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Continued: Mark Craig's Sunday NFL Insider: McCarthy moves among coaching elites

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Last update: November 24, 2013 - 8:08 AM

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.

• • •

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.

• • •

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.”

Three observations …

• A year ago at this time, the Texans and Falcons were a combined 19-2. This year, they’re 4-17.

• A year ago, the Chiefs and Panthers were a combined 3-17. This year, they’re 16-4.

• This year, the Patriots are 7-3. It’s the fourth time in five years that they have been 7-3. The other year they were 8-2.

Two predictions …

• In another reminder that life in the NFL can be tough without Hall of Fame-bound quarterbacks, the Vikings will upset the Packers and Scott Tolzien in Green Bay.

• The Lions — yes, the Lions — will be in first place all alone in the NFC North after they beat the Bucs at home and the Bears lose at St. Louis.

 

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  • Brett Favre was Mike McCarthy’s first quarterback when he became coach of the Packers. And eventually he will have injured Aaron Rodgers back. That helps explain his .644 winning percentage.

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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

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