Around the NFC North: Week 2

Around the NFC North

The Packers and Vikings are still in search of their first win of the 2013 season

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.



Who Should Packers Fans Root For: Vikings or Bears? (with Podcast)

Minnesota Vikings vs. Chicago Bears

Vikings or Bears?

With many NFC North divisional games approaching, I thought this might be a good opportunity to ask an intriguing question about this weekend’s matchup between the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears:  Who do most Packers fans typically want to win this game?  Let’s pretend that we’re in the land of make believe and that the natural answer of “neither” is not an option.

Listen in using the player below or download the podcast from the Packers Talk Radio Network on Itunes.

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Bear Down or Skol Vikings??

It would seem logical to think that the largest determiner is “which scenario helps the Packers most?”  Obviously, the Bears are closest to the Packers in the divisional standings so it would seemingly benefit Green Bay more if the Vikings were to win.  The Bears are the better team of the two as long as they have a healthy Jay Cutler at quarterback.  They pose the bigger threat to the Packers’ chances of winning the division and with no guarantee of a wild card spot, getting into the playoffs at all.

Another argument could be made that the Vikings are already having a much better season than most thought and the Packers don’t want to have to contend with a hot Minnesota team when they finally meet in two weeks.  Minnesota is still over .500 and has shown that they can play with any team on any given day.  I cite their impressive win over the San Francisco 49ers earlier this season who, at the time, were undefeated and playing better than any other team at that point.  The Vikes have also swept the Detroit Lions already this season.

Matchup-wise, the Bears still seem to pose the biggest challenge for Green Bay.  The Bears defense is channeling their inner “Packers of 2009-2011” and taking the ball away at an astonishing rate this season.  They would give the Packers a dose of their own medicine if they were to seal a key victory with a turnover.  The Chicago defense is scoring almost as many points as their offense is and the offense hasn’t exactly been horrible when Cutler is behind center.  The Packers have faced the Bears already and fared well in that game so Green Bay knows they can go toe-to-toe with the Chicago.