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Black and Blue all over: Lions approach record

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
It's a bit of a slow weekend here in the NFC North, in which the only divisional game scheduled involves a team that qualifies as the worst team in the entire league. (At least according to ESPN.com's weekly power rankings.)

David Birkett of the Oakland Press points out a particularly ignominious mark the Detroit Lions could approach Sunday against the Washington Redskins (in a blacked-out game at Ford Field.) The Lions haven't had a first-quarter score in six games this season; if they extend that run to seven, they'll move into a tie for third place on the NFL's all-time list in that category.

(The record is nine for you optimists out there.)

The pursuit of that mark should give you all the incentive you need to follow this game and check out our Rapid Reaction here later Sunday.

Continuing a bye weekend jaunt around the division:

  • Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press profiles Lions quarterback Dan Orlovsky, who helped turn around the University of Connecticut program in the early part of this decade.

  • David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune examines the status of Bears defensive coordinator Bob Babich, who doesn't have many friends among fans these days: "He has become to Lovie Smith what John Shoop was to Dick Jauron, a surprisingly polarizing assistant coach whose loyalty from his head coach is exceeded only by the scrutiny from his critics."

  • Bears players are vowing to improve their defensive performance in the second half of the season, writes Carol Slezak of the Chicago Sun-Times.

  • Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette compares the Packers' 2008 offense under quarterback Aaron Rodgers to the 2007 version under Brett Favre. One of the few differences: This season, the Packers are running the ball on 44.7 percent of their snaps, up from 39.4 percent last season.

  • Minnesota tailback Adrian Peterson has been more patient in 2008, according to Sean Jensen of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.