The season has reached the mid-way point for the Lions and Bears. The Vikings and Packers have completed 7 games and had a bye. Let’s take a look at the stats at the mid-way mark.
Stafford is 4th in the league with a 103.4 rating with 67% completion 16 TDs and 4 interceptions. Stafford is having a great year despite a lack of run support and some games where his WRs really let him down. The Lions lead the league in drops and Stafford still has great numbers. Detroit’s WRs have been productive but will need to do more in the final 8 games, especially in road games. Ebron missed 3 games and Riddick missed 2 games but the Lions won all of those games with Stafford performing well.
Sam Bradford has notched a 98.2 rating (8th in league) despite immense pressure from a porous offensive line and a lack of running game (2.7 YPC by Vikings). Bradford has only played in 6 games and has 203 attempts on the season. Bradford has done enough to win with the Vikings defense with 8 TDs and 1 interception but struggled Week 7 and 8 (scoring 10 points each week).
Aaron Rodgers is 11th in the league with a 96.2 rating in 7 games. Rodgers has 17 TDs and 4 interceptions but the YPA (6.3) and completion percentage (64%) is lacking which drags down his rating. The Packers have had injuries at running back since Week 7 but the offense has done well those two weeks. The Packers WRs and tight ends lack the separation Rodgers needs but he has time to throw and still makes the offense work.
The Bears had issues and injuries at QB. Brian Hoyer was doing a solid job with a 98 QB rating with 6 TDs and 0 interceptions. Hoyer played in 6 games (4 full) but was injured in the second quarter against Green Bay in Week 7. Cutler struggled in his 2.5 games played and returned Week 8 after a thumb injury to face Minnesota. Cutler did well with a 100.3 rating in Week 8. Cutler has an 85.7 rating now after a big Week 8. The time off and new run game with Jordan Howard may have revived Cutler on his last chance with the Bears. Matt Barkley was terrible filling in for Hoyer in Week 7 at Green Bay.
All four NFC North teams lost their top back to injury. Three went on IR with Peterson, Abdullah and Lacy getting hurt. Abdullah and Lacy were playing well before their injuries. Peterson struggled in Week 1 and 2. Langford struggled but replacements Jordan Howard and Kadeem Carey fared much better for the Bears from Week 4 to Week 8.
Jordan Howard has clipped 5.1 YPC on 99 carries. Langford may have lost his job when healthy. Ka’Deem Carey has 4.4 YPC on 25 carries as the backup. The Bears have earned 4.4 YPC as a team.
The Vikings have really struggled notching 2.7 YPC as a team (32nd). Jerrick McKinnon tallied 3.2 YPC on 68 carries and has missed time with injury as well. Third string Matt Asiata also has 3.2 YPC on 62 carries. Adrian Peterson ran a dismal 1.6 YPC on 31 carries. The Vikings can’t run the ball. Injuries at left tackle and right tackle have made it even worse with Kalil and Andre Smith on IR.
The Packers ran well with Eddie Lacy in 5games. Lacy tallied 5.1 YPC on 71 carries but didn’t have a TD. James Starks struggled this year with 1.8 YPC on 24 carries. Ty Montgomery did well in Week 7 filling in for the top 3 injured backs but got hurt Week 8. Montgomery has 4.7 YPC on 14 carries. The Packers have a 4.3 YPC total for the season. Lacy’s first five games and Montgomery against Chicago give them the good average.
The Lions average 3.9 YPC. Abdullah had 5.6 YPC in the first 1.5 games on 18 carries but hurt his foot on a juke. Theo Riddick has been inconsistent at 3.7 YPC with 3 good games, 3 poor games and 2 games missed due to injury. Zach Zenner has struggled
Rodgers was sacked 14 times in 7 games.
Stafford was sacked 19 times in 8 games.
Cutler/Hoyer and Barkley were sacked 14 times combined in 8 games.
Bradford was sacked 19 times in 6 games and Hill wasn’t sacked in Week 1.
Alshon Jeffrey has 583 yards and 1 TD in 8 games with 3 different QBs. He is playing well but needs to score more in a franchise tag year Zach Miller has 393 yards and 3 TDs. Eddie Royal showed signs of life with 338 yards and 2 TDs after doing nothing in 2015. Former first round pick Kevin White showed flashes but got injured in Week 4 and went on IR.
The Lions have five good weapons. Marvin Jones notched 656 yards and 4 TDs. Golden Tate woke up Week 6 and has 434 yards and 1 TD. Tate leads the league in YAC. Anquan Boldin has been solid and caught many clutch first downs. Boldin has 276 yards and 4 TDs. Ebron missed 3 games but still has 289 yards and 1 TD in five games. Theo Riddick is a good pass catching RB again with 267 yards and 4 TDs in 6 games played. Abdullah was receiving well too but got hurt in Week 2.
