We're Black and Blue All Over:
We mentioned this note in Tuesday's Stock Watch post, but it's worth repeating here in the Air and Space division: NFL teams combined for a single-week record total of passing yards in Week 1: 7,482.
That number was inflated by New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who amassed 517 yards on his own. But it was also, well, deflated by the stunning total of 39 put up by the Donovan McNabb of the Minnesota Vikings. So if you take out the high and low numbers, you see that the other 30 NFL teams averaged 230 passing yards per game in Week 1.
There's no sense taking any cheap shots at the Vikings' total. We've already discussed it in a number of forums. But as preparations begin in earnest for Week 2, it's worth noting that statistically speaking, the NFL has never been more a passing league than it is right now. You can't win without one.
Continuing around the NFC North:
The Vikings are close to a sellout of Sunday's home opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the game will be televised locally, notes Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com.
Vikings defensive end Brian Robison is trying to prove the proverbial doubters wrong, writes Jeremy Fowler of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
The Vikings' defense is seeking consistency, writes Myron P. Medcalf of the Star Tribune.
Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher is tending to a personal matter involving his mother this week and could be away from the team for a few days, notes the Chicago Tribune.
Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times tells the story of new Bears fullback Tyler Clutts.
Jon Greenberg of ESPNChicago.com on Bears tailback Matt Forte: "I'm no Jerry Angelo or Tim Ruskell, but Forte looks severely underpaid right around now."
The Detroit Lions' special teams didn't have its best game against the Bucs last Sunday, writes Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press.
Lions tailback Jahvid Best ran 14 of his 21 carries up the middle Sunday, notes Tim Twentyman of the Detroit News.
Justin Rogers of Mlive.com takes a second look at the Lions' 27-20 victory over the Bucs.
Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel takes a closer look at the final play of the Green Bay Packers' 42-34 victory over the New Orleans Saints.
Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette takes a first look at the quarterback the Packers will face this Sunday: rookie Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy on rookie Randall Cobb's decision to return a kickoff from 8 yards deep in the end zone, via Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com: "That was a minus decision. We spent a lot of time on base rules, base adjustments, of coaching the gray area. Eight yards deep is not gray. That's something you learn from and you take them through where is the line of making it gray when you bring it out and when you don't."