It’s time to take a look around the NFC North and recap where our division rivals are after week 5. One of the three teams had a bye and the other two won big. Let’s do a break down how the games played out.
Bears win 41-3
Big win for the Bears here and as is normally the case the Bears’ defense stole the show. The Bears had two interceptions returned for touchdowns. One of those pick-6’s came from Charles Tillman who is putting together an amazing year. On offense the Bears put up 501 yards of offense with 292 of those yards coming through the air from Jay Cutler and company.
Bad news out of this game? The Bears continued to gain confidence and assert themselves as one of the powerhouse teams of the NFC. When the team was able to get going they were able to have a balanced attack on offense and the deep passing threat that they worked so hard to establish in the offseason. Mix that with a defense that has been playing lights out so far this year and you’ll find a very talented team.
The good news out of this game for Packer fans? The Bears were still inconsistent in this game. The game was actually tied at the half 3-3 and 301 yards of offense produced came in the second half alone. The Bears still only have a receiving game thanks to the contribution of Brandon Marshall. Marshall had 12 receptions for 144 yards and one touchdown. To put that in perspective Cutler had 23 completions for 292 yards and 2 touchdowns. Thus, the defensive strategy employed by the Packers week 2 is still a good one. Double cover Marshall and attack Culter and then watch the Bears offense implode.
Vikings win 30-7.
This game might of well been called the Percy Harvin show. Harvin had 8 receptions for 108 yards and a touchdown as well as a rushing touchdown as well. The game had only four touchdowns scored in it and Harvin had two of them by himself. Christian Ponder continued his steady, if slightly unimpressive performance of 2012 completing 23/35 for 258 yards 2 TD’s and 2 INT’s. He also completed his first pass of over 29 yards this season.
On defense the Vikings looked pretty good. On one hand it’s probably not too tough to shut down a Titans offense that has been struggling to run the ball and starting its backup quarterback. On the other hand you play who you play in the NFL and all of these guys are paid to do their job. The Vikings limited Matt Hasselbeck to 200 yards passing a touchdown and an interception. Hasselbeck was sacked twice. More important though was the fact that the Vikings held Chris Johnson to 24 yards rushing on the day.
In the end the Vikings could not have asked for a better performance from their team. They are on a role and riding the wave to the top of the division standings. This team reminds me an awful lot of the 2010 Falcons. They play sound, disciplined football. It’s all very nice, but they don’t appear to have an offense that would match up well with a team looking to outscore them. If the Vikings are truly going to be contenders this year for anything they need to find that extra gear on offense, otherwise they will only go as far as Percy Harvin takes them.
The Detroit Lions had a bye this week, so there is nothing to report. The good news we can take from this front right now is that no matter how bad the Packers seem to be….the Lions are worse.