NFC North Week 3 Recap: Chicago Bears gain ground

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 24: Jordan Howard
CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 24: Jordan Howard /

The third week of the 2017 NFL season was full of excitement and action throughout the league. The NFC North was at the center of the action, with the Chicago Bears getting into the win column.

It took three weeks, but NFL fans finally got the action that they wanted as Week 3 gave fans close games, storylines, and highlight plays on offense and defense. The NFC North teams were amongst the top performers as the conference went 3-1  with two wins against 2016 playoff teams.

The competition for the NFC North crown has yet to take shape, as three teams are tied for first, with the Bears just one game back of a four-way tie. The NFC North was expected to be one of the most competitive divisions this season, and that point was proved right based off of this week.

Here’s how all four NFC North teams performed in their Week 3 contests, including the Chicago Bears:

Detroit Lions

Final Score: Falcons 30, Lions 26

The Detroit Lions lost for the first time this season, in a close game against the Falcons that came down to the last play. Detroit stuck with the reigning NFC champs all day, but couldn’t pull out a win in heartbreaking fashion.

Matthew Stafford was just inches away from another fourth-quarter comeback, as Golden Tate caught a pass on 3rd and goal with 9 seconds left. Tate was ruled down just inches short of the endzone- The Lions decided to challenge the play. The call was confirmed, therefore the Lions lost the challenge, causing a 10-second runoff which drained out the clock.

Despite the loss, the Lions looked very good yet again, looking like a serious contender for the third straight week. With the loss, Detroit falls to 2-1 on the season, good enough for a three-way tie for first place. The Lions take on the Vikings in Minneapolis on Sunday.

Minnesota Vikings

Final Score: Vikings 34, Buccaneers 17

The Vikings looked the best out of the four on week three, demolishing the Buccaneers at home. Third-string quarterback Case Keenum lit up the Bucs defense for 369 yards and three touchdowns, the same defense that the Bears almost failed to score against.

After struggling to score in week two, the Vikings proved that they don’t need Sam Bradford to compete. Keenum looked flawless – a good sign for the Vikings, giving them a reason to not rush Bradford back to action.

The Vikings improve to 2-1 on the season and are too in a three-way tie for first place. The Vikings will host the Lions at home next Sunday, the first inter-division meeting for either of the two teams this season.

Chicago Bears

Final Score: Bears 23, Steelers 17 (Overtime)

The Bears picked up their first win of the season Sunday afternoon, in a thrilling overtime victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Bears somehow won despite countless mistakes across the field, defeating a great team in the Steelers.

More from Da Windy City

The Bears finally are in the win column in 2017 and will look to carry their momentum into following weeks. After a close loss, blowout loss, and (somewhat) impressive win, the Bears have yet to show their identity.

Week four will be a defining week for the Bears, as they will take on the Green Bay Packers on Thursday night. A statement win would mean back-to-back against 2016 playoff teams and could change the way teams around the league view the Bears.

Green Bay Packers

Final Score: Packers 27, Bengals 24 (Overtime)

The Packers pulled off an impressive comeback win over the Bengals Sunday afternoon, coming back from a 21-7 third quarter deficit to pull out the win in overtime. Aaron Rodgers looked like a legit MVP candidate, throwing a clutch touchdown to Jordy Nelson late in the fourth.

The Packers looked unbeatable on Sunday, as Rodgers consistently found his targets, especially in the second half. The Bengals defense is among the leagues elite, but Rodgers had no problem leading his team down the field late in the game.

Next: What we learned from the Chicago Bears' win

The Packers will take on the Bears on Thursday night, and will look to gain ground early on in the NFC North race. A loss would make things interesting, especially since the Packers are considered to be among the NFL’s elite teams.