Four weeks in -- 2015 NFL season -- NFC North


Green Bay (4-0)

Ok… great quarterback, and no argument about that. But, am I the only one believing this team will go as far as their defense can carry them?

Yeah… yeah… crazy, I know.

Thing is… no one is really going to challenge the Packers until the playoffs. They have Denver, Carolina and Arizona on the schedule… so I think there’s a loss or two to be found. But they are going to be the top seed in the NFC. Simple as that.

But I’m not convinced that they’re as good as they’ve shown… or as good as the first 6 or 7 games will show.

Denver and Carolina back-to-back. That will be a good time to evaluate them.

Minnesota (2-2)

In many ways, the Vikings provide the only point of interest in the NFC North.


Because they’re the only ones that really haven’t settled in to give us a true picture of what to expect.

Consider… one of their losses was to San Francisco. That game was right on the line between horribly bad and totally unwatchable. The other loss was at Denver, in a game they almost pulled out. Both losses were on the road… and I think most of us believe the loss to the 49ers was poor planning and bad timing. It isn’t outrageous to believe they could be 3-1 right now. It is outrageous, but not ridiculously outrageous, to believe they could be 4-0.

So… yeah… the Vikings might be good.

Ready to hear about some of their remaining 12 games? Two against Green Bay… road games against Atlanta and Arizona… home games against New York (Giants) and Seattle.

Now… keep in mind… they win at home and lose on the road as this year’s pattern to date. In addition to those six games that look like they could be tough, the other six include Kansas City, Detroit, St. Louis, Oakland and two against Chicago.

I think they could be better than 6-6 for the remainder of the season. Let me rephrase. I think they will be better than 6-6.

I don’t believe Seattle is going to be able to overcome a ton of factors we’ll discuss when covering the NFC West, which means that game, like a few others they will play, isn’t exactly packed with unwinnable contests. But we’re going to need to see something in the next six games… a solid run… because they close with the Seahawks, at the Cardinals, the Bears, the Giants and at the Packers. And for three or four of those opponents, those could be very important for making the playoffs or playoff seeding.

The Vikings are a borderline playoff team. Right now, you could successfully argue they are every bit as good as any team in the NFC East and NFC West. You could make a case they could defeat anyone in the NFC. Defense is good and offense is beginning to find itself (especially the running game).

My concern? Teddy Bridgewater. His completion percentage is up so far in 2015 when you compare his numbers to all of those put up in 2014. And yet… he’s attempting fewer passes per game (not too unreasonable with Peterson back to see him throw about twice less per game), but he’s also below 200-yards per game. I just don’t see a balanced, or even consistent, threat from the Vikings on offense.

They’re an average team. A good average team. Definitely not a circling the drain team.

Chicago (1-3)

A few years ago, when Jay Cutler was mouthing his way out of Denver, I wrote an article about him that I can’t find right now. I promise… I’ll look for it. That said… I for one have been waiting for him to do something, anything, to deliver results.

Here we go again.

Going to be a difficult season in Chicago. 4 or 5 wins.

Detroit (0-4)

Ok… before we go crazy here… they scored all of ten points against the Seahawks, and honestly none of that was because of the offense. The only thing keeping them from the bottom third in virtually every statistical offensive and defensive category is that Seattle only scored 13 points, so they’re just about middle-of-the-pack in points allowed.

It’s just not possible… unless you are a fan of the team… to justify being upset about a loss for a team that is pitiful for 58 minutes, pretty much doesn’t score for 60 minutes, and then loses a game where a bad call was made when honestly all that does is take the focus off of a fumble inside the five yard line when a field goal would have tied the score.

Want some finer points? Ok…

The Lions scored on a field goal. That 12-play drive was for a total of 57 yards. That was their longest drive until their last possession in the game. The other drives? A couple of around 20 yards… most drives lasted single digits. Lovely.

The Lions faced a 3rd and 1 on the play that ended with the fumble and botched call. So… basically… Calvin Johnson already had earned a first down, with about one minute and forty-five seconds on the clock, and had he protected the football instead of stretching likely would have gone down inside the two-yard line.

First and goal from the two with over a minute to play.

The Lions did not have the game stolen from them.

Underachieving team. Shame. Should be better, but it’s going to be a long year.

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