We're Black and Blue All Over:
Monday night, we noted -- but hardly sensationalized -- video of Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler walking away from offensive coordinator Mike Tice on the sideline during the first half of a 34-18 victory over the Dallas Cowboys. I'll have more to say Tuesday on the substantial pushback I got from many of you on the mere mention of the scene, but for now I want to pass along Cutler's reaction to it.
Speaking to reporters at Cowboys Stadium, Cutler said: "We can't read into everything. I get you guys got to sell papers. It's tough out there. You can't blow up every headline. Things happen during football games, you know, just because I walk off and get water doesn't mean much."
In the end, the scene was a small part of a larger narrative. Cutler produced one of the best games of his career with a 140.1 passer rating against a Cowboys defense that entered the game ranked No. 1 overall in the NFL.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune: "Leadership can be complicated. So you could walk away from Cowboys Stadium on Monday night questioning Jay Cutler's leadership. But you most certainly had to walk away from Cowboys Stadium on Monday night praising Jay Cutler's leadership."
The Bears' defense was "ruthlessly effective," writes Michael Wilbon for ESPNChicago.com.
David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune: "This supposedly aging defense is getting good at surprising people."
The Green Bay Packers are considering shutting down receiver Greg Jennings for at least a week because of a recurring groin injury, notes Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The Packers' grouping of seven defensive backs Sunday was "mostly ineffective, [and] it also led to communication problems and confusion early in the game," according to Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy said he regretted challenging a ruling of an incomplete pass to receiver Jordy Nelson in Sunday's 28-27 victory over the New Orleans Saints. Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com explains.
Minnesota Vikings receiver Percy Harvin clarified somewhat the offseason concerns that led to him seeking a trade. According to Ben Goessling of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Harvin "was frustrated with not knowing which position he'd play each week. He said he wasn't the only player with those feelings at the time and praised offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave for clarifying his role."
Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com breaks down the tape from the Vikings' 20-13 victory over the Detroit Lions.
Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway on matching last season's win total, via Dan Wiederer of the Star Tribune: "Let's hope we don't lose 12 in a row, right? In all seriousness, though, we have to keep our foot on the gas pedal."
Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press asks: Are the Lions simply not as good as we thought they were?
And Justin Rogers of Mlive.com wonders if the Lions didn't do enough to improve themselves this offseason.
Lions players wouldn't be surprised to see some special-teams changes during their bye week, writes Josh Katzenstein of the Detroit News.