NFC North gut check: Chicago Bears rule the roost

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Chicago Bears nfc north

Through three weeks the NFC North has been up-and-down as a division can get. Coming in to the season, we all thought the NFC would dominate the AFC, but that hasn’t necessarily been the case.

In fact, the NFC North is 2-2 against the opposing conference in large thanks to the Chicago Bears who have defeated their two AFC teams.

Let’s take a closer look in to the division and give you The Sports Bank perspective on where the NFC North currently stands:

jay cutler nfc north

1.) Chicago Bears (3-0, 1-0 division)

Up Next: @ Lions (Sunday 12:00PM CT)

Gut Check: Marc Trestman has arrived in Chicago and directed his own version of Freaky Friday with the Bears offensive line. Only he doesn’t have Jamie Lee Curtis or Lindsay Lohan, but rather Kyle Long and Jordan Mills. The two rookies have done a fantastic job at protecting the blindside of lefty Jay Cutler. So far this season, the gunslinging quarterback has been sacked only three times compared to eleven at this same point last season.

2.) Green Bay Packers (1-2, 0-0)

Up Next: Bye Week

Gut Check: Enough of comparing this year’s Packers team to the 2010 Super Bowl team. Sure, they both dealt with some crucial injuries, but what NFL team doesn’t. Plus, that team started out 2-1, not the 1-2 hole Green Bay finds themselves in now. The young offensive line has been a little better than expected. Still they need to be even better to keep the best player in the league upright for more than half the game. The Bengals Michael Johnson wreaked havoc on the rookie David Bakhtiari this past week with two sacks, two hits, a hurry and a pass batted down (sorry to make this article semi-offensive line themed).

3.) Detroit Lions (2-1, 1-0)

Up Next: Host Bears (Sunday 12:00 PM)

Gut Check: You might not like him and it’s completely ok, but Ndamukong Suh is the hands down one of the best defensive tackles in the game. On offense, the Lions are the same old throw-first Lions even though that running game with Reggie Bush and Joique Bell is fairly formidable. Only reason I have the Lions ranked lower than the Packers is because they haven’t really played anyone; that changes with their upcoming game against the Bears.

By the way, did anyone see Jim Schwartz throw his headset after the win over the Redskins? What’s his deal? See the video here.

4.) Minnesota Vikings (0-3, 0-2)

Up Next: Host Steelers in London (Sunday 12:00 PM)

Gut Check: The Vikings could be the best 0-3 team in the winless bunch; all three of their losses coming down to the very end of the game. But Brian Hoyer and the Trent Richardson-less Browns rolling up on the Vikings at home had to be the cherry on top of an embarrassing start. I’m glad London gets to witness a star like Adrian Peterson and sad they have to watch a couple of desperate teams who most likely won’t make the playoff hunt in 2013.

Conference Projection: Call me a homer all you want (I cover the Packers for The Sports Bank), but I still think Green Bay is the team to beat in this division. They’re 12-1 (counting a playoff victory over the Vikings) against the division the last two years and had by far the toughest schedule to start the season. We’ll learn a lot more about the division race once the Packers return from the bye with a home tilt against the Lions.

What are your thoughts on the NFC North through three weeks? Let me know by commenting below.

Nick Grays is a senior writer at the Sports Bank where he covers the Wisconsin Badgers and Green Bay Packers. He also enjoys sharing Fantasy Advice and pretends to be a Golf expert from time-to-time. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here or visit his blog Nick Knows Best. If social media is not your thing, shoot him an email at grays@uwalumni.com.

*Pictures obtained from chicagobears.com.

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