Week one is in the books and the NFC North split their games last week and finished 2-2. With the Minnesota Vikings playing the Detroit Lions, one team was sure to lose (or tie) and that team was the Vikings. The Chicago Bears got the win against the Cincinnati Bengals and the Green Bay Packers fell just short in San Francisco against the 49ers.
Because Detroit’s win came against a divisional opponent, they are technically in first place with the Bears in second. But that’s beyond a side note after just one week. A lot will likely change over the course of the next 16 weeks.
Let’s jump into this week’s matchups, which features another inter-divisional matchup between the Vikings and Bears at Soldier Field. The Packers return home for their opener against the team from Washington DC and the Lions travel to Arizona to face the sunburned Arizona Cardinals.
Minnesota Vikings (0-1) at Chicago Bears (1-0)
The schedule makers were equally as kind to the Bears as they were harsh to the Vikings. Chicago gets their second straight home game to open the season while the Vikings not only face their second road game in a row, but a second straight divisional road game.
The argument could be made that Minnesota could benefit from having more home games later this season and getting some of these tougher games out of the way early. Chicago, on the other hand, will want to capitalize on this early home-field advantage and get a leg up in the division as well.
The Vikings, minus Adrian Peterson’s two-touchdown performance that featured a 78-yard run, looked lethargic against the Lions. Vikes quarterback Christian Ponder was particularly pedestrian, completing just 18 of 28 passes with a touchdown and three interceptions. That stat line is not going to get it done against most NFL defenses, let alone an improved Lions unit. Ponder will need to be much better against a Bears secondary that features two good cornerbacks in that of Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings.