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Black and Blue all over: Game day

9/28/2008

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
We're headed off to Chicago in a few hours for the Bears' nationally-televised matchup against Philadelphia. Don't have to remind anyone how big a difference there is between 2-2 and 1-3 for the Bears.

(One game, to be exact).

We'll do our best to keep an eye on Minnesota-Tennessee and Green Bay-Tampa Bay, both of which are early games. We'll bring you a (pretty) Rapid Reaction on those results and then set the scene for you at Soldier Field.

In the meantime, here's a jaunt around the division:

  • Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times quantifies the Bears' reliance on their defense: Their 11 defensive starters account for $46 million in cap money, or about 40 percent of the team's total cap figure.

  • All nine Chicago Tribune football writers picked the Eagles to win Sunday night.

  • We missed this one Saturday, but it's still worth your time: Vaughn McClure of the Tribune profiles the Bears' new leading receiver, Brandon Lloyd. Here's how Lloyd explained his failure in Washington: "I'm one of the more competitive people you'll meet. I had a tough time when they're saying certain guys were better than me and should be playing over me. I had a tough time being coached under a double standard."

  • Sean Jensen of the St. Paul Pioneer Press writes of cornerback Antoine Winfield's incentive to reach the Super Bowl or Pro Bowl: His grandparents, who have never been on a plane, have agreed to fly to the location of either event if Winfield ever plays in one of those games.

  • Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune wonders whether Minnesota will start using Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor in the backfield more frequently. They were together twice in last week's victory over Carolina.

  • One big difference between the Vikings and Titans, according to Zulgad: The Titans have the NFL's top red-zone offense, having scored touchdowns on seven of eight trips inside the 20-yard line. The Vikings are last with one touchdown in eight trips.

  • Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette traces the development of Packers tackles Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher, who have combined for 224 career starts since being taken in the 2000 draft. The only NFL tackle duo with more is Philadelphia's Jon Runyan and Tra Thomas.

  • Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wonders if the Packers were due to be hit by the injury bug. Starters have missed six games already this season after missing a total of 30 in the previous two seasons.

  • Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel predicts Buccaneers quarterback Brian Griese won't have enough time to pick apart the Packers' injury-depleted secondary -- mostly because Bucs tackle Jeremy Trueblood has a tough matchup in Packers defensive end Aaron Kampman.