Dec 30, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) runs with the ball after a catch against Detroit Lions cornerback Chris Houston (23) during 2nd Half of a game at Ford Field. Bear won 26-24. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports
It’s another exciting week in the NFL and while the Packers are off on their bye week there is still a great slate slate of NFC North games. The Minnesota Vikings and Pittsburgh Steelers play in London while the Detroit Lions take on the Chicago Bears at Ford Field with first place in the NFC North on the line.
Vikings vs Steelers
Shack: Both teams are heading into week four 0-3, but it feels like both teams are heading in different directions. The Steelers lost to the 3-0 Bears and looked much better on offense. The Vikings have played fairly consistent through three games, but seem to find a way to lose. I could see the Vikings getting some energy from Matt Cassel and playing well enough to win, but like their previous three games, finding a way to lose in a nail-bitter.
Prediction: Steelers win 31-27
The Hack: I can’t imagine how excited the British must be to be hosting two 0-3 teams for the NFL’s annual visit across the pond. One of them , the Vikings, is starting a brand new quarterback [Matt Cassel], who I didn’t even know was on the roster. It should be an entertaining game for the Brits because the NFL has sent probably it’s best run franchise in the Pittsburgh Steelers, and possibly it’s best player in Adrian Peterson, with the exception of Megatron, to represent them because both of them are fighting for essentially their very football lives. It’s pretty much over for the loser of either one of these proud franchises. Hey, lets admit it out loud, Cassel will probably be an improvement for the Vikings. The Steelers don’t look the same this year,–disjointed by their standards. The Viking are going to come back, crashing the Mainland with another victory. Vikings 24, Steelers 17.
Shack and the Hacks’ Game NFC North Game of the Week
Lions vs Bears
Shack: If you’re a Bears fan your probably picking the Bears to win. If you’re a Lions fan your probably picking the Lions to win. The truth is you could make a case for both teams to win. If the Lions are going to win they need to make the Bears offense one dimensional, meaning containing Matt Forte. If they can do that, I like the Lions pass rush over the Bears offensive line. The second thing the Lions need to do is take care of the ball. If they can keep the Bears savvy defense from those strip fumbles and interceptions that they are so good at causing then the Lions will win this game. Now that’s asking a lot when you consider that the Lions will be relying more on Ryan Broyles, Joseph Fauria, and Tony Scheffler over the middle who haven’t been receiving a ton of playing time. In the end I’ll pick the Lions, because it’s a home game and because Reggie Bush is back in action and containing both Johnson and Bush is a tough feat to accomplish at Ford Field, even with the Bears stout defense.
Prediction: Lions win, 27-24
The Hack: The Lions enter the most crucial point in their young season with a home game against Da Bears, then head up north to meet the Green Bay Packers. This is where we find out what we have with this 2013 version of the Detroit Lions. Charles Tillman is hurting a bit , so that helps the Lions tremendously, because he shadows Megatron better than anyone in the league. I think Linehan is going to make better use of Reggie Bush and Joique Bell and spread the field. The defense is going to live and die with that front four, and give Jay Cutler a case of the hurries. If the Lions hang on the ball and don’t feed the Bears turnover machine, they will win.
Prediction: Lions 28, Bears 10.