As is usually the case, we find ourselves looking back at the past three weeks and realizing how quickly the NFL season seems to fly by. After this week, a quarter of the 2013 season will be done.
With the Green Bay Packers on the early bye week and a divisional matchup between the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions, there are only two games to take a look at this week. The other features the Minnesota Vikings hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers in London and Wembley Stadium.
This marks the second time in the last three seasons that a NFC North team has traveled to London. In 2011, the Bears defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in front of over 80,000 fans.
It is always worth noting that a team that his “hosting” a game in the UK is foregoing a game at their home stadium as well as dealing with a longer travel week. This remains one of the reasons that we are not likely to see the Packers appear in this game anytime soon.
Imagine giving up one of the eight Sunday experiences in Green Bay. It could happen in the future as the league pushes to grow their brand and urge more popular teams to appear at this venue, but for now, the Packers will be in Green Bay for all eight of their home games.
Let’s dive into this week’s matchups around the NFC North.
Chicago Bears (3-0) at Detroit Lions (2-1)
The Bears are looking to start off 4-0 for the first time in seven years and appear to be inspired by their new head coach Marc “Willy Wonka” Trestman. The Bears offense has been more productive and quarterback Jay Cutler looks to be benefiting from having an offensive-minded guy at the helm. Cutler has six touchdown passes to three interceptions on the season and his quarterback rating (94.2) is up above his career average (84.4).
Chicago barely got by the Bengals in week one and division-rival Vikings in week two before hitting the road and beating the Steelers this past week. Still, wins are what matter and Chicago leads the North with three.