NFC NORTH

NFC North: What have we learned in the first two weeks of the season?

Posted Sep 17, 2012

Probably the most surprising aspect of the NFC North so far has been the less-than-stellar play from its star group of quarterbacks.

So, what have we learned about the NFC North after the first two weeks of the season?

Well, all four teams in the NFC North are currently tied at 1-1 and are separated by six points in the points they’ve scored over two weeks and by 10 in how many points they’ve allowed.

The Packers and Bears have played within the division with the Packers winning that game on Thursday pretty easy. The Lions play their first division opponent in two weeks against the Vikings.

Probably the most surprising aspect of the NFC North so far has been the less-than-stellar play from its star group of quarterbacks. The division contains some of the best arms in the NFL with Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford and Jay Cutler (Yes, I saw Thursday’s game against the Packers). In fact, Vikings second-year quarterback Christian Ponder has played the best of the bunch thus far.

Here’s a look at how the four quarterbacks stack up through two weeks:

Christian Ponder, Vikings
Ponder has faced the easiest competition of the four, but still had to play well against the Jaguars and Colts. Ponder has a 110.6 rating in two games with two touchdowns and no interceptions. Maybe most impressive is the second-year quarterback has completed 75.8 percent of his passes through the first two weeks for 515 yards.

Aaron Rodgers, Packers
Rodgers had a winning effort against the Bears this week after losing to the 49ers in Week 1. He’s completing 68.4 percent of his passes through two weeks for 522 yards, but he’s averaging just 6.9 yards per completion. That number was closer to 10 last season. He also has an interception in each game and three touchdowns total. His quarterback rating of 89.9 currently puts him second in the division behind Ponder.

Matthew Stafford, Lions
Stafford has the most yards (585) of the four quarterbacks, but also has four interceptions mixed in there. Stafford’s completion percentage is right around 64 percent in games against the Rams and 49ers. Stafford hasn’t looked like the same quarterback who threw for 5,038 yards and 41 touchdowns in the early portion of the season.

Jay Cutler, Bears
Cutler has the lowest rating among the four quarterbacks (58.5) and the most interceptions (5). It should be mentioned that Cutler has been running for his life the first two weeks of the season and has been sacked nine times in two games. All the talk this offseason was about how improved the Bears passing game was going to be with some new weapons on the outside.

Around the NFC North

Bears' Moore: Cutler 'unfair' to Webb
Vaughn McClure, Tribune

Bears Michael Bush provides insurance runs
Sean Jensen –Sun-Times

Finley inconsistent, but Packers coaches remain confident
Rob Demovsky – Press-Gazette

Benson handles heavier workload
Tyler Dunne – Journal Sentinel

Frazier bothered by Vikings' defensibe ineptitiude inside two minutes
Dan Wiederer -- Tribune