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Sunday, October 19, 2008
Black and Blue all over: Gameday in Chicago

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

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: