NFC North Report Card

NFC North Report Card

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NFC North Report Card

Green Bay Packers (2-0 NFC North)

Graded by Timaira Butler

QB- Aaron Rogers A+

Rogers picked up right where he left off last season. Rodgers has had almost perfect pocket protection, allowing him to make decisive throws, going 18/30 and 260 yards for 6 TDs, 0 INTs. Combine that with back to back wins against the Vikings and the Lions, Rogers might be well on his way to earning MVP this season.

Running Backs- A

Aaron Jones. Is there anything else that needs to be said? He continues to show that he is a multifaceted player and earned first place in rushing yards over the first two weeks of the season. As a unit, the RBs have settled into the offense and adjust to create more touches on the ball. Packers fans can rest easy with the boy band of Jones, Williams, Dillion, and Erving on the field.

Wide Receivers and Tight Ends- C+

Allen Lazard and Marquez Valdes- Scantling stepped up big in the win over the Vikings. Davante Adams battled an ankle tweak early in the game and then went out with a hamstring injury at the Lions and did not return. Valdez- Scantling dropped a potential touchdown, and TE Jace Sternberger dropped 2 on easy targets. The Packers had six total drops against the Lions, simply unacceptable.

Offensive Line- B

Can the Packers OL stay healthy? Billy Turner went out in Week 1 with a knee injury. Lucas Patrick is out with a shoulder injury, Lane Taylor is out for the season with a knee injury, Corey Linsley went down with a hand injury, and Tyler Ervin with a possible concussion. If there were a standout player, it would be OLB Rashan Gary with 1.5 sacks, 4 tackles, and 4 QB pressures, one that resulted in a pick 6 for CB Chandon Sullivan.

Defensive Line- B

The Packers DL is on the rebound. Major adjustments were noted from week 1 when they allowed the Vikings to come back in the 4th quarter. The defense held the Lions to just 21 points but allowed 2 touchdowns in the Lions first two possessions. The Packers quickly kicked it into gear and held firm the rest of the game. CB Jaire Alexander stuck like glue to Lions best receiver Marvin Jones on Sunday, allowing only 19 yards on 4 catches.

Overall Team Grade: B+

Chicago Bears (2-0, 1-0 NFC North)

Graded by Jason Steinlauf

QB Grade: B-

Mitch Trusbisky beat out Nick Foles for the starting job, and from the fourth quarter on vs. Detroit, it looks like he does not want to relinquish the job. A 92.7 QB rating, to go along with 5 TD passes and only two INTs, Trubisky is off to an excellent start. The fourth-year pro has thrown for 432 yards and ran for 42 more. With a completion percentage of 59.4, there is room for improvement.

RB Grade: B+

A groin injury in camp for David Montgomery hand Bears fans wondering if he would be ok week 1. He had 74 yards on 14 touches, and then he exploded for 127 total yards and a receiving score week 2 vs the New York Giants. Tarik Cohen just got inked to a big extension (three years-17.25 million), and he has 74 yards on 15 offensive touches. Cordarrelle Patterson has 44 rushing on 11 carries. It looks like head coach Matt Nagy has three viable candidates to get carries. Winning without running for touchdowns is not sustainable.

WR/TEs Grade: C+

Allen Robinson, Anthony Miller, Darnell Mooney have combined for 18 receptions, 257 yards, and two TDs. Minimal contribution was added by Javon Wims and no contribution by Ted Ginn Jr.

In order for the Bears to win games like their week three matchup with the Atlanta Falcons, these receivers are going to have to continue to get open, and hope that Trubisky improves upon is accuracy.

Jimmy Graham and Cole Kmet have been quiet as the two top pass-catching TEs, combining for 10 receptions for 55 yards. For now, we can chalk that up to both Graham, signed as a free agent, and Kmet, selected in the second round are new to the Bears.

OL Grade: B –

The Bears rushing attack has been very solid to begin the 2020 campaign. They are tied for ninth with the New England Patriots at 142 yards per game. They have given up five sacks on 69 dropbacks that did not result in a rushing attempt. If this unit can start buying Trubisky a little more time, then my grade will be reflective of it.

DL Grade: B

Having Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn as OLD/Edge rushers, this has to factor in both on the DL and with the LB. Between those two and Akiem Hicks, they have four of the five sacks for the defense through two weeks. Missing Eddie Goldman has hurt, but Bilal Nichols and Roy Robertson-Harris have combined with Hicks to be a very solid front.

LB Grades: B –

It allows Mack and Quinn to step up on the edge and wreak havoc in the backfield. Having those guys allow Roquan Smith and Danny Trevathan free to make plays. This unit forced only one turnover thus far, a forced fumble by Quinn. However, they have been able to put pressure on the quarterback.

Secondary Grade: A

It allows the rich to get richer! All Pros CB Kyle Fuller and S Eddie Jackson have a new friend, and that is Jaylon Johnson, the rookie second-round pick. Add in Tashaun Gipson Sr. Buster Skrine and Deon Bush this is one of the strongest units in the NFL. To have that kind of strength on a team, while they are still searching for an offensive identity is huge.

