Week 1 is in the books and it was disgusting. The Packers had an epic comeback with a somehow resurrected Rodgers, the Vikings kept winning even with Kirk Cousins and the Lions got embarrassed on national television by a bad team. We need to forget that week and move on to Week 2. Another big NFC North battle looms this week and there is another North team on Monday Night football. Let’s take a look.
Vikings at Packers 1 PM on FOX
This is a huge early NFC North game. The Packers host the Vikings for early supremacy in the division. Rodgers is battling a knee sprain and hasn’t practiced but should still play against the Vikings. However, if Rodgers is not 100% the Vikings very good defense will pounce and cause problems. The key to the game will be protection on Aaron Rodgers. If the Packers offensive line gives him great protection, Rodgers can torch even the Vikings tough defense.
Kirk Cousins will face a decent test as the Packers defense settled down and ended up with a good game against Chicago (allowed 17 offensive points). Nick Perry had a big strip sack and needs to pressure Cousins. The Packers defense looked as good as advertised with Daniels, Muhammed and Clark wreaking havoc. The Vikings offensive line has question marks with an injury to Pat Efflein and a sub-par player in Tom Compton at left guard. Daniels, Clark and Wilkerson could feast putting pressure on Cousins.
Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen and Kyle Rudolph will need big games against the Packers young secondary. King, Alexander and Jackson look like they belong in the league and Brice and Dix are solid on the back-end. The Vikings will need to put up enough points due to Rodgers on the other side and relying solely on defense won’t cut it, unless Rodgers doesn’t play.
This should be a great game. Let’s go with Packers 24 Vikings 21 with a late Crosby field goal.
Lions at 49ers 4:05 PM FOX
Detroit was embarrassed Monday night in Matt Patricia’s first game as head coach. They were terrible in run offense, run defense, pass rush (once Ansah went down) and special teams. Stafford threw 4 interceptions and must play like a top 7 QB again for the Lions to be even competitive. The 49ers defense showed some good things against Minnesota and will be at home this time. DeForest Buckner, Arik Armstead and Solomon Thomas is a big test for the Lions offensive line. TJ Lang is hurt (back) and that could be a big problem for Detroit on the inside.
The Lions weapons should be able to beat the 49ers secondary but Richard Sherman will be able to blanket Jones. Tate beating K’Waun Williams, Theo Riddick not being terrible and Kenny Golladay repeating his Week 1 performance would be helpful for a road win.
On defense, the Lions run defense must pull a 180. They were terrible in zone reads against the Jets and got beat badly for 160 yards and 2 TDs. Jarrad Davis must figure out his gaps and the Lions must hold the edge. The 49ers run game struggled in Week 1 with Matt Breida and Alfred Morris. If Detroit has a chance to stop the run, this is it.
The 49ers have some weapons in Garcon and George Kittle. Speedy Marquis Goodwin is hurt which helps Detroit but if the Jets can have success, anybody can catching the ball. Glover Quin, Nevin Lawson and Tavon Wilson must play much better than Week 1. Slay and Diggs played well and must continue to be good players. The Lions need to find a pass rush. Surprise Ziggy Ansah is hurt (shoulder) but could play. If the Lions don’t have him, they won’t have a pass rush.
The Lions better win. That’s all I have to say about that.
Seahawks at Bears Monday Night Football
The Bears blew an epic 20 point lead against Green Bay on the road. The Bears have their home opener on Monday Night and must rebound against Seattle. The Seahawks lost to Denver in Week 1 and don’t look the same on defense with the Legion of Boom gone. Mitch Trubisky has to show he can play with more gadget plays but the Bears rushing attack with Howard and Cohen should have success.
Allen Robinson had a solid Week 1 but Kevin White, Anthony Miller, Trey Burton and Taylor Gabriel need to step up for Chicago. The new secondary for the Seahawks (Thorpe, Griffen and McDougald) can easily be beat but watch out for Earl Thomas still.
The Bears defense looked great in the first half with Khalil Mack looking worth the picks. Mack and Floyd must bring pressure on the ever elusive Russel Wilson. Mack should feast on Germain Ifedi but Duane Brown can stop Floyd. Pocic, Britt and JR Sweezy is an even matchup with Akiem Hicks, Goldman, Jonathan Bullard and blitzing Danny Trevathan/Roquan Smith.
Doug Baldwin has been banged up which would be a big help for the Bears if he doesn’t play but Tyler Lockett is a good slot player. Brandon Marshall and Jaron Brown must step up for Baldwin. Nick Vannett is a young TE that the Bears LBs and safeties should have no problem covering.
Rashaad Penny and Chris Carson are running backs but Seattle can run the ball. Rusell Wilson’s legs can always extend drives too.
The Bears actually have a decent advantage in this game at home. I’ll say Chicago wins 27-20.