NFC Notes: Bears, Lions, Packers, Vikings

     

Bears

Bears’ HC Matt Nagy knows that Chicago needs to regain some of their prowess in the run game if they want to keep winning. As of now, the team is currently ranked at the bottom of the league in rushing.

I just feel like we have a good pulse on knowing that big picture the struggle to run the football is where a lot of this stuff starts,” Nagy said, via Kevin Fishbain of The Athletic. “Different reasons for that. Is it a scheme? Is it execution? Is it a little bit of both? And then knowing, ‘OK, that has to get better.’ I don’t care who we’re playing, the run game has to get better. You just see teams across the league that are able to establish the run. It helps open up other areas of the field. For us, you look at the first couple games, really the first three games, we were able to get that run game established. And that helps out when you’re able to get that going. And I thought our protection was pretty well, they did a pretty good job of protection, too.”

Nagy also placed importance on getting RB David Montgomery back to being fully healthy after the concussion that he suffered.

I think being able to have him get back, just that level of confidence and that toughness that he brings to the huddle and every time he touches the football, I know that he’s a complete team player,” Nagy said. “He’s all about ‘we’ and our team, so every game that goes by he has more and more experience, so I’m excited to get him back.”

With injuries impacting the current quarterback situation in the Windy City, Nagy refused to name a starter for the game against the Green Bay Packers.

I would say this, so, again, with both these guys with where they’re at and their injuries, that’s what we’re kinda working through right now to see exactly where they’re at,” Nagy said. “The good thing for us coming off the bye is it happened over the bye for Nick and now we’re able to kind of day by day just see where he’s at. We’re going through and trying to figure out, OK, health-wise, where they’re at. Also us, too, coming through the bye, like I said, us evaluating where we’re at as a team, as an offense, all of that is on the table. We had the ability to get away for a little bit, us as coaches, and do what we need to do individually away from the building or some of us at the building, but for the most part, we’re just gonna kinda get till Wednesday and just see exactly where both these guys are at in the quarterback position-wise.”

Lions

With the chance to even their record at 5-5, the Lions turned in an enormous stinker of a game, particularly on offense. Detroit was shut out 20-0 by a Panthers defense that has been toothless for much of the season. Lions QB Matthew Stafford completed just 18-33 passes for 178 yards and took the blame for the performance, though almost no one on offense played well for the Lions. 

“Obviously, I can play better,” Stafford said via Justin Rogers of The Detroit News. “I’m the guy that touches the ball on offense every play, so the better I play, the better we’ll play as a team. Just got to be better myself.”

Asked to pinpoint exact issues, particularly if it was related to the gameplan, Stafford said the Lions just didn’t execute and then fell behind, as evidenced by plays like an illegal formation penalty wiping out a 51-yard touchdown pass on a trick play. 

“It wasn’t so much the game plan as it was our execution, you know?” Stafford said. “It was both run and pass. We weren’t efficient enough to get them out of it, and it’s every defensive coordinator’s dream to be up 17 late in the game and being able to dial up every fun blitz you can never think of. That part of it is not the part where we won or lost the game. We’ve got to be better early on in that game.”

  • Lions HC Matt Patricia said when asked about his job security: “I’ve had a philosophy for a long time: I go to work every day to try to earn my job. That’s just what I do. Doesn’t matter if it’s coaching, doing engineering, I don’t care if I’m in school. I’m just gonna go to work and work hard.” (Chris Burke)

Packers

This past Sunday once again typified the highs and lows of the Marquez Valdes-Scantling experience, as the Packers receiver showed off both his big-play ability and biggest weakness. Valdes-Scantling drew a massive pass interference penalty to set the Packers up for a touchdown just before the half and a 28-14 lead. Then he caught a 47-yard bomb to help set up the game-tying field goal. But in overtime, his hands failed once again, as it was his fumble that led to a Colts field goal that proved the difference in the game. 

“I know he’s really hurting right now,” Packers HC Matt LaFleur said via ESPN’s Rob Demovsky. “He made so many plays for us and not only in the pass game but in the run game, stuff that you guys probably don’t even notice that we’re not getting the yardage that we get if he’s not blocking his ass off. So I can live with MVS. I’ve got more confidence in him now than probably ever. I think he continues to get better each and every day. Every time we go out there, he’s providing big plays. . . . I can live with MVS, and we’re going to continue to live with him and just hope that he can continue to get better and better and better. And I’ve got all the confidence in the world in him.”

  • Packers C Corey Linsley left Sunday’s game with a back injury but it’s considered minor and not something that should keep him out long. (Jeremy Fowler)
  • LaFleur confirmed the assessment of Linsley’s injury. (Demovsky)
  • The Green Bay Packers are bringing in K Nick Rose for a tryout this week, according to Aaron Wilson.

Vikings

  • The Athletic’s Chad Graff writes there’s a good chance the Vikings use a first-round pick on a defensive lineman in the 2021 draft. 
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