We're Black and Blue All Over:
The San Francisco 49ers' convincing victory Monday night over the Pittsburgh Steelers denied the Green Bay Packers an opportunity to clinch home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Packers' next chance will come Saturday at CenturyLink Field, where a 49ers loss to the Seattle Seahawks would do the trick.
If the 49ers win again, the Packers can still secure the top seed with a victory Sunday night over the Chicago Bears.
At this moment, the Packers are 13-1, while the 49ers and New Orleans Saints are 11-3. The Packers have the tiebreaker over the Saints by virtue of their victory in the teams' Week 1 matchup.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Packers rookie offensive lineman Derek Sherrod fractured the tibia and fibula bones in his right leg Sunday, according to Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette, and will be hospitalized in Kansas City for several days. He faces a long rehabilitation.
Sunday wasn't the first December "road stinker" for the Packers in recent years, as Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel notes.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy, via Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com: "I'm more concerned with what goes on Tuesday to Saturday than I am Sunday night, and that was really the message to the team."
Chicago Bears rookie offensive lineman Gabe Carimi has decided to undergo a second and more significant surgery on his right knee that will take four months to recover from, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. Carimi has been on injured reserve since last month.
Bears coach Lovie Smith is considering a quarterback change for Sunday night's game, according to Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com.
Bears quarterback Josh McCown is rooting for Caleb Hanie to succeed, writes Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune reviews the tape of the Bears' loss to the Seahawks.
Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz on defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh's one-tackle game Sunday in Oakland, via Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit News: "He didn't show up great on the stat sheet but affected the game."
The Lions have turned the "ridiculous" into the "routine," writes John Niyo of the Detroit News.
Justin Rogers of Mlive.com looks at why the Lions played off the Oakland Raiders' receivers Sunday.
Minnesota Vikings tailback Adrian Peterson played 23 snaps in Sunday's loss to the New Orleans Saints, notes Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com.
Vikings cornerback Cedric Griffin is expected to meet this offseason with coach Leslie Frazier and vice president Rick Spielman to discuss his future, notes Jeremy Fowler of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Dan Wiederer of the Star Tribune works on some of the Vikings' draft math.