What in the name of football is happening in the NFC North?


The Vikings have given up 123 points this year, nearly 31 per game, while scoring 115, nearly 29 a game.

Those are some big numbers, but take a closer look and you'll see they're not alone, at least in the NFC North.

The 3-1 Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions are putting up similar numbers, only inversed. Chicago has scored 127 points while giving up 114 in four games, while Detroit has scored 122 while giving up 101.

The Packers are one of two teams in the NFL to play only three games so far, and they've scored 96 points while giving up 88.

If you look closely at the totals, they all have one thing in common with the Vikings.

Every team in the NFC North is averaging at least 28 points per contest while giving up at least 25 per game.

Chicago: 31.75 ppg, 28.5 points against.

Detroit: 30.5 ppg, 25.25 points against.

Green Bay: 32 ppg, 29.5 points against.

Minnesota: 28.75 ppg, 30.75 points against.

Doesn't seem strange? There's a simple explanation right? The offenses are good, and the defenses are bad.

Sure, that is most clearly, a fact.

It doesn't get strange until you look around the rest of the league and realize that not one other team, let alone an entire division, is putting up at least 28 points per contest while also allowing 25 per game.

Let's take the Vikings non-NFC North opponents this year as an example.

The only NFC North team Cleveland has played has been Minnesota, a 31-27 shootout. Every other game they've played in has been a low scoring war of attrition. They're allowing just above 14 points per game outside of their Week 3 slugfest with The Purple.

How about Pittsburgh? We just saw them yesterday so it should be fresh in your mind.

The Steelers couldn't stop a car in the drivers seat right? Well, not exactly. They've given up 74 points to NFC North teams (Chicago, Vikings), but just 36 in their other two games.

Can this offensive excellence keep up? Can the defensive futility? Will it even out? What do these stats mean?

We're not sure on any of those four things, but at least for the moment one thing is clear: The NFC North is playing an entirely different brand of football, and it's an up and down, high-flying, edge-of-your-seat exciting one.

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