We're Black and Blue All Over:
ORLANDO, Fla. -- A 3-1 performance in Week 1 has the NFC North riding high. I'm expecting big jumps in the ESPN.com Power Rankings this week from the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions, and I don't see the Green Bay Packers vacating their No. 1 overall spot. We'll find out for sure on Tuesday afternoon.
But we have plenty in store before then. I'll have Free Head Exams on the Bears, Lions and Vikings before the end of the day as well as reaction to any significant news stories that arise. And I'll soon start making my way back to blog headquarters -- yes, from Orlando, because who doesn't get home from Tampa through Orlando?
But while we have a moment, let's sample local coverage from around the division:
The Chicago Bears made a believer of the Chicago Sun-Times' Rick Morrissey after their 30-12 victory over the Atlanta Falcons: "No one could say luck had anything to do with what happened Sunday at Soldier Field. There was no robbery, just simple battery."
David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune thought Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher played a youthful game: "The only question for the Bears after this rout was: Will they take a bus or plane to Indianapolis for Super Bowl XLVI? Seriously, those of us expecting a team lacking depth or focus instead saw a dominant and driven team fueled by the guy Lovie Smith lauded as "our franchise player.'"
Jay Cutler played an efficient game, writes Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune.
Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com likes the way the Bears used receiver Devin Hester.
Melissa Isaacson of ESPNChicago.com: "[T]he Bears' defense made clear to anyone who may have wondered that it is capable of once again carrying this team a long way."
Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press on the Detroit Lions' 27-20 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers: "Take heart, aged Lions fans. The lesson from this season’s opener was one we learned as kids: It’s more fun to play with ALL your toys than SOME of them."
Lions fans should be happy with the team's confidence, write John Niyo of the Detroit News.
Chris McCosky of the Detroit News examines Lions cornerback Chris Houston's important interception Sunday.
Philip Zaroo of Mlive.com gives the Lions offense a "B" as part of his postgame grades.
Tom Powers of the St. Paul Pioneer Press after the Minnesota Vikings' 24-17 loss to the San Diego Chargers: "Going into Game 1 of the Vikings' season, we all knew there was the potential for several things to go screwy. The offensive line could spring a leak or the secondary could blow a gasket. Meanwhile, many of the receivers could stroll through a busy mall without being recognized. But who thought Donovan McNabb would play like horse feathers? Said McNabb: 'For me being now in my thirteenth year, it is embarrassing to sit up here and to know that we only passed for 40 or 50 yards, whatever it was.' Thirty-nine. 'I could do that in a series,' he said. 'That is embarrassing for me with the players that we have.'"
Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com looks at the Vikings' use of receiver/kick returner Percy Harvin.
Vikings defensive linemen jumped offsides three times in the Chargers' final, game-sealing possession. Mark Craig of the Star Tribune explains.
Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers, via Mike Vandermause of the Green Bay Press-Gazette: "The bottom line is doing what it takes to win the game. I think what good teams do is find a way to make the critical plays in the game that enables you to win the football game. I thought our guys did that."
Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel looks at the role of Packers receiver James Jones in last week's game against the New Orleans Saints.