Week 1 NFC North Recap

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Week 1 of the NFL season is in the books. Let’s recap the NFC North games.

Chicago at Houston

23-14 Texans Win

The Chicago Bears had a tough game on the road to start the season against a top 10 defense from last season. The Texans lived up to the billing holding the Bears to 14 points and sacking Jay Cutler 5 times. Cutler had an interception and 76 rating on the day with 1 TD. Chicago (3.7 YPC) and Jeremy Langford (3.4 YPC) struggled to run the ball and it caused problems for the Bears offense in the second half.

Alshon Jeffrey notched 105 yards and Eddie Royal had a nice day with 57 yards and impressive touchdown. The Bears built an early lead (14-10 at half) but folded in the second half. The Bears had an interception, five punts and a turnover on downs in a dismal second half. The Texans pass rush was legit and got the Texans their first win with Brock Osweiler at QB.

The Bears defense held strong other than a nice DeAndre Hopkins TD in the first half. A Cutler interception led to 3 points for the Texans to cut the game to 14-13. The Bears gave up 10 more points in the second half with a long TD and FG drive backup to back losing their 14-13 lead and falling 23-14. The Bears hapless offense lost this game along with two ill-timed long drives allowed.

Chicago (0-1) hosts Philadelphia (1-0) on Monday Night Football in Week 2.

Minnesota at Tennessee

25-16 Vikings Win

The Vikings started slow falling down 10-0 to the Titans in the first half. Blair Walsh missed two field goals in the first half and the Vikings couldn’t run the ball. Adrian Peterson had 1.6 YPC on the day and Shaun Hill did not look good other than throwing to Stefan Diggs (107 yards).

Minnesota won this game with two defensive touchdowns. The Vikings woke up and moved the ball some with back to back field goals in the 3rd Quarter. Marcus Mariota threw a pick 6 to Erik Kendricks and the Vikings led 12-10 (after a Blair Walsh missed extra point). The Vikings earned another field goal drive for a 15-10 lead. In the fourth quarter, the Vikings came up big again with a scoop and score off a fumble for a 22-10 lead. The Titans got a very late garbage time TD for 6 points.

The Vikings defense bailed them out of this game by almost shutting down the Titans in the second half and earning two defensive scores. Sam Bradford should be playing next week. The Vikings (1-0) host Green Bay (1-0) on Sunday Night Football in the first regular season game in US Bank History.

Green Bay at Jacksonville

Green Bay Wins 27-23

The Packers offense seemed to be back with a 27 point performance against the Jaguars in a back and forth game in steamy Jacksonville. Aaron Rodgers had a solid 95 rating, 2 TD and 199 yard day for Green Bay. Jordy Nelson only had 32 yards and looked a bit turtle-esque but did have a nice TD on a scramble by Rodgers in the red zone. Davante Adams had a great TD catch and Rodgers ran a TD in himself for the Packers first score.

Bortles had a costly early pick (Joey Thomas) which set up a short field for Green Bay at the Jaguars 29. Green Bay made them pay with the Rodgers run and 7-0 lead. The Jaguars stormed back for a 10-7 lead after the Packers first score. Green Bay answered right back to go up 14-10 (Nelson) and the Jaguars countered up 17-14. Green Bay got the great TD to Adams before the half for the 21-17 lead. The run game was hit or miss for Green Bay at 3.8 YPC.

The first half the teams traded touchdowns. In the second half they traded field goals. Green Bay moved the ball but were stopped in the redzone but got the 24-17 lead. The Jaguars countered with a long field goal drive to pull within four again at 24-20. Again Green Bay had a field goal drive for 27 points. Finally, the Jaguars got another field goal. The Packers needed to run the clock but had to punt after a bad three and out. Jacksonville had a chance and moved the ball into Packers territory but turned the ball over on downs. Green Bay escaped with a victory against an improved Jaguars team.

Green Bay (1-0) visits the Vikings (1-0) next week on Sunday Night Football.

Lions at Colts

Lions win 39-35

Another crazy game played by the Lions against Andrew Luck and the Colts. The Lions stormed out to a commanding 14-0 lead with rushing TDs by Theo Riddick and Dwayne Washington (1 yard). The run game was crisp, the protection was great and Stafford carved up the Colts secondary (missing Vontae Davis and Darius Butler). The Colts offense then woke up and had a long field goal drive to cut the game to 14-3.

The Lions weren’t done scoring and marched down the field again. Eric Ebron made a great TD catch for a 21-3 lead. Andrew Luck didn’t like that and led an 8 play 72 yard drive to cut the lead to 21-10. This was the same score the Lions had over the Chargers last year in Week 1.

The Lions offense started slow in the second half with a punt. Detroit tried a short pass to Tate on 3rd down which did not work. The Colts responded with another TD drive and 2 point conversion to pull within 3. A deep 51 yard play to Phil Dorsett where Darius Slay tripped was the main culprit.

Detroit responded on offense very nicely to that TD. Stafford ripped apart the Colts now very injured secondary and hit Ameer Abudllah for an 11 yard TD. The Lions were up 28-18. The Colts had another long drive but the Lions held them to a field goal (despite Levy’s taunting penalty) and a 7 point lead (28-21).

Detroit had a 3 and out and still led by 7 but got a great punt from Sam Martin. The Colts drove an astonishing 94 yards to tie the game at 28. The Lions secondary and pass rush were non-existent. However, Detroit’s offense responded in kind with a great TD drive. The Lions went 9 plays and 75 yards and Stafford hit Theo Riddick for a 13 yard TD pass. And then Matt Prater missed an extra point. The doom and gloom clouds were rolling into Lions fans areas.

The Colts were down 6 and drove all the way down the field for an easy TD. The Colts came back and led 35-34. The Lions still had 37 seconds and 3 time outs. Matt Stafford would not be denied throwing 19 yards to Riddick, 9 yards to Ebron and 22 yards to Marvin Jones. Matt Prater redeemed himself and hit the 43 yard game winner. The Lions avoided the comeback loss and earned a tough road victory in Week 1.

The Lions (1-0) host the Titans (0-1) next week. It was a great Week 1 for everyone but Chicago.