Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
CHICAGO -- Not sure what they were calling for here in the midwest, but it's a pretty perfect day for football in Chicago. I'm looking at a cloudless sky on the other side of the hotel window. It's 44 degrees now but the temperature should break 60 by this afternoon. There's no wind to speak of, but I'll let you know if that changes once we arrive at Solider Field.
The media buildup to this game has been interesting from the perspective of both starting tailbacks. Minnesota's Adrian Peterson ranks third in the NFL with 563 yards and Chicago's Matt Forte is fifth with 459 yards, but there is some local hand-wringing going on with both players.
As Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune notes, Peterson has created such wild expectations that it's hard to get excited about three 100-yard efforts in the first six games of the season. Maybe that's because Peterson has seen a notable decrease in explosive plays of late. In fact, Zulgad points out this statistic: In the 12 games since rushing for an NFL-record 296 yards in November 2007, Peterson's longest run is 34 yards.
Forte, meanwhile, hasn't had a 100-yard game since debuting with 123 yards on opening night in Indianapolis. David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune suggests Forte has proved himself to be talented enough that he should be judged with higher expectations.
The way this game matches up, you would think the passing games will be more critical than the run games. But there will be plenty of eyes on Peterson and Forte. See you there.
Continuing around the NFC North this morning:
Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times notes how unusual it was for Bears coach Lovie Smith to admit he erred by ordering a squib kick at the end of last week's game against Atlanta.
Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune tried to get inside the head of the Vikings' quietest star, defensive tackle Kevin Williams. Here's one nugget from Vikings defensive line coach Karl Dunbar: "When you hear people talk about football IQ, I think his football IQ is off the charts."
The father of Vikings receiver Bernard Berrian didn't raise his son to be a braggart, Rick Alonzo of the St. Paul Pioneer Press writes. That's probably why you didn't hear Berrian say much this week about his triumphant return to Solider Field.
Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel notes that Indianapolis coach Tony Dungy has never won in Green Bay. Dungy is 0-7 at Lambeau Field but will try to get his first win Sunday afternoon.
Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette takes a look at the film study of Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Nicholas J. Cotsonika of the Detroit Free Press generates Sunday's depressing Lions statistic: Since 2002, the Lions (29-72) have a worse record than the expansion Houston Texans (33-68).
Jerry Green of the Detroit News suggests it's time for Bill Ford Jr. to take over the Lions franchise from his father, William Clay Ford.