pertinent questions among all NFC North teams in Week 2 revolves around this team: is it realistic to expect a Green Bay bounce back?

The obvious argument in favor of Green Bay is the fact that they lost 38-3 against the Saints in Week 1 last year, and it didn’t seem to matter much. That said, this doesn’t feel like a sure-fire solution in 2022. This is a new team with inexperienced, young receivers, and if both David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins miss again, the Bears defensive front could find success.

Ultimately, I don’t think Green Bay has much to worry about against Chicago, especially if Sunday night’s game doesn’t turn into a mud bowl. That said, Tampa Bay could cause some problems in Week 3.

Will the Vikings Contain Jalen Hurts?

At the end of the day, the biggest problem for the Minnesota Vikings remains the run defense. They allowed over six yards per carry to the Green Bay Packers, and while Miles Sanders is not necessarily comparable to the combination of AJ Dillon and Aaron Jones, he is not the guy that Minnesota must worry about.

Jalen Hurts played well on Sunday against the Lions, passing for 243 yards and rushing for 90. Last year against Ed Donatell’s Denver Broncos defense, the Philadelphia Eagles came out with a blowout 30-13 win. Not only did he rush for 55 yards in the win, but it was one of his better days throwing the ball during the 2021 season too as he completed nearly 70% of his passes for 178 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

The Vikings got off to a strong start against the Green Bay Packers, but given Donatell’s history against this team, I expect the Eagles to come out on top on Monday night. Sorry to be a Debbie Downer, Vikings fans.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing as well as minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh can often be found training for a marathon, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his takes, NFL and otherwise, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken