The division rivalry at the NFC North is heating up as the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions remained perfect after 5 weeks of NFL action. The defending Super Bowl champions looked sharp in rallying against playoff contender Atlanta Falcons while the Lions beat the defending NFC North winner in Monday Night Football.
Here are the game recaps for each undefeated team:
Green Bay (5-0) 25 – 14 Atlanta (2-3)
The last time the two teams met was last year’s playoffs where the Green Bay Packers routed the Falcons on their way to their way to winning the Super Bowl. The Packers won again after being down 0-14 at the start of the game. The Packers started tentative in the red zone as their first 3 scores were courtesy of K Mason Crosby. The offense started humming at the end of the third and early in the 4th as Rodgers connected with James Jones and Greg Jennings to pull away from the struggling Falcons. Crosby capped the scoring with another FG with one minute left in the game.
Chicago (2-3) 13 – 24 Detroit (5-0)
The game is the first Monday Night Football game for the Lions in a decade and they faced a Bears looking to keep up with the NFC North leaders. 67,861 fans went to Ford Field, the second biggest ever crowd at Detroit. The fans were indeed a factor as they forced the Bears to several false starts. The Lions struck first with a 73 yard TD pass from Matthew Stafford to Calvin Johnson. The Bears answered with 10 straight points to lead at halftime 10-7. The 3rd quarter though belonged to the Lions, as Stafford connected with TE Brandon Pettigrew for a TD. Jahvid Best added a TD with a career high 88 yard run, the longest run for a Lions player since 1950. The defense then took care of the rest as they just held Chicago’s offense to just one field goal and pressuring Jay Cutler the whole time. The Bear’s offensive line was constantly beaten by an energized Lion’s defensive line. Jason Hanson made 300th game as a Lion memorable by capping the scoring with a 31 yard FG late in the final quarter. Hanson now holds the record for most games played with one team in the NFL. He has been a Lions fixture for 20 years.
What’s next for the 5-0 teams?
Green Bay Packers – The Packers will host Sam Bradford and the winless Rams at Lambeau field. 6-0 is definitely reachable unless the bye week helped the Rams turn their fortunes this season. The 0-4 has never scored over 16 points this season and they have the worst run defense in the 2011 NFL. If the Rams win, I am sure those who bet for them in Vegas will be instantly rich.
Detroit Lions – the Lions will have a shorter break this week as they host a game against the equally surprising San Francisco 49ers (4-1) on Sunday. The Niner’s loss this season was against Lion’s victim Dallas Cowboys in Week 2. The 49ers routed another Detroit victim, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in Week 5. A lot of experts are saying that the 49ers-Lions match-up will be the game to watch next weekend. A win by Detroit will truly send a message to the NFC about being real title contenders.
- NFL 2011: Lions, Packers still undefeated (caloysports.wordpress.com)
- Detroit Lions Play Chicago Bears in First Monday Night Football Game in 10 Years (inquisitr.com)
- NFL Power Rankings: Jason Hanson and 3 Kickers Saving Your Fantasy Team (bleacherreport.com)
- Detroit Lions: Keys to Victory Over Bears on Monday Night Football (bleacherreport.com)
- Detroit fans believe this could finally be year for Lions (tsn.ca)
- NFL 2011: 2 undefeated teams left after Week 4 (caloysports.wordpress.com)