NFC North standings: Competition behind Bears tightened up in Week 5

NFC North standings: Competition behind Bears tightened up in Week 5

The Bears bye week provided an opportunity for the rest of the NFC North to try and catch up with Matt Nagy’ first-place team, and as a result, the competition in the division tightened up.

The second-place Green Bay Packers were looking to separate themselves from the rest of the pack, but they self-destructed against the fourth-place Detroit Lions.

Matthew Stafford and company jumped out to a 24-0 halftime lead, and Aaron Rodgers didn’t have another miraculous NFC North comeback in him. Instead, he contributed a pair of critical fumbles while his kicker Mason Crosby missed their first four field goal attempts.

The Minnesota Vikings had an even tougher slate, visiting the Philadelphia Eagles, but Mike Zimmer’s defense started to show signs of life against the defending Super Bowl champions.

They held off a late comeback attempt by Carson Wentz that brought the score within two, but Kirk Cousins still lined up in victory formation to keep the Vikings tied with the Packers in second place in the division.

The Lions are not far behind in fourth, and the Bears will need to keep their winning streak going to stay ahead in the NFC North. Chicago controls its own destiny, but the divisional games pick up once November comes around.

Fantasy Football: Start David Montgomery vs. Redskins

Fantasy Football: Start David Montgomery vs. Redskins

It's getting really difficult to justify starting any Chicago Bears skill players in fantasy football after two dull weeks on offense led by Mitch Trubisky.

Trubisky has been ordinary so far in 2019, and that may be an overstatement. He's averaging just 174 passing yards per game and hasn't used his legs nearly as much as we saw in 2018. He has just 19 yards on four carries.

But fear not, fantasy footballers! There is a player on Chicago's offense whose stock is on the rise and, according to CBS Sports fantasy expert Jamey Eisenberg, should be in your starting lineup in Week 3: RB David Montgomery.

Montgomery needed more touches after Chicago's Week 1 loss to Green Bay when he had six carries for 18 yards and one catch for 27 yards. He got in Week 2 at Denver with 18 carries for 62 yards (3.4 yards per carry) and a touchdown, as well as one catch for 6 yards on three targets. I'd still like to see less work for Tarik Cohen and Mike Davis, but it's clear the Bears want to rely on Montgomery as much as possible. And I expect the Bears to be playing with a lead this week, which should allow Montgomery to get plenty of carries once again. He's worth using as a high-end No. 2 running back in Week 3.

Montgomery's performance against the Broncos was even more impressive than his final stat line. His yards per carry took a hit because of Denver's strong goaline performance on successive carries in the third quarter. Montgomery ended up the victor; he scored Chicago's first touchdown of 2019 on a one-yard run powered by will and determination.

He faces a much friendlier matchup Monday night against the Redskins, who are the second-worst defense against the run in 2019. Washington is allowing 168 yards per game to opposing running backs, which is bad. Really bad. Only the Dolphins are worse.

Start Montgomery with confidence this week. He should eclipse 20 carries and top the 100-yard mark for the first time in his career. Expect another touchdown, too, in what should be the Bears' best offensive output of 2019.

Bears vs. Redskins: Time, TV schedule and how to watch online

Bears vs. Redskins: Time, TV schedule and how to watch online

Chicago is coming off a Week 3 win over the Denver Broncos that may have been one of the most exciting finishes to a Bears game in recent history. Eddy Pineiro's game-winning 53-yard kick with time expiring launched him into superstar status -- for this week, at least -- and helped Chicago avoid the dreaded 0-2 start.

They'll travel to Washington to face the Redskins at FedEx Field Monday night in what fans are hoping will be the offense's breakout game. Mitch Trubisky hasn't exactly aced Matt Nagy's 202-level course early in the season and with another national audience ready to pick apart his every throw, he'll need a statement game to halt his freefall toward (gulp) bust status.

The Redskins defense may just be the perfect remedy for Trubisky's ills. They're ranked 30th in yards per game and are giving up 287 passing yards per contest, which ranks eighth-worst in the NFL.

RELATED: Bears make jump in Week 3's NFL Power Rankings

Here’s how you can tune in to the game:

Game Information

Chicago Bears (1-1) vs. Washington Redskins (0-2)

Date: Monday, Sept. 23
Time: 7:15 p.m. CST
Location: FedExField | Landover, Maryland

NBC Sports Chicago Coverage
Football Aftershow at the conclusion of the game

Joe Tessitore (play-by-play)
Booger McFarland (color)
Lisa Salters (sideline)


Stream on NFL Game Pass


WBBM 780 (Chicago) and 105.9 FM

Satellite Radio

Bears feed: XM 225

Redskins feed: XM 226

National feed: XM 88

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Be sure to tune in on the MyTeams App at 12 p.m. on Sept. 5 for the NFL Kickoff Show.