Coaching Grade: C

Matt Nagy has had some head-scratching moments through the first couple of games, mainly play calling, but he has shown that they can and will commit to the run. Sticking with the run for four quarters remains to be seen. As long as the Bears are winning, expect Nagy to stick with Trubisky.

Minnesota Vikings (0-2 NFC NORTH)

Graded By Timaira Butler

QB- Kirk Cousins-F

Kirk Cousins and the Vikings start their season 0-2 for the first time since 2013. Cousins was sacked 3 times and threw 3 INts during Sunday’s game against the Colts. He was sacked twice and had one interception in their season opener against the Packers. ZERO. That’s right zero touchdowns on Sunday. It’s safe to say Cousins is probably trying to burn all footage of Sunday’s game.

Running Backs- D

Dalvin Cook had a decent game scoring the only touchdown and finishing with 71 yards on 14 rushes. A straightforward solution to at least some of their offensive woes would be to get the ball in the hands of Cook more often. If the Vikings can get Olabisi Johnson going, his speed could be of assistance down the field.

Wide Receivers and Tight Ends- D

Adam Thielen caught for over 100 yards and 2 touchdowns with the Packers in week one but had a quiet week two against the Colts. Thielen had 31 receiving yards on Sunday, catching only 3 of 8. Justin Jefferson was the only targeted receiver that did not drop a pass.

Offensive Line- C

In all that seems to be going wrong for the Vikings, RT Brain O’Neill and Center Garrett Bradbury both stand out as positive attributes to the offensive line. Bradbury is settling into his role, and O’Neill is rated the 8th highest tackle. In the second half of their game with the Packers, The Vikings offense scored 24 points in the 4th quarter, coming back from a 22-10 Packers lead at the half.

Defensive Line- D

It is no surprise that the defense could not keep up with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in week 1. In week 2 they had no solution for former Wisconsin Badger, Jonathan Taylor. However, one player did stand out in week two. Yannick Ngakoue had a strip-sack and 4 pressures. Individually he deserves props for letting go of week 1 and stepping up in week 2. The biggest blow to the Vikings came in the form of an injury to LB Anthony Barr. Barr, who tore his pectoral muscle, has started for the Vikings since joining the team in 2014. He will be out for the rest of the season, and the Vikings have wasted no time trying to quickly fill the void. The Viking are expected to sign Todd Davis from the Broncos in his place.

Overall Team Grade: D

Detroit Lions (0-2, 0-2 NFC North)

Graded by Jason Steinlauf

QB Grade:

Matthew Stafford is back after missing 8 games in 2019 with a back injury. He is yet to throw a pass to number one receiver Kenny Golladay, and his numbers reflect that. 7.2 yards per attempt and a 58.7 completion percentage. An 83.2 QB rating is not acceptable, but look for Stafford to improve upon that as the season goes on. Remember, the veteran QB was on pace for 4,998 yards and 38 touchdowns, so odds are he and the Lions will get back on track.

RB Grade: B+

Adrian Peterson is off to a fast start with 134 rushing yards, 93 weeks one, and only 41 in week two. D’Andre Swift has 16 touches and 95 yards through his first two career games. Swift did drop a ball that would have given the Lions a week one victory. Kerryon Johnson has a rushing TD but has not done much else with the ball in his hand.

WR/TEs Grade: C +

In Golladay’s absence, no one has stepped up to be a true #1 WR. However, Danny Amendola, Quintez Cephus, and Marvin Jones Jr. each have between 78-102 yards receiving. Factor in T.J. Hockenson and his 118 yards receiving, this receiving core will win these Lions some games.

OL Grade: C

Throughout two games, this unit has surrendered five sacks. The Lions are middle of the road in both passing and rushing yards. They have five offensive touchdowns, including a one-yard first-quarter rush vs the Packers. Joe Dahl missing the week two game, was the main reason for a not so great rushing day.

DL Grade: B

Right off the bat, the defensive line is not getting the job done. The defensive has 0 forced turnovers, and they have given up over 400 yards rushing in two games. A starting unit with Da’Shawn Hand, Nick Williams, Trey Flowers, and Danny Shelton is not getting enough pressure or penetration into the backfield to make a difference.

LB Grades: C –

This position has some good players, Jarrad Davis, Jahlani Tavai, Jamie Collins Sr. and Christian Jones. Collins Sr. brings this group down with his week one ejection as he put his lack of leadership on full display.

Secondary Grade: C (really, it is inconclusive)

Injuries have been the story here early in 2020. Rookie Jeff Okudah, S C.J. Moore, and CB Desmond Trufant all have missed at least one game. When Trufant and Justin Coleman got hurt during the week one match up with the Bears, before Mitch Trubisky swooped in with his (3) 4th quarter TDs. The talent is there, and the real question is, will we be able to see everyone healthy at the same time?

Coaching Grade: D +

Matt Patricia is on the hot seat and there are some good reasons. His squad was up big in the fourth quarter week one, only to give up the last 21 points to lose 27-23. Combine that with the 42 given up week 2, that is 63 points in the last 5 quarters. If they can’t right this ship, he may not survive the season.

AFC East Report Card Grades (Weeks 1 & 2)