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Half Way Home

The 2015 NFL regular season is half way over. Let’s take a look at how the North teams did statistically in the first half of the season

PPG Offense

Green Bay 25.4 (10th)

Minnesota 21.0 (23rd)

Chicago 20.3 (25th)

Detroit 18.6 (31st)

Green Bay is the only team in the North that has a good offense. Despite the injury to Jordy Nelson and Davonte Adams, Aaron Rodgers has led a good offense. Green Bay’s rush offense is above average (see below) despite some poor weeks. Their pass protection is below average and must be addressed.

The Vikings have an above average rush offense with Peterson back but Bridgewater is not protected and struggling in year 2. The good news for the Vikings is they play good defense.

The Bears had WR injuries, a Cutler injury and now a Forte injury. Cutler has improved and is getting decent protection. The Bears have a shot with Cutler improved and Jeffrey healthy in the second half of the season.

The Lions are a mess due to poor run and pass blocking. The Lions have a high number of turnovers and Stafford is doing his best despite everything working against him.

Quarterback Play

Rodgers 108.2 rating (5th), 163/252 64.7% 1,937 yards 7.69 YPA 19 TDs 3 ints

Cutler 89.6 rating (17th) 155/247 62.8% 1,787 yards 7.24 YPA 10 TDs 5 ints

Stafford 84.1 rating (20th) 193/299 64.5% 2,083 yards 6.97 YPA 13 TDs 11 ints

Bridgewater 83.4 rating (22nd) 149/232 64.2% 1,670 yards 7.20 YPA 6 TDs and 6 ints

Rodgers is still a top QB in the league. Cutler has improved and he missed 1.5 games this year. Stafford is struggling due to poor pass and run blocking but does have a decent number of TDs and good completion percentage despite the offensive issues. Bridgewater is a game manager this year.

Rushing Offense

GB 4.4 YPC 11th

Min 4.4 YPC 11th

Chi 3.9 YPC

Detroit 3.7 YPC 27th

Green Bay and Minnesota have the best rushing offenses but they are both above average only. Chicago is struggling and Forte is hurt now. Detroit is on pace for the lowest rushing yards in the history of the NFL due to low attempts and a very terrible YPC the first 5 games.

Sacks and QB hits

19 sacks and 44 hits for Rodgers

22 sacks and 60 hits for Stafford

14 sacks and 40 hits for Cutler/Clausen

21 sacks and 45 hits for Bridgewater

The Lions have the worst offensive line and a terrible run game. Minnesota despite low attempts has a high sack total and hit total. Green Bay is around below average and the Bears actually have decent protection.

Turnovers Allowed

Green Bay 6

Minnesota 9

Chicago 10

Detroit 20

Detroit has doubled the turnovers of every other North team and not surprisingly, Detroit has a 1-7 record. The turnovers hurt Detroit’s defense and take away scoring chances. Detroit has 8 fumbles from 8 different players and 12 interceptions for various reasons. Only 6 interceptions are Stafford’s fault. We’ll see if a new GM gives Stafford one more shot. Taking care of the ball is important and a big reason Green Bay and Minnesota are 6-2.

PPG Defense

Minnesota 17.5 PPG (2nd)

Green Bay 20.9 PPG (12th)

Chicago 27.6 PPG (27th)

Detroit 30.6 PPG (32nd)

The Vikings defense has been terrific through 8 games but played some struggling offenses. Green Bay is above average but struggled the last three weeks and the Bears have been bad most of the season. The Lions have been downright terrible allowing big plays and points from short fields after turnovers. Ngata, Walker and Levy injuries are a factor but the coverage is pathetic and the run defense was atrocious in 3 of 8 games.

Rush Defense

Lions 4.4 YPC (22nd)

Vikings 4.4 YPC (22nd)

Green Bay 4.5 YPC (25th)

Chicago 4.6 YPC (27th)

Nobody can stop the run.

Pass Defense

Green Bay 79 rating (5th) 57.7%, 7.6 YPA 10 TDs and 10 ints

Minnesota 82.7 rating (13th), 62.5%, 6.9 YPA 9 TDs and 4 ints

Chicago 101. Rating (27th), 63.4%, 7.3 YPA, 17 TDs and 4 ints

Detroit 111 rating (31st), 73.1%, 8.7 YPA, 14 TDs and 4 ints

Green Bay is tough to throw against with a healthy Sam Shields. However if you do complete the pass against the Packers you will get good yardage. The Vikings keep everything in front of them with a low YPA and decent completion percentage allowed.

The Packers are the only threat to force an interception with 10. Chicago and Detroit both give up high completion % and YPA and passing TDs.

Detroit is way worse than all teams as the secondary and LBs forgot how to cover this year despite good years from Slay and Quin. Rashean Mathis, Stephen Tulloch, James Ihedigbo, Travis Lewis and Josh Wilson are gone after this season.

Turnovers Forced

Green Bay 12 (10 ints, 2 fumbles)

Detroit 11 (7 fumbles, 4 ints)

Minnesota 9 (4 ints, 5 fumbles)

Chicago 9 (4 ints, 5 fumbles)

All the North teams force an average amount of turnovers.

Record

Vikings 6-2

Green Bay 6-2

Chicago 3-5

Detroit 1-7

Green Bay’s record is expected with Rodgers at the helm and some defensive improvement. However, Green Bay has had trouble with tough teams on the road despite a 6-0 start.

The Vikings have played great defense and got a boost from Peterson. The Vikings schedule has been very weak feasting on the North for 3 wins.

The Bears and Lions both played a tough schedule. The Bears were able to beat the AFC West teams (Raiders, Chiefs, Chargers) though for 3 wins but lost to the Lions in Detroit, at Seattle without Cutler, home to the Cardinals, home to Green Bay.

The Lions were only able to beat the Bears and get screwed by the refs in Seattle. Detroit was embarrassed by the Cardinals and Chiefs and swept by the Vikings leading to offensive coaches and the GM/President getting fired. Detroit blew an 18 point lead at San Diego and lost to Peyton Manning jump balls on Sunday Night in Week 3. Detroit is looking to next year. Chicago has a long shot with a weak NFC. The Vikings and Green Bay will battle for the division crown and a wild car spot.