NFC North Round-Up: Vikings Lose Ground and Star WR in Week 5

Oct 8, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) throws a pass against the Kansas City Chiefs at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Week 5 was another mixed bag for the NFC North. While both Chicago and Detroit captured dominant, double-digit victories this past week, Green Bay and Minnesota fell further behind with losses.

Detroit now finds themselves pulling away with the division lead, giving themselves a two-game cushion through five weeks and a tiebreaker over the Packers to boot.

Heading into Week 6, here is a recap of everything that happened across the NFC North this past weekend and a look ahead to next week’s matchups.

Chicago Captures Its First Victory

Oct 5, 2023; Landover, Maryland, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) attempts a pass against the Washington Commanders during the second half at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears went into Thursday night as a circus and exited with their first victory of the year. Justin Fields played another fantastic game and has been playing strong football in three of the past four halves for Chicago.

Fields threw for 282 yards and 4 more touchdowns as Chicago rolled past the Washington Commanders 40-20. The Bears QB is now tied for second for the most passing TDs in the league with 11, and with a matchup against the Minnesota Vikings looming, they have a chance to get out of the cellar in the NFC North.

The Lions Continue Their Dominance

NFC North
Oct 8, 2023; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Lions running back David Montgomery (5) celebrates in the end zone with wide receiver Jameson Williams (9) after running for a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers in the first quarter at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions are a force to be reckoned with in the NFC right now. They ensured sole-possession of the NFC North with a 42-24 victory over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.

This group is firing on all cylinders right now. David Montgomery put together another strong game in the backfield, and even without Amon-Ra St. Brown or Jahmyr Gibbs in the lineup, the Lions offense put up over 350 total yards for the fifth straight week to begin the season.

Detroit heads on the road for Week 6 to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a battle between two division leaders looking to solidify themselves near the top of the NFC.

Green Bay’s Offense Sputters Out in Las Vegas

Oct 9, 2023; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love (10) attempts a pass against the Las Vegas Raiders during the third quarter at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The Jordan Love experiment looked like it was off to a great start over the first couple weeks of the season, but recently, things have gone a bit off the rails. Love threw 3 interceptions on Monday night against the Raiders as Green Bay fell 17-13, losing more ground in the NFC North race.

An even more concerning development for Green Bay is their lack of a presence in the running game. Aaron Jones remains sidelined with his hamstring injury, and the Packers have averaged just 3.5 yards per carry this season.

Luckily for Green Bay, they have a bye in Week 6, so this gives them a chance to get healthy and potentially make a second-half push to get back in the division.

The Vikings Fall Short Yet Again

Oct 8, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) before the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Things in Minnesota went from bad to worse in Week 5. Not only did they lose to the Kansas City Chiefs 27-20, but they also lost star wide receiver Justin Jefferson for at least four weeks due to a hamstring injury.

This Vikings team has plenty of talent on the roster, but they continuously shoot themselves in the foot with silly turnovers and questionable clock management decisions. They now head to Chicago, who had three extra days to prepare for this matchup.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.