Black and Blue all over: A beautiful game day

Posted by ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert

CHICAGO -- We’re expecting an all-time beautiful November day here, and soon I’ll be at Soldier Field to enjoy it with 60,000-plus of my closest friends. According to weather.com, the high Sunday is expected to approach 70 DEGREES!!!! In this part of the country, we don’t pass up fall days like this. Ever.

Let’s take a quick run through the division before I meet up with NFC West blogger Mike Sando, who will chronicle our featured game from Arizona’s perspective, and head downtown. We’ll start off with two interesting notes out of Green Bay:

  • This was reported by multiple outlets, including the Green Bay Press-Gazette, and I’ve confirmed it: The Packers put in a claim on safety Anthony Smith, who was waived late last week by St. Louis. Jacksonville got Smith because it has higher priority in the waiver system. But the claim itself was news for the Packers, who waived Smith in September and set off a season-long issue of safety depth.

  • Late Saturday night, the Packers placed center Jason Spitz (back) on injured reserve and signed receiver Biren Ealy from the practice squad. Good thing the Packers kept Scott Wells as a backup, huh?

  • Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel looks at the Packers’ decision to use A.J. Hawk rather than Desmond Bishop in their nickel defense.

  • Jason Wilde of ESPN Milwaukee previews Sunday’s game at Tampa Bay, predicting a 31-10 Packers victory.

  • Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times examines the role of the Bears’ offensive line in their offensive struggles.

  • David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune calls Sunday’s game against Arizona the Bears’ biggest of the year.

  • Nicholas J. Cotsonika of the Detroit Free Press on the Lions’ matchup at Seattle: "The Seahawks look like a team that could pick apart the Lions today. Their West Coast offense is designed to move down the field with short, high-percentage passes, and the Lions are allowing opponents to complete 70.5% of their passes, second-worst in the NFL."

  • Lions linebackers Ernie Sims and DeAndre Levy continue to compete with each other for playing time, writes Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com.