The NFC North Review: Week 4

Leon Halip - Getty Images

Three NFC North teams won in week three, as the teams played one intra-division game and collected two wins outside the Black and Blue division.

In week four, the Lions and Vikings played each other for their first divisional games of the season. The rest of the division held strong againt other competition, with the Bears traveling to Dallas and Green Bay coming up with a difficult win at Lambeau Field.

Minnesota Vikings 20, @ Detroit Lions 13

Remember how bad the Lions' special teams coverage was last week against the Titans? It didn't get any better this week. Seven days after allowing return touchdowns on both a kickoff and a punt in Tennessee, Detroit let Percy Harvin take the opening kick back for a score and gave up a third quarter punt return touchdown to Marcus Sherels for the only Vikings touchdowns of the day. That was enough, however, as the Vikings' defense bottled up Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson and held the Lions' offense to 13 points.

Stafford had another solid day in terms of yardage, with 319 passing yards, but spread the ball around to eight different receivers. Calvin Johnson couldn't break a big one, finishing the day with a relatively pedestrian 5 catches for 54 yards. The Lions never really got their running game going either, as the team ran for only 55 yards on 20 carries. The Vikings' offense didn't do much, and despite Adrian Peterson's 102 rushing yards, they never found the end zone. Ultimately, though, they didn't need to, as their special teams did more than enough damage. Detroit now heads into their bye week at a disappointing 1-3.

Chicago Bears 34, @ Dallas Cowboys 18

The Bears' MVP in this game might have been Tony Romo, who threw more touchdowns to Bears' defenders (two) than to his own team (one). Romo threw for over 300 yards, but he was picked off five times before being benched in favor of Kyle Orton before the last drive of the game. The Bears' run defense bottled up Demarco Murray and the Cowboys rushing attack, limiting the team to 41 yards on 14 carries.

While Jay Cutler's little spat with Mike Tice may be the biggest takeaway from this game, he looked solid and made some very good throws, even despite some pressure from the Cowboys' defense. Brandon Marshall had his second big game as a Bear, with seven catches for 138 yards and a touchdown. On the other side of the ball, Dez Bryant had a big game statistically, with eight receptions for 105 yards, but has been taking a lot of heat for dropping multiple passes and poor route-running, which likely led to Charles Tillman's pick-six in the second quarter.

The Packers now sit a game behind the Vikings and Bears, with plenty of time to catch up.

Team W L T
Minnesota Vikings 3 1 0
Chicago Bears 3 1 0
Green Bay Packers 2 2 0
Detroit Lions 1 3 0
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