NFC Notes: Bears, Lions, Packers, Vikings

Bears

After the flaming disaster that was Bears first-round QB Justin Fields‘ first start last week against the Browns, Bears HC Matt Nagy took a ton of fire for his game plan that hung Fields out to dry for nine sacks. They shifted a ton of things heading into this week’s game against the Lions, including hearing out the players about their concerns and making a concerted effort to put Fields under center more. Nagy also gave up primary play-calling duties. The result was a much-needed win. 

“We as coaches listened,” Nagy said via Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer. “I, as a head coach, listened to the players, and I think it was good. I think for us, we wanted to come out of this thing whether we won or lost, we wanted to say on offense that we have an identity. That we created an identity somehow, whatever that is. It could be different every game. It could be the same every game, but I think that’s probably the biggest thing and whatever we decide each week that we think gives us the best way to win, then we at least know what our identity is heading in.”

Lions

Lions QB Jared Goff said he thinks the team may need to get angry to change its fortunes.

“I think you just get to the point where you’re … there’s no longer like, ‘oh well we did these things good.’ You know? Like, you get to the point where it’s like, ‘well, we still lost,’” Goff said, via Benjamin Raven. “And then you’re not happy about it. Yeah, maybe a pissed-off team will execute a little bit better and that’s me included. How can we be better next week? Maybe getting pissed off will be the answer.”

Goff added the team has to make sure this losing streak doesn’t effect their preparation.

“A lot of teams, and again, we’ll have this conversation at the end of the year, but you know, a lot of teams you’ll look back and it’ll tank early and you’ll be done,” Goff said. “I don’t believe that’s the case with our group at all. But you have to be intentional about it. You have to be intentional about not letting it go there. I know our coaching staff is, and I know Dan’s as energetic about everything than anyone I’ve ever met. We have the pieces. We have the people to keep it positive. We just have to be intentional about it and make those plays in practice translate to the game.”

Packers

  • The Packers are down two starters on the offensive line, and QB Aaron Rodgers gives credit to OL coach Adam Stenavich for his work with keeping the line intact. “He’s a really bright coach, and I think he has a future above offensive line coach, for sure.” (Ryan Wood)
  • Packers HC Matt LaFleur is impressed with first-round CB Eric Stokes‘ preparation and mentality. “He is wired the right way. He comes to work with the right attitude, the right mentality, and I think he’ll continue to get better and better and better the more we progress through this thing. I just love all he’s about as a person.” (Wood)
  • Packers CB Jaire Alexander suffered what is believed to be an AC joint sprain and will undergo tests to confirm the diagnosis and determine the severity. (Mike Garafolo)

Vikings

Vikings second-year WR Justin Jefferson has said that losing “is hard” and is something he hasn’t experienced before, especially being a part of a prolific LSU team that won a national championship.

It’s hard,” he said, via Twin Cities Pioneer Press. “I’m used to winning. I’m used to just being at that hot streak, being one of the best teams.

Jefferson notes that the team’s losses don’t have to do with lack of talent, but because of self-inflicted mistakes that end up being costly to them.

Every loss that we’ve had so far, it’s been on ourselves,” Jefferson said. “We’ve been killing ourselves, shooting ourselves in the foot. We’ve just got to finish throughout the whole game. This team is very good, and we’ve just got to play through all four quarters.

Jefferson also was complimentary of the play-calling, while deferring to his stance that the personnel simply isn’t getting it done on the field.

We just didn’t execute the way we wanted to,” Jefferson said. “The plays were called, and we just didn’t get downfield and make those big plays.

  • Vikings HC Mike Zimmer expects LB Anthony Barr to return this week: “There’s certain things we can do with him we haven’t been able to do in these first four ballgames. He’s feeling better every single day.” (Andrew Krammer)

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