Audibles: NFC North Week 10 preview

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert Chicago Bears (5-3) vs. Tennessee Titans (8-0), 1 p.m. ET

Nice timing, Rex Grossman. You finally get back on the field -- or at least we think you're going to be -- and it's against unbeaten Tennessee. The Titans' physical defensive front won't give Grossman much time to get acclimated, assuming Bears starter Kyle Orton (ankle) indeed misses the game.

This game, however, likely will turn on each team's running games. The Bears will have to figure out a way to get tailback Matt Forte loose against a Titans defense that is holding opponents to 91.6 yards per game. Chicago's defense, meanwhile, will have its hands full with the Titans' duo of LenDale White and Chris Johnson.

Bears safety Mike Brown called out the defense earlier this week for playing below expectations. You'll see Sunday if his words had any effect.

Detroit Lions (0-8) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-5), 1 p.m. ET

Could the Lions sneak away with their first victory of the season? It's an awfully tempting prediction to make, considering their competitive play of late -- combined with the disarray the Jaguars have fallen into.

But then again, the Lions are set to throw a figurative Hail Mary on the first play of the game. Their apparent plan to start quarterback Daunte Culpepper less than a week after signing him eliminates convention and rationality from the discussion.

Does Culpepper have any feel for his new receivers? What about simple things like the center exchange? The Lions aren't likely to have their starting center, Dominic Raiola, who has a right hand injury.

Then there is the Lions' offensive scheme. Detroit coach Rod Marinelli has suggested that Culpepper has played in similar offenses before, but that doesn't mean four days is enough time to master it.

Dan Orlovsky's thumb injury leaves the Lions with only one other option, young No. 2 quarterback Drew Stanton. But they do not seem to trust Stanton yet. We'll know Sunday evening if the decision gives the Lions their first victory of the season -- or blows it for them.

Green Bay Packers (4-4) at Minnesota Vikings (4-4), 1 p.m. ET

You could make an argument that the passing game will determine the winner of this critical division matchup.

The Vikings' suddenly resurgent passing game will face the stiffest of tests Sunday at the Metrodome. The Packers have surged to the NFL's No. 5 ranking in pass defense, having intercepted a league-high 13 passes and holding opponents to a 51.3 completion percentage. Both figures are best in the league.

Quarterback Gus Frerotte has been prone to interceptions, having thrown eight in six games. The Packers, meanwhile, will have their full complement of defensive backs and a history of stopping the Vikings passing game over the past three seasons. In winning the past five games between the teams, Green Bay has held Minnesota quarterback to a 65.4 passer rating.

Meanwhile, the Vikings almost certainly will have to defend Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers without their top pass rusher. Packers left tackle Chad Clifton usually does a nice job with Vikings defensive end Jared Allen, but Allen's expected absence nevertheless will make a big difference. Rodgers completed 18 of 22 passes in the teams' first meeting, and the Vikings will have to find some way to slow him down.