NFC North Rundown: Bears’ offense rolls Vikings’ defense falters in week five

Behind the defense’s first shutout since the 2010 season, the Green Bay Packers cruised to a 22-0 win over the Buffalo Bills to improve to a 2-1-1 record. A pair of interceptions and an unexpected seven sacks against rookie Josh Allen paved the way for the Packers as the offense struggled to get into a rhythm once again with off-target passes and drops. Still, an important home win for Green Bay sets the stage for its next NFC North battle with the Detroit Lions next Sunday.Sitting alone atop the division remain the Chicago Bears, winners in amazingly lopsided fashion over Tampa Bay. An unforeseen offensive output from quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, paired with a relentless defense, helped Chicago enter the bye week with momentum. Meanwhile, shaky defensive games from the Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings led to losses that provided cushion for Chicago and Green Bay in the standings. Both the Lions and Vikings enter a pivotal week of adjustments in preparing for strong offenses in week five.Today’s rundown takes a look at some of those areas needing to be cleaned up as the NFL schedule crosses the quarter-season mark.Chicago Bears (3-1)Won 48-10 vs. Tampa Bay; Bye nextBears defense excited to see offense shine: ‘It feels like we’re a complete team’The Chicago defense was no slouch, intercepting three passes against Tampa Bay. But it was a six-touchdown, 354-yard passing performance from Trubisky and the offense that stole the headlines on Sunday for a surging Bears team.Column: Bears’ romp made possible by Bucs’ horrific defenseBrad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune takes a little bit of a different approach to the offensive explosion, citing the Buccaneers’ defensive faults as a key to Trubisky’s big day. Tampa coach Dirk Koetter called the performance “horrific,” along with some other attention-grabbing quotes.Chicago Bears’ torrid defense shows no signs of cooling offThree interceptions and four sacks helped lead the Bears’ defense in an impressive showing against the Bucs. A promising offense through the air in the first three games was held to just 251 passing yards on the afternoon.Detroit Lions (1-3)Lost 26-24 at Dallas; Next vs. Green BayRECAP: Lions at CowboysSlowing Ezekiel Elliott proved too tall a task on Sunday, as the Cowboys’ running back almost surpassed 100 yards both rushing and receiving. Meanwhile, the Lions had three receivers step up, while T.J. Lang missed some action once again.Lions defense fails, wasting a massive day from Golden TateThe blown lead looms large over what was a dynamic performance from Tate, who hauled in eight catches for 132 yards and a pair of touchdowns. His showboating after a go-ahead touchdown was addressed Color Rush Jimmy Graham Jersey , however.Jarrad Davis’ pass coverage cost the Lions a possible win in DallasIssues in coverage continue for Detroit’s middle linebacker, who gave up a key reception to Elliott late in the contest. Davis’ issues as a rookie have not yet been solved.Minnesota Vikings (1-2-1)Lost 38-31 at LA Rams; Next at PhiladelphiaRams Outlast Vikings in a Shootout, 38-31A thrilling offensive game concluded with the Rams on top, as Minnesota’s defense was gashed for a second consecutive week.Vikings coach Mike Zimmer: Probably never been this poor in pass coverageMore on that defense that allowed 556 total yards and 465 yards and five touchdowns via the passing game. Head Coach Mike Zimmer and several players were distraught about the team’s defensive woes following the game.Mike Zimmer says Everson Griffen won’t return to Vikings until at least Week 6After a personal incident last week, Minnesota’s star defensive end will sit out the next several weeks with the Vikings’ support.Packers trade QB Brett Hundley to Seahawks for 6th-round draft pick The Green Bay Packers have apparently settled their backup quarterback situation for 2018. On Wednesday morning, ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Rob Demovsky reported that the Packers have traded fourth-year quarterback Brett Hundley to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for a draft pick in 2019. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport later reported that the pick would be a “mid-to-late rounder.” (Update: Rapoport now reports that it is a 6th-round pick.)The Packers had given Hundley and DeShone Kizer roughly equal snaps throughout this preseason in an effort to evaluate the two quarterbacks who were competing to be Aaron Rodgers’ backup. Kizer will likely get the start in the Packers’ preseason finale in Kansas City on Thursday.On Tuesday, Packers head coach Mike McCarthy laughed off a question about whether the Packers might give Kizer playing time ahead of Hundley on Thursday. He then went on to say that rookie Tim Boyle would get “more snaps than the other two” quarterbacks due to not playing in Oakland. With Rodgers sitting out this week’s game, expect Boyle to get at least the entire second half as an audition for a spot on the 53-man roster.The Packers selected Hundley in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft with the 147th overall selection. He spent his rookie year as the third-string quarterback behind Rodgers and Scott Tolzien, then took over as Rodgers’ backup in 2016. Last season, he started nine games after Rodgers broke his collarbone, completing 60.8% of his passes for 1836 yards, 9 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. That was good for a passer rating of 70.6, and he also added 270 yards and two touchdowns rushing. Hundley will likely back up Russell Wilson in Seattle, perhaps competing with Austin Davis for the number two job in the Seahawks’ final preseason game.Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.
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