In week 3, the NFC North’s teams went a combined 3-1, with the only loss coming in an intra-division game. The Packers improved to 2-1 on the season with a hard-fought win in Tampa, but they were only able to keep pace atop the division thanks to wins by the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears.
Minnesota defeated the Lions to deliver the division’s only loss on Sunday, and it was a costly one for Detroit on the injury front. Starting safety Tracy Walker is done for the season after tearing his Achilles tendon in the game, and the Lions’ defense continued to struggle.
Another odd storyline coming out of that contest was the inexplicable flag that former Packer Jamaal Williams drew for a touchdown celebration — one that he has done before. Apparently, he’s just too sexy for this league.
Down in Chicago, the Bears got another ugly win over a bad team, defeating the Houston Texans 23-20. The game wasn’t without another 60 minutes of awful quarterback play from Justin Fields, however, as he threw two bad interceptions and was sacked five times. His final stat line of 8-for-17 with 106 yards and two picks was good for a passer rating of 27.7. Fields is falling well short of any expectations the Bears and NFL fans had for him when he was drafted, and it’s tough to see a path out of it at this point.
Here are the most newsworthy bits from around the division as we head into week four.
Minnesota Vikings (2-1)
Week 3: Won vs. Detroit Lions 28-24
Week 4: @ New Orleans Saints (in London), 9:30 AM ET
Vikings open as early favorites in International Series opener - Daily Norseman
In that game, the Vikings currently hold a field-goal advantage on the point spread.
Kevin O’Connell Provides Injury Updates on Dalvin Cook & Harrison Smith | Vikings.com
Both key starters look like they could return to action this weekend, when the Vikings play the Saints in London.
Chicago Bears (2-1)
Week 3: Won vs. Houston Texans 23-20 (OT)
Week 4: @ New York Giants, 1:00 PM ET
Notes: Bears win ugly but improve to 2-1 - Windy City Gridiron
Justin Fields was bad again, but Khalil Herbert was the star on offense, carrying the football 20 times for 157 yards in relief of an injured David Montgomery. Meanwhile, Roquan Smith had a huge game on defense, posting 16 tackles and a key late interception.
Chicago Bears confidence in Justin Fields unshaken - Sports Illustrated
Realistically, though, the Bears can only go as far as their quarterback can take them, and right now he’s not getting the job done. Another two picks won’t help, and the Bears seem very unwilling to let him loose.
Bears QB Justin Fields: 'I played like trash' in win over Texans | NFL.com
Even Fields himself wanted to say he played like "ass" but chose a different word instead.
Detroit Lions (1-2)
Week 3: Lost @ Minnesota Vikings 28-24
Week 4: vs. Seattle Seahawks, 1:00 PM ET
Awful red zone defense equates to Lions’ league-worst scoring defense | Lions Wire
Indeed, the Lions rank last in points allowed, thanks in large part to allowing 10 touchdowns on 11 opponents' possessions in the red zone.
Tracy Walker injury update: Lions safety suffers a torn Achilles - Pride Of Detroit
Tracy Walker’s season is done after suffering a torn Achilles, according to an NFL Network report. That's a big blow to a defense that has been struggling to start the year.
The Lions got flagged because their touchdown dance was too sexy - SBNation.com
In case you were wondering how old friend Jamaal Williams is doing in Detroit, he just got a celebration penalty for one of his signature dances in a two-score day.