Behind the defense’s first shutout since the 2010 season, the Green Bay Packers cruised to a 22-0 win over the Buffalo Bills to improve to a 2-1-1 record. A pair of interceptions and an unexpected seven sacks against rookie Josh Allen paved the way for the Packers as the offense struggled to get into a rhythm once again with off-target passes and drops. Still, an important home win for Green Bay sets the stage for its next NFC North battle with the Detroit Lions next Sunday.
Sitting alone atop the division remain the Chicago Bears, winners in amazingly lopsided fashion over Tampa Bay. An unforeseen offensive output from quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, paired with a relentless defense, helped Chicago enter the bye week with momentum. Meanwhile, shaky defensive games from the Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings led to losses that provided cushion for Chicago and Green Bay in the standings. Both the Lions and Vikings enter a pivotal week of adjustments in preparing for strong offenses in week five.
Today’s rundown takes a look at some of those areas needing to be cleaned up as the NFL schedule crosses the quarter-season mark.
Chicago Bears (3-1)
Won 48-10 vs. Tampa Bay; Bye next
The Chicago defense was no slouch, intercepting three passes against Tampa Bay. But it was a six-touchdown, 354-yard passing performance from Trubisky and the offense that stole the headlines on Sunday for a surging Bears team.
Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune takes a little bit of a different approach to the offensive explosion, citing the Buccaneers’ defensive faults as a key to Trubisky’s big day. Tampa coach Dirk Koetter called the performance “horrific,” along with some other attention-grabbing quotes.
Three interceptions and four sacks helped lead the Bears’ defense in an impressive showing against the Bucs. A promising offense through the air in the first three games was held to just 251 passing yards on the afternoon.
Detroit Lions (1-3)
Lost 26-24 at Dallas; Next vs. Green Bay
Slowing Ezekiel Elliott proved too tall a task on Sunday, as the Cowboys’ running back almost surpassed 100 yards both rushing and receiving. Meanwhile, the Lions had three receivers step up, while T.J. Lang missed some action once again.
The blown lead looms large over what was a dynamic performance from Tate, who hauled in eight catches for 132 yards and a pair of touchdowns. His showboating after a go-ahead touchdown was addressed, however.
Issues in coverage continue for Detroit’s middle linebacker, who gave up a key reception to Elliott late in the contest. Davis’ issues as a rookie have not yet been solved.
Minnesota Vikings (1-2-1)
Lost 38-31 at LA Rams; Next at Philadelphia
A thrilling offensive game concluded with the Rams on top, as Minnesota’s defense was gashed for a second consecutive week.
More on that defense that allowed 556 total yards and 465 yards and five touchdowns via the passing game. Head Coach Mike Zimmer and several players were distraught about the team’s defensive woes following the game.
After a personal incident last week, Minnesota’s star defensive end will sit out the next several weeks with the Vikings’ support.