LIONS INSIDER

NFC NORTH: Preseason Week 1 recap

Posted Aug 15, 2017

With the first week of preseason games in the books, Tim Twentyman gives his thoughts on each team in the NFC North.

GREEN BAY

Green Bay 24, Philadelphia 9

Preseason record: 1-0

What happened:

  • There wasn’t much success by either team running the football. Green Bay’s defense was excellent against the run, holding Philadelphia to just 47 yards on 19 carries (2.5 average). But Green Bay's offense was held to 47 yards rushing (2.6 average) on 18 carries.
  • Wide receiver Trevor Davis looks to have put himself in the lead for the battle to be the Packers’ punt return man this season. Davis returned two punts for 94 yards, including a 68-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
  • Green Bay’s injury report after the week of the preseason is fairly long. Wide receiver Malachi Dupre was taken off the field on a backboard and stretcher. Cornerback Damarious Randall suffered a concussion. Center Don Barclay injured an ankle. Kentrell Brice hurt his finger. Cornerback Raysean Pringle was evaluated for a concussion. (Injury report via Green Bay Press-Gazette)
  • New fulltime Packers running back Ty Montgomery has reportedly had some issues with fumbles in training camp, so it wasn’t a welcome sign to see him fumble the ball away on his second carry of the game. It’s something to keep an eye on the rest of the preseason.

What they had to say: “You could see Trevor, he was coming on last year, very natural in the punt return,” Packers head coach Mike McCarthy told the Press-Gazette. “I thought our guys did a great job creating a wall for him. It was well blocked and an excellent return.”

Next up: At Washington (0-1)

DETROIT

Detroit 24, Indianapolis 10

Preseason record: 1-0

What happened:

  • Rookie receiver Kenny Golladay has been impressive all training camp for the Lions, and he continued that into the preseason by catching three balls for 53 yards, including two touchdowns (23 and 15 yards). Golladay has a big body (6-4, 213), soft hands and great body control.
  • The Lions lost starting defensive end Kerry Hyder Jr. for what looks like the year after he suffered a “significant” Achilles injury early in Sunday’s game. Hyder led the Lions with eight sacks last season.
  • Second-year quarterback Jake Rudock looked sharp running Detroit’s offense after starter Matthew Stafford exited after just one series. Rudock was 13-of-21 passing for 142 yards with two touchdowns and no picks. Third-string quarterback Brad Kaaya was also good. He completed eight of his 11 passes for 71 yards and a score.
  • Detroit’s defense was aggressive all afternoon. They recorded five sacks, six tackles for loss and 12 quarterback hits.

What they had to say: “It was a great feeling,” Golladay said after the game. “A little bit surreal but, I’ve just been putting work in and I’m just happy to see it all unfold.”

Next up: vs. New York Jets (1-0)

MINNESOTA

Minnesota 17, Buffalo 10

Preseason record: 1-0

What happened:

  • The Vikings ranked in the top 10 in sacks allowed last year (38), and their line was back at it again in their preseason opener against Buffalo on Thursday night when quarterback Sam Bradford was sacked twice in just a quarter of work.
  • It’s clear Minnesota plans on using rookie running back Dalvin Cook in a lot of different ways. Cook had 43 total yards against the Bills, 30 of which came in the pass game. He rushed five times, and four of them were out of the shotgun or pistol formation. It’s certainly different from when Adrian Peterson was manning the Vikings backfield.
  • Case Keenum helped himself in his battle for the backup quarterback spot with Taylor Heinicke. Keenum completed 11 of his 16 passes for 125 yards and a touchdown. Heinicke was just 3-of-8 for 20 yards with a touchdown and interception.

What they had to say: “You give up two sacks in the first game, and a lot of people want to throw shade on us, and rightfully so,” guard Alex Boone told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “At the end of the day, we come back and say, ‘How do we keep him standing?’ As long as everybody sticks to the code, we should be alright.”

Next up: at Seattle (1-0)

CHICAGO

Denver 24, Chicago 17

Preseason record: 0-1

What happened:

  • Let the Mitch Trubisky hype train get on rolling down the tracks in Chicago. The No. 2 pick in this year’s draft replaced starter Mike Glennon, who was just 2-of-8 passing with an interception, and proceeded to complete 18 of his 25 passes for 166 yards and a touchdown. Trubisky looked calm, collected and sharp. Is there a quarterback controversy already brewing in the Windy City?
  • The Bears haven’t had a true weapon on special teams since Devin Hester left town, but Deonte Thompson, Eddie Jackson and Tarik Cohen all made nice plays in the punt and kickoff return game.
  • The Bears' defense played pretty well, even though they were overshadowed by Trubisky’s debut. The Broncos converted only one of six third-down plays, averaged 3.6 yards per play and scored three points in the first half against the first- and second-team units of the Bears. It was the third-and fourth-team units that surrendered two touchdowns in the fourth quarter and lost the Bears the game.

What they had to say: "If you're asking me if I was excited about how he played, I was," Bears coach John Fox told ESPNChicago.com about Trubisky’s debut.  "It beats the alternative. I'm sure glad he played well and not poorly. There's a reason why we drafted him with the second pick of the draft. I think for the first time people got to see that in a Bears uniform, which I think is exciting."

Next up: at Arizona (1-1)