Another week of NFC North action leaves us with more questions than answers. Who are the Chicago Bears? Where do the Packers rank in the NFC totem pole? Will Titus Young ever shake is case of infantitis? Is Jason Campbell a human quarterback or a robot designed to absorb sacks?
The Bears were humbled last night on national television, if anything humble is taking it easy. The Bears generated zero offense and got torched by a QB making his first NFL start. Their offensive line was a flaky piece of crumble cake that consistently got moved backwards in one of the more embarrassing protection performances in recent memory. Jason Campbell was often being pursued as he was dropping back, a situation that the formerly mobile quarterback was not able to cope with.
Perhaps most troubling was the Bears lack of defensive presence. This is a team that has practically relied on its defense for scoring at times, and yet they were unable to slow down the Kaepernick-lead 49ers. Yes, they were probably unprepared for the second year quarterback, who also had yet to provide opposing coordinators with any sort of film to study him. That may excuse some scores given up, but San Francisco was able to move the ball with ease. The Bears defensive line looked overmatched as they surrendered 4.7 YPC to Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter. After a great start to the year, the Bears are beginning to look more and more vulnerable.
As for the Lions, matters are only becoming worse. Receiver Titus Young has been suspended for Thursday’s Thanksgiving game with the Texans, and it is reportedly because of complaining and moping. Yup, the word “mope” was used in an official context for Detroit. That’s where things are headed for that team. The Lions will start Mike Thomas opposite Calvin Johnson and insert Ryan Broyles into the slot position. One has to wonder whether the Lions’ patience is wearing thing with Young.
Tied at 7-3 in the standings, the Packers have overtaken the Bears for the NFC North lead due to their tie-breaking victory in Week 2. Green Bay should be far from feeling overconfident, though, as their defense leaves much to be desired. The NFC North is a division laden with talent, but every team possesses a significant weakness that opposition will continue to expose. Next week the Packers travel to New York to take on the Giants, the Vikings go to Soldier Field to challenge the Bears, and the Lions get the aforementioned Thanksgiving visit from Houston.
NFC North Standings
Green Bay Packers 7-3
Chicago Bears 7-3
Minnesota Vikings 6-4
Detroit Lions 4-6