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Can't Miss Slants

First Quarter 2016 Stats

I can’t believe the NFL season is already one quarter complete. Let’s take a look at some team and individual stats to compare across the division and for future comparisons later in the year. Note that Green Bay has only played 3 games which will effect on volume stats.

Points Per Game Offense

Green Bay 11th in league at 25.0 PPG

Detroit 13th in league at 23.8 PPG

Minnesota 16th in league at 22.0 PPG

Chicago 31st in league at 15.5 PPG

The NFC North doesn’t have a top ten offense right now. Green Bay was shut down in one game against a great defense (Vikings) but did well in their two wins against Jacksonville and Detroit. Detroit has two good offensive performances (Indy and Green Bay) and two poor ones (Titans and Bears). Minnesota is 4-0 and their defense is a direct result of 21 points. The Vikings offense needs some work but with a defense like they have it doesn’t matter right now. Chicago has really struggled to score points with a new OC and lack of running game the first 3 weeks of the season (Howard did well in Week 4).

QB Ratings

Sam Bradford is 3rd in the league with 105.5 rating. Yep you heard that correctly. Bradford has 4 TDs and 0 interceptions in 3 games. Shaun Hill played Week 1 for the Vikings and led them to six field goal drives (four made) in a win.

Aaron Rodgers is 12th with a 98.6 rating with 7 TDs and 1 interception but only 58.5% completion at only 6.6 YPA.

Stafford is 14th with a 93.9 rating. He’s had two monster games and two poor games because his weapons played beyond awful against Titans and Bears. Drops, bad routes leading to interceptions and penalties have hurt Stafford. Stafford has 7 TDs and 4 interceptions. Three of the four interceptions are not his fault. Stafford has thrown for 7.68 YPA and 66.7% completion with decent improved protection other than the sacks (10). However, the weapons have really let him down in Week 2 and 4.

Brian Hoyer is 7th in the league with 103.3 rating in 2.5 games. Cutler played 1.5 games before a thumb injury at a 75.7 rating.  Hoyer had a huge game with great protection against Detroit and was solid in the other two games (Eagles and Cowboys). Cutler had a nice first half against the Texans Week 1 but completely fell apart in the second half. Cutler struggled in the first half against Philadelphia.

Rushing Offense

Detroit has rushed for 4.2 YPC through 4 games for 13th in the league. Detroit was great the first two weeks and then Ameer Abdullah got hurt after a monster start to the season. Detroit struggled running the ball in Week 3 and 4 with Theo Riddick. Washington showed some flashes but got hurt early in Week 4. Zach Zenner has 3 carries for 12 yards and will get more carries if Washington stays hurt.

Green Bay has rushed for 4.2 YPC for 14th in the league. Lacy (5.0 YPC) had three strong games but Starks has really struggled (.8 YPC) on 12 carries. The runs by Cobb and Montgomery haven’t worked out too well lowering Green Bay’s average. Rodgers has 5.6 YPC on scrambles.

Chicago has run for 4.1 YPC for 17th in the league. Jeremy Langford has struggled and is now hurt. Jordan Howard has looked good and ran all over the Lions in Week 4.

Minnesota is last in the league at 2.4 YPC. That is weird to see. Adrian Peterson is on IR and struggled in Week 1 and 2. McKinnon has been banged up but finally had a good game in Week 4 against the Giants. McKinnon should help the Vikings run game rebound.

Receiving

Marvin Jones has been excellent with 432 yards and 2 TDs with a 21 YPC average. Jones had a huge day against Green Bay but was good in every other game too. The problem for Detroit is Golden Tate has been awful with 95 yards on 26 targets. Ebron has been good the first three weeks with 210 yards and 1 TD at 72% completion (really 2 TDs with bogus OPI called in Week 2). Ebron had a poor Week 4 however with a big 3rd down drop and blocking issues. Riddick has 157 yards and 1 TD but not the explosive YAC as last year. Boldin is solid as expected with 136 yards and 2 TDs and 12 first downs.

Jordy Nelson has 206 yards and 4 TDs in 3 games but only 12.1 YPC. Cobb is a decent 132 yards on 18 targets but 0 TDs and 11 YPC. Adams has 99 yards and 2 TDs but only 50% completion. Richard Rodgers and Jared Cook have 56 and 53 yards respectively and Cook is dealing with an injury again.

Alshon Jeffrey has 317 yards but 0 TDs. Zach Miller has 156 yards and 3 TDs. Kevin White showed some life with 187 yards but got hurt again. Eddie Royal is earning that contract with 241 yards and 2 TDs out of the slot with a big game against Detroit in Week 4 and clutch TD in Week 1.

Sacks Allowed

Stafford has been sacked 10 times in 4 games. Four were Taylor Decker, two were Laken Tomlinson and one each from Swanson, Reiff and Warford. One was a coverage sack on a scramble. The Lions protection has been better overall than last year but the sacks are still too high.

Aaron Rodgers has been sacked 8 times in 3 games.

Cutler was sacked 8 times in 1.5 games and Hoyer was sacked 3 times in 2.5 games. The Bears hate Cutler it appears.

Bradford has been sacked 6 times in 3 games and Hill was not sacked in Week 1. The Vikings offensive line gives up a lot of hits and hurries but have limited the sacks.

Defensive Points Per Game

The Vikings defense has been amazing. They have allowed 12.5 PPG for 2nd in the league. Rhodes has missed two games and Shariff Floyd missed 3 games. The Vikings are scary good on defense shutting down the Titans, Packers, Panthers and Giants.

Green Bay is 17th allowing 22.3 PPG. The one game they allowed the least they lost and the game they allowed the most (27 to Detroit) they won by 7.

Chicago is 19th at allowing 24.3 PPG. The Bears have had many injuries on defense and some turnover issues in the first 3 weeks by their offense that hurt the defense.

