BBAO: A 3-1 start for the NFC North

September, 10, 2012
9/10/12
8:55
AM ET
We're Black and Blue All Over:

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- OK, be truthful for once. How many of you thought that Week 1 would end with the Green Bay Packers looking up in the standings at the NFC North's other three teams?

The Packers certainly had the division's toughest draw, and they were on their heels throughout a 30-22 loss to the powerful San Francisco 49ers. Earlier, of course, the Chicago Bears had blown out the Indianapolis Colts, while the Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions had eked out home victories in the final seconds against the Jacksonville Jaguars and St. Louis Rams, respectively.

So that's the hand we're dealt, and we don't have much time to think about it as we head into quite the scramble of a Week 2. The Bears and Packers will face off in about 80 hours or so on Thursday night football, so we'll all have to rest fast. I'm sprinting back to NFC North blog headquarters, and soon we'll start conducting our weekly "Free Head Exams." Stay tuned for a quirky new feature in those posts.

For now, let's take a sampling of Week 1 coverage from around the division:
  • Bears cornerback Tim Jennings (two interceptions) stepped up while Charles Tillman (leg) was sidelined Sunday, writes Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune. Tillman's injury is not believed to be serious.
  • The Bears' defense looked awfully spry Sunday, writes Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune.
  • Melissa Isaacson of ESPNChicago.com on tailback Matt Forte's day: "Forte did not have the kind of day that is going to make any lists of Sunday's leaders on the NFL's opening weekend. And Forte fantasy team owners were surely grumbling about [Mike] Tice's play-calling on Bush's two touchdowns. But Forte finished with 80 yards rushing on 16 carries for one touchdown and 40 yards receiving on three catches, a great day by any standards, and with two more touchdowns from Bush, a phenomenal day for the running game."
  • Linebacker Brian Urlacher was pulled early in the third quarter to rest his knee with the game well in hand. Urlacher, via Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com: "That was a changeup. No, I don't like coming out of the game. But that's the head coach. I do what he says."
  • Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford on his roller-coaster game, via Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News: "I'm proud of the guys for sticking with me. It doesn't really matter how it gets done, as long as it gets done. There's a belief when you do it a bunch of times. You understand it takes great execution, and sometimes you gotta be aggressive. It's about trusting yourself and your teammates, no matter how [bad] a day you've had."
  • Lions tailback Kevin Smith had dropped two consecutive passes before eventually catching the game-winning touchdown, notes Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
  • Lions coach Jim Schwartz on the personal foul of receiver Titus Young, via Anwar S. Richardson of Mlive.com: "He did that and that wasn't a smart thing. We knew what was going to happen in some situations and him and a couple of guys were sort of going back and forth. That was one of the situations where it was right in front of me the whole time, and it looked like he was going to do the right thing and walk away from it. Then at the last second, [he] turned and made a really dumb decision."
  • Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com: "Make no mistake: this wasn't the way the Vikings intended to erase the memory of last season's 0-4 start, which included four of their nine losses by seven points or fewer and an overtime defeat against Detroit by the same score on the same Metrodome field. Too many moments looked like something out of the 2011 playbook. ..."
  • Jim Souhan of the Star Tribune will never doubt Adrian Peterson again. Souhan: "In a league overflowing with disinformation, Peterson's word, from now on, is bullion. He earned the Better Business Bureau stamp of approval and his teammates' awe on Sunday, leading the Vikings to a victory as improbable and timely as his comeback."
  • Tom Powers of the St. Paul Pioneer Press: "Watching the Vikings and Jaguars duke it out was like watching a heavyweight bout between Chuck Wepner and Buster Douglas. Or the Australians playing the Japanese in ice hockey. Or maybe the Twins and Indians going at it just down the road. In a controlled environment, it can be entertaining, even if the overall quality isn't quite there."
  • Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wonders if the Packers will have to re-think the lineup in their secondary.
  • Mike Vandermause of the Green Bay Press-Gazette: "[T]his could hardly be labeled a devastating, or even sobering loss for the Packers."
  • Rookie Packers linebacker Terrell Manning wasn't sure if he had committed an illegal block penalty on Randall Cobb's 75-yard punt return, according to Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com.

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