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Pre Season Week 2 NFC North Recap

Week 2 of the pre-season is in the books for the NFC North. Let’s take a look at the key moments for the North from Week 2.

Redskins at Packers

Aaron Rodgers was Aaron Rodgers. He led a beautiful 15 play TD drive with his arm, wits (too many men on the field) and legs (13 yard scramble). Jamaal Williams had a few nice rushes on the drive as well including converting a first down.

The Packers first team defense stymied Kurt Cousins and the Redskins with pressure and good coverage. The only negative on the day was Trevor Davis early punt return fumble setting up the Redskins field goal.

Vikings at Seahawks

It what should have been a defensive battle was an offensive quick start for both teams. Seattle tore apart the Vikings defense with an 11 play 77 yard drive for an opening TD. Eddie Lacy ran well and Russell Wilson was elusive in the pocket. Third year player Kasem Williams turned some heads with a great 27 yard catch and 1 yard TD. The former high jumper looked like a good number 2 WR for Seattle.

The Vikings rallied with an 11 play 76 yard field goal drive. Bradford had some time which is big for the Vikings offensive line (without Boone and Reiff. Stefon Diggs caught two first downs including a 39 yard play on busted coverage. The drive stalled in the red zone and the Vikings got the field goal.

The defenses stepped up trading punts. Seattle had another long 10 play 50 yard drive but good ole Blair Walsh missed a field goal. The Vikings punted again after four offensive plays. Finally, Seattle had a 9 play 80 yard drive for a TD. A 32 yard play to backup tight end Nick Vannett was a highlight on this drive. Wilson hit Mike Davis for a 22 yard score.

Case Keenum led a 10 play 41 yard FG drive before the half. Kai Forbath nailed the 51 yard field goal.

The Vikings defense has some kinks to work out this time but the offense looked a little better than they did against Buffalo. Seattle’s lone issue was a torn ACL for starting LT George Fant.

Jets at Lions

The Lions defense was dominate once again but the Jets seemed to have a pee wee team offense. Cornelius Washington crushed Christian Hackenberg on an unblock sack causing a fumble that the Jets recovered.

Lions had good run defense stopping Bilal Powell and covered the Jets terrible receivers very well. Glover Quin dropped an easy pick on the second drive though.

The Lions offense had two successful drives out of three. Stafford was 8/10 with a TD on the day. The Lions started in Jets territory on the first drive and Stafford hit Golden Tate for 18 yards. Abdullah had a solid six yard run but then whiffed on a block on second down allowing a sack by Demorio Davis. Third down came up four yards short on an 11 yard completion to TJ Jones. Prater nailed the 37 yard field goal.

The Lions second drive had problems with a no gain run by Abdullah followed by a 2 yard run. The Jets have strong defensive line despite their other problems. Finally, Sheldon Richardson destroyed Travis Swanson and hit Stafford low causing an errant pass to almost be intercepted. The Lions had to punt after three and out.

Detroit continued the defensive onslaught forcing another 3 and out. Akeem Spence got a sack from the under tackle spot. Christian Hackenberg had only 14 yards passing in the first half. The Lions dominated.

Stafford and the offense fully woke up and led an 11 play 78 yard drive. Stafford hit Jones for 8 yards, Tate for 16 yards, Marvin Jones again for 12 yards and 9 yards. The Jets were drawn offside and gave the Lions a first down inside the 10. Finally, Stafford hit Marvin Jones on a beautiful toe tap fade for the TD. Stafford to Jones and Tate both looked good on Saturday night. TJ Jones hurt his hamstring which was the only big injury for Detroit.

Bears at Cardinals

Mike Glennon looked better than he did against Denver. Glennon went 13/18 with a TD but also a very bad interception. Rookie Tarik Cohen looked really good with two 16 yard runs and a 9 yard run. Jordan Howard didn’t play due to an eye injury.

The Bears got one first down from Cohen but then had to punt after one failed run and two failed short passing plays. Arizona also earned on first down but the Bears defense stood up and forced a punt on the first drive. Chicago answered with 9 play field goal drive led by Cohen, one first down run by Kadeem Carey and an eight yard first down pass to Cameron Meredith. Connor Barth nailed the 42 yard field goal for the 3-0 Bears lead.

Chicago’s defense was strong again allowing one first down but then forcing a punt. The Bears continued on offense with an 11 play 71 yard drive. However, Mike Glennon threw a terrible interception to Tyrann Mathieu to kill the drive. Arizona’s offense woke up on the short field and drove 43 yards for the TD. Palmer hit tight end Jermaine Gresham for the 1 yard TD on 4th and goal.

The Bears and Cardinals traded punts on the next series. The Bears finally got a TD drive against the Cardinals backups for the 10-7 lead. Glennon hit Kendall Wright for the 7 yard score.

Arizona responded and drove into field goal range. However the attempt was short and Deonte Thompson returned the kick 109 yards for a Bears touchdown and 17-7 halftime lead.

Mark Sanchez played the first drive in the second half but Trubisky played the final three. Trubisky led the Bears to a Fourth Quarter TD and a field goal attempt on a 10 play drive. Newly acquired and former 2nd round pick Roberto Aguayo missed his field goal attempt for Chicago.  The Bucs GM was shaking his head somewhere.

Summary

The Packers, Bears and Lions defenses looked really good (although the Bears had the only real offensive opponent). The Vikings defense surprisingly got worked over a bit by Seattle in the first half but should still be a top 10 unit. The Vikings and Bears showed some improvement on offense and the Lions/Packers offenses looked really good in limited action.

Stay tuned for Week 3 of the pre-season which is the most similar to regular season action. The starters should play a full half or a little more and there is a little bit of game planning.