Detroit is 20th allowing 25.5 PPG. Of course, Detroit loses the two games they allow only 16 and 17 points because nothing makes sense.

Turnovers Forced and Allowed

The Vikings have forced 11 turnovers in 4 games and have only turned over one fumble. A +10 turnover differential is a huge reason they are 4-0 despite some offensive issues.

Green Bay has forced 3 turnovers and allowed 3 turnovers for dead even. Casey Hayward and his 3 interceptions and Sam Shields (concussion) are sorely missed.

Chicago has forced 4 turnovers but given up 6 in 4 games for a -2 differential. Chicago “forced” two nice fluke interceptions on bad routes against Detroit and were +2 in their lone win.

Detroit has only forced 1 turnover (Quin pick of Mariota) and allowed 4 turnovers (all Stafford interceptions). Three of the four interceptions were the Lion’s weapons fault. Four is solid through four games but Detroit really needs a pass rush and more plays from the coverage to force more turnovers.

Run Defense

Green Bay is forced through 3 games allowing an amazingly low 1.8 YPC. However, Green Bay faced backup running backs in Week 1 and 3 and Peterson really struggled this season in both games before injury. We’ll see if Green Bay keeps up this incredible pace.

Minnesota is allowing 3.6 YPC for 8th best in the league. The Vikings had trouble against Lacy and but were solid againstDeMarco Murray. The Vikings faced backup RBs from the Giants and Panthers with Rashad Jennings and Jonathan Stewart out.

Chicago is 14th allowing 3.9 YPC. They shut down the Lions missing Abdullah and Dwayne Washington but allowed a big day from Ezekial Elliot in Week 3. Lamar Miller had a nice day against them in Week 1.

Detroit is 30th allowing 4.8 YPC. Detroit’s run defense was bad against Eddie Lacy and Jordan Howard. Frank Gore had a decent day at 4.3 YPC in a shootout win for Detroit. DeMarco Murray was stopped most of the day but one 66 yard run gave him a good rating. Henry had a few nice runs as well. Detroit must shore up their run defense. Missing Levy and Ansah have really hurt Detroit’s defense. Detroit hasn’t allowed a rushing TD yet is a bright spot.

QB Rating Allowed

Minnesota is 5th allowing a 67.7 rating on the year. Minnesota has allowed 3 TDs but forced 6 interceptions. Vikings gave up 58.4% completion at a low 6.4 YPA. This is a great job by Mike Zimmer especially with Xavier Rhodes missing the first two games. Maybe Waynes isn’t a bust.

Chicago is 12th allowing an 86.2 rating. Chicago has given up 4 TDs but has 3 interceptions. The two gift interceptions by the Lions weapons helped Chicago. Chicago has missed Kyle Fuller (IR) and safeties Adrian Amos and Quartey-Jones for 1-2 games. Chicago has allowed 65% completion at 6.8 YPA.

Green Bay is 29th allowing a 105.3 rating. Sam Shields injury has hurt the Packers along with Morgan Burnett. Randall, Gunter and Rollins are still young and going through growing pains. Green Bay has allowed 6 TDs but has 2 interceptions in 3 games.

Detroit is 32nd allowing a terrible 120.2 rating. Detroit has been torched for half of games in Week 1, 3 and 4. Detroit held strong for three quarters but Mariota led a great comeback in Week 4. Detroit’s problem is lack of pass rush (due to injuries to Ansah, Taylor and Gilberry) and lack of LB coverage with Levy and Bynes out with injury. Detroit turned it around in 2015 and hope to do the same in 2016. Quandre Diggs and Nevin Lawson must play better and Tavon Wilson must return from his injury in Week 3. Detroit has allowed 12 TDs and 1 interception. This is awful coverage so far by Detroit.

Pass Rush

Minnesota has 15 sacks in 4 games. The pass rush has been incredible which has led to 11 turnovers forced and low QB rating allowed. The Vikings have a stud front 7 with depth.

The Packers have 10 sacks in 3 games. Green Bay pass rush could be better but they seem to finish with sacks. Clay Matthews missed Week 3 and Green Bay hopes to have him back after the bye. Perry has been a nice surprise for the Packers.

The Lions have 9 sacks in 4 games. Ziggy Ansah has missed all but 3 snaps in Weeks 2-4. Devin Taylor has a bum ankle in Week 3 and 4 after a great game in Week 2. Wallace Gilberry has been battling an abdomen injury and explains his poor play. Kerry Hyder has 5 sacks in 4 games for Detroit for second in the league. Detroit just needs their top 2 DEs healthier right now. Teryl Austin’s blitzes haven’t worked out too well but Darius Slay did get his first sack in Week 4.

Chicago has 6 sacks in four weeks. They don’t bring much pressure which is to be expected with Pernell McPhee on PUP and Lamar Houston on IR. Nose tackle Eddie Goldman has missed the last two games as well. Danny Trevathan missed Week 4. Chicago has some serious injuries. Willie Young and Leonard Floyd have not stepped up so far.

Records

Vikings 4-0

Green Bay 2-1

Chicago 1-3

Detroit 1-3

Vikings defense is incredible and Bradford has actually been worth the trade so far despite no blocking or run game in front of him. Eleven turnovers is a huge reason the Vikings are good. The Packers offense did well again but struggled against a stud defense in a huge game at Minnesota. Chicago looked awful for most of the first three weeks but are dealing with injuries. Chicago did enough to beat the injured Detroit in Week 4 and got some aid from Detroit’s poor weapons performance. Detroit started out great with a shootout win at the Colts. Detroit has issues in coverage and pass rush, injuries and the refs have cost the Lions games in Week 2 and 3. We’ll see if they can rebound or if the struggles are a trend.