Detroit Lions Get My NFC North Player Of The Week: Week 4

Detroit Lions running back Reggie Bush (21) outruns Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen (69) during the third quarter of an NFL football game at Ford Field in Detroit, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Detroit Lions running back Reggie Bush (21) outruns Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen (69) during the third quarter of an NFL football game at Ford Field in Detroit, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

In a strong week for the NFC North where we saw the Minnesota Vikings finally got a win and the Lions for the most part running through the Chicago Bears. The Bears Seemed to have trouble for most of the game containing and controlling one player in particular, that player is Reggie Bush, who is also my NFC North player of the week.

With a total of 139 yards rushing  yards and a touchdown on 18 carries , along with 34  receiving yards on 4 catches, Reggie Bush gave the Bear’s Defensive Line and linebackers fits trying to plug holes and contain him, especially when he’s coming off an injury.

The way he could find the holes in the line and burst through them, was impressive. I wasn’t expecting such a dominate performance against one of the better defenses in, if not the conference, the league. If Bush can continue to stay health and put up numbers like this, he’ll be one of the more dominate backs in the league this year. He’s already reminding people of what he did at USC.   If any of you don’t have him yet for your fantasy leagues, it wouldn’t be the worst idea to maybe pick him up.

The Lions will be a tough team to beat if both Bush and Matt Stafford play the rest of the season like they did against Chicago. Detroit will be playing another tough divisional game as they go to Green Bay and face the Packers. The Bears will host the New Orleans Saints as they try to rebound from this tough loss.

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Chicago Bears Close to Signing Defensive Tackle

The Bears are close to settling on a roster replacement for injured defensive tackle Henry

New England Patriots defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth (92) walks off the field with defensive linemen Landon Cohen (66) and Ron Brace (97) during an NFL football training camp in Foxborough, Mass., Sunday, July 31, 2011. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

New England Patriots defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth (92) walks off the field with defensive linemen Landon Cohen (66) and Ron Brace (97) during an NFL football training camp in Foxborough, Mass., Sunday, July 31, 2011. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Melton, although it will be hard for any committee of players to be able replace his value. Melton tore his ACL Sunday night against the Steelers. According to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune, Chicago brought Landon Cohen in for a workout on Tuesday, and are expected to sign him .

Cohen, who played for Bears defensive coordinator Mel Tucker in Jacksonville, and the scheme he was running in Dallas this year under Rod Marinelli, is certainly compatible with the schemes the bears are running now. Cohen has also been with the Patriots, Eagles, Cardinals and Seahawks.

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Chicago Bears Make Decision On Cornerback For Sunday

The Chicago Bears have come to terms with who will be the starting conerback this sunday against the Detroit Lions. That player will be

Photo: AP Chicago Bears cornerback Charles Tillman (33) runs after intercepting a pass intended for Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, in Chicago.

Photo: AP Chicago Bears cornerback Charles Tillman (33) runs after intercepting a pass intended for Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, in Chicago.

Charles Tillman.  On Friday, coach Marc Trestman said he was “reasonably optimistic” that Tillman would play, according to ChicagoBears.com.

After being  listed as questionable on the injury report with knee and groin problems that occurred during the win against the Pittsburgh Steelers last Sunday, Tillman will be expected to shutdown Detroit’s all-pro receiver, Calvin Johnson.  Johnson had  eight catches and 106 yards in the  two games against Chicago last season.

Tillman, 32, has 14 tackles and two interceptions this season. He hasn’t  missed a start since the 2009 season . Tillman was limited at practice on Friday after sitting out Wednesday and Thursday.

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Minnesota Vikings Make Quarterback Change

The Minnesota Vikings have decided to make a change in Quarterback. Adam Schefter of

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel (16) attempts to recover his fumble as Buffalo Bills' Bryan Scott (43) chases him during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Friday, Aug. 16, 2013, in Orchard Park, N.Y. Bills' Jamie Blatnick recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchdown. (AP Photo/Gary Wiepert)

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel (16) attempts to recover his fumble as Buffalo Bills’ Bryan Scott (43) chases him during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Friday, Aug. 16, 2013, in Orchard Park, N.Y. Bills’ Jamie Blatnick recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchdown. (AP Photo/Gary Wiepert)

ESPN is reporting that Matt Cassel will start over Christian Ponder this Sunday as the Vikings and Pittsburgh Steelers battle it out in London. Possible reasons for the change can be found in Ponders performance the past couple days along with the possible rib problems hindering him from practice.

