Chicago Bears quarterback Josh McCown warms up before an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh) ORG XMIT: CXB1

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Mark Craig's Northern Intelligence

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG
  • Star Tribune
  • November 23, 2013 - 9:19 PM

Northern intelligence


The Packers didn’t give up a sack in last week’s loss to the Giants. It was the first time that has happened since Week 4 of last season. Scott Tolzien, who started for injured Aaron Rodgers against the Giants last week, has been sacked only once, by Philadelphia when he was Seneca Wallace’s backup two weeks ago. The Packers gave up 10 sacks in their first three games, which was tied for the sixth-most in the league. But since then, they have allowed 13 sacks in their past seven games. The Packers rank 11th in sacks per pass play.

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What Vikings coach Leslie Frazier hasn’t been able to find in three quarterbacks, Bears coach Marc Trestman has found in one backup, Josh McCown. Frazier would love to have the next John Elway, but at this point he’d settle for a guy who doesn’t turn the ball over. Unfortunately for Frazier, his three QBs have combined for 17 turnovers. Trestman, meanwhile, has gotten turnover-free football with starter Jay Cutler battling injuries. McCown is 2-0 as a starter, with a 60.1 completion percentage and a 100.0 passer rating.

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It’s not quite Joe Namath guaranteeing victory in Super Bowl III. Then again, it might be harder to make come true now that attention has been drawn to it. After losing two fumbles in three games, Lions running back Reggie Bush has guaranteed that he will not fumble again this season. “It won’t happen again,” said Bush, who has three fumbles this season, two of them lost, and has never had more than three lost fumbles in a season. Of course, now that he’s made headlines about guaranteeing that he won’t fumble again, defenders will be even more motivated to rip the ball from his grasp. “Definitely, and they should,” said Bush, whose team faces the Buccaneers on Sunday. “That’s part of the job.”

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