NFC NORTH: Where all four teams stand heading into Week 2

Week 1 of the regular season is in the books. Chicago and Minnesota were victorious in their season openers, while Detroit and Green Bay begin the season 0-1.

So what did we start to learn about the four teams in the NFC North after Week 1?


Record: 1-0

Week 1: Minnesota 23, Green Bay 7

3 things we learned:

1. The Vikings might have one of the better pass rush edge duos in the league in Danielle Hunter and Za'Darius Smith. They combined for a sack each, five tackles, two tackles for loss, three quarterback hits, and Hunter defended a pass. They could be a problem for opposing offenses all year on the edge.

2. Justin Jefferson is a complete stud at wide receiver. After posting 1,400 receiving yards as a rookie, and following that up with 1,616 yards and 10 touchdowns last season, Jefferson kicked off his third season by catching nine passes for 184 yards and two touchdowns against the Packers Sunday. The Lions will see him and the Vikings in a couple weeks in Minnesota for a Week 3 matchup.

3. Kirk Cousins doesn't get enough credit for his consistent play at the quarterback position. He's finished each of the last three seasons with a passer rating above 100.0 and a completion percentage above 66.0. He kicked off 2022 by completing 23-of-32 passes (71.8 percent) for 277 yards with two touchdowns, no interceptions and a passer rating of 118.9.

Next up: at Philadelphia (1-0)


Record: 1-0

Week 1: Chicago 19, San Francisco 10

3 things we learned:

1. In the battle of second-year starting quarterbacks, Justin Fields out-dueled the 49ers' Trey Lance. Fields still struggled in the sloppy conditions, completing just 8-of-17 passes for 121 yards, but he did throw two second-half touchdowns and made some key plays down the stretch in helping the Bears score 19 unanswered points. He should have a lot of confidence heading into a Week 2 matchup in Green Bay.

2. Rookie defenders Jaquan Brisker and Dominique Robinson stood out for the Bears. Brisker, a safety the Bears took in the second round of this year's NFL Draft, recovered a key fumble, had four tackles and a tackle for loss. Robinson, a fifth-round defensive lineman, notched two sacks, seven tackles, two quarterback hits and a tackle for loss.

3. Should the Bears be concerned about kicker Cairo Santos and the two extra points he missed Sunday? The field conditions most likely played a role as the Bears and 49ers played through a downpour, but it's worth monitoring moving forward.

Next up: at Green Bay (0-1)


Record: 0-1

Week 1: Philadelphia 38, Detroit 35

3 things we learned:

1. Running back D’Andre Swift could be poised for a monster season. Swift has looked terrific in camp and took his first carry of the season down the left side for 50 yards. He finished with 144 rushing yards with a 9.6-yard average and a touchdown, totaling 175 scrimmage yards. 18 touches still isn't enough for a dynamic player like Swift.

2. The Lions' defense still has work to do defending the run. Detroit ranked 28th in run defense last season and allowed Philadelphia to rush for 216 yards with a 5.5-yard average and four rushing touchdowns on Sunday. Quarterback Jalen Hurts (90 rushing yards) is a unique running threat at the quarterback position, but the Lions will see Fields twice and Buffalo's Josh Allen on Thanksgiving, so they'll have to figure out a better plan for dual-threat quarterbacks moving forward.

3. Rookie linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez might just be a player. The sixth-round pick was the Lions' top-graded defender by Pro Football Focus Week 1. He notched six tackles, one tackle for loss and was pretty good in space against the pass game, allowing just 12 yards on three catches in his coverage. He played 60 percent of the defensive snaps and should only get better in subsequent weeks.

Next up: vs. Washington (1-0)


Record: 0-1

Week 1: Minnesota 23, Green Bay 7

3 things we learned:

1. The Packers might miss All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams more than they think. Running back A.J. Dillion led the Packers with five receptions for 46 yards. Packers receivers combined to catch 12 passes for 120 yards and no touchdowns. Adams had 10 catches for 141 yards and a touchdown in Las Vegas' Week 1 loss.

2. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw his first interception against an NFC opponent since 2019 when Vikings safety Harrison Smith picked him off late in the second quarter. Rodgers was 22-of-34 passing for 195 yards with no touchdowns and one interception for a 67.6 passer rating. Hardly numbers we're used to seeing from the reigning MVP.

3. David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins need to return as soon as possible. The Packers were without both tackles Sunday and Rodgers was sacked four times, hit five times and pressured countless other times.

Next up: vs. Chicago (1-0)

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