We're Black and Blue All Over:
Two NFC North teams rallied for fourth-quarter victories Sunday and a third hung on for dear life. Of all the dramatic stories and events to emerge from the day, to me here is the wildest: Chicago Bears cornerback Tim Jennings' 25-yard interception return for a touchdown was the team's sixth in seven games. Already, they are within three of tying the NFL single-season record set 51 years ago.
Here's what the record book shows:
1961 Chargers: nine
1998 Seahawks: eight
1999 Rams: seven
1984 Seahawks: seven
Jennings' touchdown capped the Bears' comeback from a 19-7 fourth-quarter lead, but the game wasn't secure until Robbie Gould's 41-yard field goal on the final play. It was that kind of day in the NFC North. Let's continue with our morning stroll:
Jon Greenberg of ESPNChicago.com: "[T]hat was Grand Theft NFL and we all know it. And guess what: There's nothing wrong with it. In fact, it's pretty great."
Melissa Isaacson of ESPNChicago.com on Bears quarterback Jay Cutler: "But while Cutler may sometimes fail in big moments, he doesn't shrink in them."
Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune: "Whether you want to call him Mr. Clutch or Mr. Double Clutch probably depends on whether you call the glass half-full or half-empty. Truth be told, Jay Cutler was a little of both Sunday."
David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune: "[T]hese Bears remain who everyone thinks they are despite the obvious letdown: A team capable of playing in the Super Bowl."
Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Sun-Times: "I still can’t believe it as I write this, but they won."
Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press on the Detroit Lions' victory over the Seattle Seahawks: "They've memorized the script through constant repetition. Never dominate. Hang close. And hope for a little closing-seconds magic."
Lions receiver Calvin Johnson has turned into "Megadrop," writes Terry Foster of the Detroit News.
Lions receiver Titus Young on his mentality earlier this season, before Sunday's breakout game, via Anwar S. Richardson of Mlive.com: "I had a couple of games this season where I struggled, and really wasn't getting all the plays I wanted to get. I really was kind of a little down. Honestly, I was down for a little bit. This is the NFL. You want to do good every week."
Mike Vandermause of the Green Bay Press-Gazette on the Green Bay Packers' victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars: "It wasn’t pretty, and against almost anyone other than the 1-6 Jaguars, the Packers would have gone down in flames."
Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com: "The Green Bay Packers’ running game is still going next to nowhere -- and coach Mike McCarthy may have to consider bringing James Starks out of mothballs."
The Packers' lack of energy was troubling, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The Minnesota Vikings' ability to bounce back is about to be put to the test, writes Judd Zulgad of 1500ESPN.com.
The first round of the 2012 draft has defined the first half of the Vikings' season, for better and worse, writes Mark Craig of the Star Tribune.