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An unforeseen offensive output . Jersey

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    March 3, 2019 6:46 PM PST

    Behind the defense’s first shutout since the 2010 season Green Bay Packers T-Shirt , the Green Bay Packers cruised to a 22-0 win over the Buffalo Bills to improve to a 2-1-1 record. A pair of interceptions and an unexpected seven sacks against rookie Josh Allen paved the way for the Packers as the offense struggled to get into a rhythm once again with off-target passes and drops. Still, an important home win for Green Bay sets the stage for its next NFC North battle with the Detroit Lions next Sunday.Sitting alone atop the division remain the Chicago Bears, winners in amazingly lopsided fashion over Tampa Bay. An unforeseen offensive output from quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, paired with a relentless defense, helped Chicago enter the bye week with momentum. Meanwhile, shaky defensive games from the Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings led to losses that provided cushion for Chicago and Green Bay in the standings. Both the Lions and Vikings enter a pivotal week of adjustments in preparing for strong offenses in week five.Today’s rundown takes a look at some of those areas needing to be cleaned up as the NFL schedule crosses the quarter-season mark.Chicago Bears (3-1)Won 48-10 vs. Tampa Bay; Bye nextBears defense excited to see offense shine: ‘It feels like we’re a complete team’The Chicago defense was no slouch, intercepting three passes against Tampa Bay. But it was a six-touchdown, 354-yard passing performance from Trubisky and the offense that stole the headlines on Sunday for a surging Bears team.Column: Bears’ romp made possible by Bucs’ horrific defenseBrad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune takes a little bit of a different approach to the offensive explosion, citing the Buccaneers’ defensive faults as a key to Trubisky’s big day. Tampa coach Dirk Koetter called the performance “horrific,” along with some other attention-grabbing quotes.Chicago Bears’ torrid defense shows no signs of cooling offThree interceptions and four sacks helped lead the Bears’ defense in an impressive showing against the Bucs. A promising offense through the air in the first three games was held to just 251 passing yards on the afternoon.Detroit Lions (1-3)Lost 26-24 at Dallas; Next vs. Green BayRECAP: Lions at CowboysSlowing Ezekiel Elliott proved too tall a task on Sunday, as the Cowboys’ running back almost surpassed 100 yards both rushing and receiving. Meanwhile, the Lions had three receivers step up Green Bay Packers Hats , while T.J. Lang missed some action once again.Lions defense fails, wasting a massive day from Golden TateThe blown lead looms large over what was a dynamic performance from Tate, who hauled in eight catches for 132 yards and a pair of touchdowns. His showboating after a go-ahead touchdown was addressed, however.Jarrad Davis’ pass coverage cost the Lions a possible win in DallasIssues in coverage continue for Detroit’s middle linebacker, who gave up a key reception to Elliott late in the contest. Davis’ issues as a rookie have not yet been solved.Minnesota Vikings (1-2-1)Lost 38-31 at LA Rams; Next at PhiladelphiaRams Outlast Vikings in a Shootout, 38-31A thrilling offensive game concluded with the Rams on top, as Minnesota’s defense was gashed for a second consecutive week.Vikings coach Mike Zimmer: Probably never been this poor in pass coverageMore on that defense that allowed 556 total yards and 465 yards and five touchdowns via the passing game. Head Coach Mike Zimmer and several players were distraught about the team’s defensive woes following the game.Mike Zimmer says Everson Griffen won’t return to Vikings until at least Week 6After a personal incident last week, Minnesota’s star defensive end will sit out the next several weeks with the Vikings’ support.Oren Burks’ potential return from injury can mitigate Josh Jones absence For once, the Packers come into a season at or near full health. With just Jake Ryan missing, 21 preferred starters will be healthy when the Bears come to Lambeau Field on Sunday night, but one key sub-package player won’t suit up. Josh Jones will miss the game with an ankle injury, leaving Green Bay potentially vulnerable in sub-package situations in which Mike Pettine might be inclined to deploy three safeties. Especially in a game with versatile non-receiver weapons like Trey Burton and Tarik Cohen Green Bay Packers Hoodie , having athletic defenders who can match them will be key. But that’s why Brian Gutekunst traded up to get linebacker Oren Burks from Vanderbilt. In his first preseason game, Burks struggled in some of his run responsibilities and was slow to disengage from blockers. As a cover player though, he thrived in man and zone responsibilities. Against the Steelers, he once again showed his knack for coverage as a former safety, but looked much more comfortable firing his guns, coming downhill and making plays against the Steelers ground game. A shoulder injury derailed his development, but after practicing this week, he appears to be a go for Sunday night’s tilt. Officially he was listed as questionable on Friday, but if he plays, he could just be the key to slowing down Chicago on Sunday night. Expect Burks, assuming he stays healthy through the game, to play nearly every snap for Mike Pettine’s defense and provide the type of athleticism the team will need against a revamped Bears offense. In nickel situations Customized Green Bay Packers Jerseys , Pettine has been taking a pass rusher off the field and replacing him with a defensive back. Depending on the situation, that extra player is either a cornerback or a safety. Given how often the Bears will likely be in 11 personnel with three receivers —Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, and Anthony Miller or Kevin White — that player will often be fellow rookie Jaire Alexander to play in the slot. Last year, the Packers were one of the best teams in football defending the run out of nickel personnel on defense and the addition of Muhammad Wilkerson should make them even more stout in that area.Consider how effective they were in that area even when Morgan Burnett was playing de facto linebacker at 6-foot-1 and 209 pounds. The ability to play a true nickel with two linebackers without sacrificing anything in coverage should make Pettine’s nickel defense even more effective in the run game, while also leaving capable cover men on the field. A rookie against Cohen or Burton may not be ideal on a regular basis, but Jones hadn’t exactly become an elite cover safety in his own right. It’s not at all safe to assume that keeping Jones off the field, even without an injury, in favor of Burks is actually a downgrade. In fact, there’s evidence to suggest the opposite is true given how effective Burks has played in preseason.Expect growing pains with the rookie linebacker. He’s still fooled with play action and misdirection, two staples of the Andy Reid offense Matt Nagy brings to the Bears this season. But he’s also a heady, instinctive player with tremendous physical tools. Lining him up against Burton isn’t the mismatch it would be against Jake Ryan for example. Burks gives this defense a shot to defend those athletic tight ends.Losing Jones does take another personnel grouping off the table for Pettine , who loves to mix and match players and front to keep the offense perpetually off balance. But in terms of the skillset and what Jones does best, Burks replicates many of the in-the-box skills Jones would otherwise bring to the table.In an offseason of remaking and reshaping, Gutekunst added a major influx of talent and depth to this Packers defense. Instead of an undrafted free agent coming in to replace Jones, as may have been the case in years past under Ted Thompson, the Packers get to turn to a rangy, athletic day-two draft pick with a pedigree and a wealth of SEC experience. Burks and Jones may not play the same position, but that’s the payoff of filling the roster with elite athletes boasting diverse skill sets.Pettine will also get an opportunity, already in Week 1, to prove his reputation about his ability to adapt to changing personnel. But a player like Burks should make that job much easier.