Green Bay got Jordy Nelson back. Nelson looks a bit slow but still is producing despite a low completion percentage (51 %). Nelson has 415 yards and 6 TDs. Randall Cobb has 388 yards and 2 TDs but missed Week 8. Davante Adams finally is playing to his 2nd round draft status with 424 yards and 5 TDs with 70% completion percentage. Ty Montgomery has 164 yards and 0 TDs in 7 games. Jared Cook has been hurt and combined with Richard Rodgers for only 137 yards combined.
The Vikings have Stefon Diggs producing 466 yards and 2 TDS in 6 games. Adam Thielen has 364 yards and 1 TD in 7 games. Rudolph marked 322 yards and 3 TDs in 7 games. LaQuan Treadwell has been hurt and does nothing as a first round pick. Cordarelle Patterson chipped in 194 yards and 2 TDs. Charles Johnson only has 92 yards and Jarius Wright only 32 yards (plus has been hurt). The Vikings lack weapons and protection for Bradford.
Offensive Points per Game
Green Bay is 11th scoring 24.3 PPG. Detroit is 16th scoring 22.9 PPG. Detroit has some great games offensively but three poor offensive performances have hurt them with 3 losses (Ten, at Chicago, at Houston). Minnesota is 23rd scoring 19.9 PPG. The Vikings have gotten some defensive help as their offense is pretty poor most of the time. The Bears are dead last scoring 16.4 PPG. They have a run game now but they just couldn’t finish in most games. In the Bears two wins, they only score 17 and 20 point.
The Vikings allow only 14.9 PPG which is best in the league. Green Bay allows 22.3 PPG which is 15th due to many CB injuries. Chicago rebounded and allows only 22.4 PPG for 16th despite missing Kyle Fuller and Pernell McPhee for 6 games (among others). The Lions have many injuries (Levy, Slay, Ansah, Ngata) to their best defenders this year and allow 23.8 PPG for 21st in the league.
Minnesota is 2nd allowing a 68.1 rating on the season. They allow 6.1 YPC and gave up 6 TDs but forced 9 interceptions in 7 games. Opposing QBs complete only 56.8% against Minnesota. Their strong pass rush, good LBs and good secondary helps them.
Chicago is allowing 92.9 rating for 16th in the league despite missing Kyle Fuller. Chicago gives up 66% completion and 6.9 YPA. The Bears have allowed 11 TDs but notched 4 interceptions in 8 games.
Green Bay is 25th allowing a 97.4 rating, 13 TDs and 5 interceptions. Opposing QBs complete 63% for 7.9 YPA. Green Bay misses their top CBs.
Detroit’s secondary has been very poor mainly due to a lack of pass rush and LB coverage issues. Detroit is a league worst allowing 113.7 rating, 19 TDS with 4 interceptions in 8 games. Detroit allows 73.6% completion which is 6% worse than the 31st ranked team. Detroit gives up 8.0 Yards per attempt. Detroit needs much more pass rush and much better coverage in the final 8 games.
Green Bay is 3rd in the league allowing only 3.3 YPC and 2 TDS. Their run defense has improved drastically with a healthy front 7 and new young players at nose tackle, DE and ILB.\
Chicago is 9th allowing only 3.9 YPC and 6 TDs. Chicago run D is improved with the addition of their stud ILBs in Trevathan and Freeman.
The Vikings allow 4.1 YPC and 4 TDS which is 13th in the league for YPC. Minnesota has been pretty healthy in the front 7 other than Shariff Floyd. Minnesota will look to improve their run defense which is still above average.
Detroit allows 4.4 YPC and 3 TDs. Detroit is 24th in run defense and really miss Ngata and Levy. Detroit was terrible in 2015 and had a great second half defensive turnaround. We will see if they have another in them this season. The return of Slay, Ngata and Levy should help. Ansah needs to shake off the rust and Whitehead, Quandre Diggs Devin Taylor and the DTS need to step up for Detroit and play at their 2014/2015 levels.
Green Bay 4-3
The Vikings started hot but have melted with a terrible offense the last two weeks. We’ll see if the Vikings defense can carry them to a 2nd North title in a row or a wild card berth. The Lions and Packers have a shot for the playoffs with good offenses (at times) but must fix their pass defense in the second half of the season. The Bears defense is better than advertised and we’ll see if Cutler can improve the offense enough. The Bears appear to be out of the race and would need an 8-0 or 7-1 finish. They will play spoiler with 3 division games left. The NFC North is wide open as is the NFC Wildcard race.