We all remember Cassel, who was solid in the one season  as he took over for Tom Brady in New England. When Brady went down in Week 1 during  the 2008 season with a busted knee. Cassel’s threw for  3,693 yards and 21 touchdowns with only 11 interceptions along with a 63.4 completion percentage that helped get him the starting job in Kansas City.

However, Cassel was never able to achieve the level of success he had in New England while under center for the Chiefs, putting up  sub par numbers and low a completion percentages except for one strong season in 2010.

Cassel, who came over to the Vikings this offseason, has been the backup to Ponder, who is going through his own struggles as a starter. Ponder, who is  currently in his third year with Minnesota, has completed just 59 percent of his passes through the  season, throwing just two touchdowns and five interceptions. He’s been a tad underwhelming the past  two seasons, with the Vikings relying on the running game of Adrian Peterson.  With Ponder is dealing with a rib injury, coach Leslie Frazier has said the injury is the only reason Ponder would not start over Cassel.

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Green Bay Packers Work Out Kick Returners

Days after releasing kick returner/ receiver Jeremy Ross, the Packers have decided to bring in two potential replacements for workouts. Those players, defensive back B.J Hill of the Green Bay Blizzard, a member of the IFL,  and former Georgia Tech running back Orwin Smith, both of whom have kick return experience.

Georgia Tech running back Orwin Smith eludes Middle Tennessee State defenders in the first half of an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Rich Addicks)

Georgia Tech running back Orwin Smith eludes Middle Tennessee State defenders in the first half of an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Rich Addicks)

Hill’s workout is perhaps the most entertaining, as it shows GM Ted Thompson’s willingness to find talent in unconventional places for football players. Hill, a four year veteran of the Indoor Football League, played his college ball at Ball State. In 13 games, he has accumulated four return touchdowns and 695 return yards.

While Smith hasn’t been as great, he did fairly well in college. At Georgia Tech, he averaged 21.2 yards per return for a career total of 1,613 yards. In addition to kick returns, Smith can be used as a  reserve running back in case the likes of Eddie Lacy, James Starks or Johnathan Franklin happen to go down.

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Detroit Lions Are Busy With Roster Moves

The Detroit Lions have signed defensive tackle Andre Fluellen after they put defensive end Jason Jones on the IR earlier this week, but that isn’t the the only change the defensive line will see when the team takes the field against the Bears on this Sunday.

Detroit Lions defensive tackle Andre Fluellen runs at the teams NFL football practice facility in Allen Park, Mich., Monday, July 29, 2013. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Detroit Lions defensive tackle Andre Fluellen runs at the teams NFL football practice facility in Allen Park, Mich., Monday, July 29, 2013. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Defensive tackle D’Anthony Smith will also be joining the lineup. The NFL’s daily transaction report brings  news that the Lions have been awarded Smith off  waivers. The  Seattle Seahawks waived Smith, who they acquired in a preseason trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars, earlier this week.

Smith had played in two games for the Seahawks this year and has recorded five tackles. He had 10 tackles in eight games for the Jags in 2012, his first NFL experience after spending two years on injured reserve after the Jaguars drafted him in the third round of the 2010 draft.

The Lions have also released defensive tackle Justin Bannan to make the necessary  room for Smith on the roster. Bannan had one tackle in three games for Detroit this season.

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Detroit Lions Work Out Lavelle Hawkins And Anthony Armstrong

Detroit worked out free-agent wide receivers Anthony Armstrong, Charles Hawkins and

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Anthony Armstrong (87) before an NFL football game against the New York Jets,  Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012 in Miami . (AP Photo/Rhona Wise

Wide receiver Anthony Armstrong (87) before an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012 in Miami . (AP Photo/Rhona Wise

Lavelle Hawkins on Tuesday.  All three players were let go late in the preseason.

Anthony Armstrong and LaVelle Hawkins both have some  NFL regular-season experience. Armstrong, 30, most recently played with the Dallas Cowboys. His best season came in 2010, where he caught 44 passes for 871 yards and three touchdowns for the Washington Redskins.

Lavelle Hawkins, 27, was released by the San Francisco 49ers in August. He also had a stint with the Patriots earlier in the off season. His best year years were with Tennesse between 2008 and 2012 where he caught 71 passes for 771 yards and a touchdowns.

Charles Hawkins, a 23-year-old rookie from Southern University, had a three-month stint with the Arizona Cardinals leading up to the 2013 regular season.

Free-agent quarterback John Parker Wilson also took part in the workout on Tuesday.

Detroit’s starting wide receiver, Nate Burleson, suffered a broken arm in an auto accident early Tuesday morning, thinning the team’s depth at the position.

