CHICAGO -- Greetings from our latest NFC North locale, which will host Monday night’s matchup between the Bears and Minnesota. I made a smooth drive Sunday night from Green Bay but do have one tip for you: Never try to pass off a Canadian quarter at a tollbooth on the Illinois Tollway. They’ll nab you every time.
Anyway, I hope the playoff scenarios post I put together late Sunday night helps you navigate the week. The basic message is that Minnesota could wind up anywhere between the No. 1 and No. 4 seeds in the NFC. The Packers will be No. 5 or No. 6 based on Week 17 outcomes.
I’ll bring you our usual Monday coverage, including Third and One, as the day progresses, and plan to be at Soldier Field by late afternoon. For now, let’s take a (late) morning spin around the division:
Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune estimates the Bears had weaker performances than expected from 13 of their 22 positions in 2009.
The Bears haven’t gotten the help they’ve needed from recent drafts, writes Brad Biggs of the Tribune.
Bears center Olin Kreutz doesn’t deserve to be released for making critical comments of the team, according to Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times.
The Vikings have not adjusted to the way opposing offenses are attacking them with quick passes, writes Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune.
Vikings receiver Bernard Berrian is just starting to get his legs back after several hamstring injuries earlier this season, writes Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune.
Packers defensive end Johnny Jolly had an exemplary game as a 3-4 defensive end Sunday, according to Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The Green Bay Press-Gazette offers this information on the Packers’ playoff scenarios. If nothing changes, they will play at Arizona in consecutive weeks.
Players indicated Sunday that the Packers will at least start their regular lineup at Arizona, regardless of the potential lack of playoff implications. Jason Wilde of ESPN Milwaukee has more.
Detroit quarterback Drew Stanton deserves another start despite a horrible performance Sunday at San Francisco, writes Nicholas J. Cotsonika of the Detroit Free Press.
Lions middle linebacker Larry Foote’s streak of playing in 94 consecutive games ended Sunday because of a foot injury, notes John Niyo of the Detroit News. Rookie DeAndre Levy took his place.