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Minnesota Vikings Christian Ponder Told To “Suck It Up”

After losing to a surprising Cleveland Browns squad lead by third string quarterback Brian

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder walks off the field after a 31-27 loss to the Cleveland Browns in an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder walks off the field after a 31-27 loss to the Cleveland Browns in an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Hoyer, Vikings running back, Adrian Peterson went to Christian Ponder’s defense saying it was unfair to boo the quarterback.

Craig Johnson, the teams QB coach, sees it differently.

“The  bottom line is — and he knows this — if you do not win the game, you’re getting the blame,” Johnson said, via Tom Pelissero of USA Today.  “That’s just the way it is. Suck it up. You’re no different than quarterbacks in every other part of the country. When you lose, you’re getting the blame. That’s part of the deal.”

Johnson believes in Ponder stating  that the quarterback “has done a lot of good things,”. But he is the starting quarterback, and this comes with the job. It’s to be expected that when you go 0-3, and lose to a team that most people though you’d win, you’re most likely going to get some criticism.

While Ponder admits to being frustrated, he has said that his confidence hasn’t suffered with the three losses to start the season. Belief and confidence in him will likely dissipate  if he and the team doesn’t start to get back on track. Even though it is his third year in the league, and still showing improvement, if there isn’t change with in the coming weeks, we may see a change in quarterback in the near future.

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NFC North News Week 3

Last Sunday was a good week for the NFC North (well depends on who you were rooting for).

Green Bay

People in Green Bay are getting close to hitting the big red panic button after starting 1-2, with a late turnover against the Cincinnati Bangles resulting in a  34-30 win. It seems a tad early for the alarms to be sounding for the Packers, but when you go 45 games without a 100 yards rusher and fans are used to starting off strong, it’s understandable for there to be worries.

Detroit

The Lions looked good against the Washington Redskins on Sunday. Drew Stafford threw for 385 yards resulting in 2 touchdowns. Although the rushing game wasn’t to good for the lions, Stafford and his receiving crew did well enough to contend with a Washington team that seems unsure of it’s self as of late.

Minnesota

In a surprising lose to the Cleveland Browns,the Minnesota Vikings looks to rebound as they look for their first win of the season as they take on the Pittsburgh Steelers in London, in fact, both teams look for their first win of the years. I would not want to be the team that starts off 0-4.

Chicago

With a strong victory over the statement Steelers, the Bears start off to a 3-0 start. After two clutch victories lead by Jay Cutler against the Cincinnati Bengals and the Minnesota Vikings. As of now, Cutler has only been sacked three times in the last three games. Cutler has also posted up 693 passing YDS resulting in 6 touchdowns this year.

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Minnesota Vikings Go Against Brian Hoyer and Trent Richardson-less Cleveland Browns

The Minnesota Vikings aren’t looking to good right now, starting 0-2, It might take facing a third-

Cleveland Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer passes during NFL Football practice at the team's training facility in Berea, Ohio Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013. Hoyer will start Sunday against Minnesota in place of injured Brandon Weeden, who sprained his right thumb last week and could be sidelined for several games. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

Cleveland Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer passes during NFL Football practice at the team’s training facility in Berea, Ohio Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

string quarterback and avoiding a star running back to help them get back on track and start climbing out of this hole they’ve been digging.

The Cleveland Browns, who are also 0-2, will try to start a new after parting ways with star rusher Trent Richard, in a trade with the Indianapolis Colts for a first-round draft pick in the 2014 draft.  It’s interesting to see how the Browns will do, considering neither of their  first-round draft picks from last year will play after starting the last two games, but for different reasons entirely. Quarterback Brandon Weeden is going to be out with a sprained thumb, and Trent Richardson is going to be hanging out with Andrew Luck after being traded to the Colts.

Although the Offensive production for the Browns may be down, and with Brian Hoyer starting over Jason Campbell, it will come down to their defense that will have to come up big if the Browns hope to contain Adrian Peterson and Christian Ponder. Cleveland is currently ranked 12th overall in OPP Passing YDS and 4th overall for OPP Rushing YDS, on the other side of the ball, the Browns are 22nd in the NFL in Passing YDS and 29th overall in Rushing YDS.

If the Browns are going to win this, they are going to have to contain Peterson as best as they can, because he will eventually get his yards, and when he does, they need to stop him before he hits open field. Rushing is the Vikings strong suit as of late, ranking 10th for Rushing YDS in the NFL, while  coming up with the 20th overall Passing YDS. Minnesota’s defense will need to come up strong, even with a battered offensive unit, with a relatively unknown quarterback ( Hoyers only starting experience came last year with the Arizona Cardinals), it will be interesting to see what the Vikings do with the 26th overall rating for OPP Passing YDS and 25th for OPP Rushing YDS.

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