Hi everyone. Let's get right to it...
Lions - Packers Superbowl? Have 2 teams from the same division ever met there before?
Yikes. Not a good start... Next...
Who gets the call first from the Packers: Bigby or Sharper?
I guess it would be within the realm of Ted Thompson's thinking to consider Bigby, but at the moment he's a member of the Seahawks. As for Sharper, that definitely isn't the way Thompson usually fills in for injured players. We learned that last year.
Kevin, Detroit has not won in Minneapolis since the late 90s (on what is sadly the greatest Lions highlight of my life: a last second endzone fade-catch by Herman Moore which clinched a playoff berth). Do you see the Leos finally ending their drought this week?
They've got a great chance, for sure. The Vikings pass defense has been awfully shaky, especially in the second half of games, and the Lions are loaded in that area.
Who do you feel is most to blame for the Bears second half collapse on Sunday: Cutler, Martz, the O-line, or the Saints? My vote is for Martz. If you're only down six points, you don't have to abandon the run. If your quarterback is only throwing to your running back, you find a way to make him throw it to somebody else.
I'm with you. The Bears shouldn't be passing so much regardless, but with Roy Williams and Earl Bennett both sidelined, who did he think Cutler would throw it? You can't throw it to you running back one every play, which is what it seemed the Bears were doing.
If the vikings keep losing when do u start ponder?
I don't think anytime soon. Leslie Frazier went to bat for McNabb and I don't think he's anywhere close to admitting defeat on that idea yet.
Over/Under on Megatron's TDs this year is 18. What do you take?
He's on pace for 32, right? I'll still take the under. But not by much.
What happened with the Vikings in the 2nd half? Was it more of Tampa making an adjustment or the Vikings falling apart?
Defensively, it didn't look like the Vikings had a way to stop the spread 3-wide offense. That's going to be an issue in this division.
Kevin,Who is to blame for the OL implosion in Chicago? At what point does someone say that blaming injuries is really just a lack of preparation? Whose fault is it? Tice? Angelo? Does the other debacles that have recently been caused by Angelo factor in such as Forte's contract, the draft, letting Kreutz go...
I'm not sure it's an implosion at this point. Two injuries among the five starters makes it hard to dish out blame. But the Bears are now in Year 2 of bad arrangement: A scheme that places a premium on individual pass blocking and personnel that obviously needs help.
Kevin, I don't think the Lionsa re getting respect from alot of other NFCN fanbases because we won against two bad teams. Last time I checked those two bad team were thought to be good teams coming into the season. When will they realiza we haven't lost in 6 strait reg season games?
I guess fans can have whatever opinion the want. But I feel pretty confident that people in the league, and even the media, are recognizing the Lions for what they are. They're No. 11 in the ESPN power rankings this week, and plenty of NFL teams are taking notice. I imagine the fan tide could be turned with a win over the Bears on Monday Night Football in a few weeks.
Kevin,With TW be back this week? We really need him now that Collins is out.
As in Tramon Williams. We'll know more Wednesday. I think the Packers would like to get him on the practice field at lesat one or two days this week before clearing him for the game.
Hey Kev, have you heard that bird is the word?
I thought Grease was the word...
When is Nick Fairley due back on the field
The Lions haven't said. He's still in the early stages of re-conditioning his body. Schwartz said today he will definitely get on the field this season, but obviously it's going to be at least a few more weeks.
Kevin, earlier today Dan Graziano had this to say about McNabb in an NFC East chat:What I was told about McNabb this summer was that he wasn't willing to put in the work during the week anymore, and that that's what cost him in Washington. I saw no reason to believe that would change with a move to Minnesota, and we've seen no evidence that it has. I think you can safely drop him from your fantasy team.Do you feel this assessment of McNabb makes sense? If so, are the Vikings doomed at the QB position this year?
I've sensed nothing to suggest the Vikings think McNabb isn't working hard. But I'll agree with Dan that nothing has happened to indicate he's on the brink of a career renaissance. Sometimes, what you see is what yuo get.
Why haven't the Lions been able to get Pettigrew going? Scheffler seems to be making big plays the last couple of weeks while Pettigrew has been unheard from, what gives?
Dropping a touchdown in the end zone, as Pettigrew did in Week 1, isn't going to gain you much confidence from the quarterback. But the bottom line is the Lions have a lot of weapons and Pettigrew is but one of them.
Another 2 td day for Calvin against the Vikings? Lions continue their 0 sacks allowed streak? Peterson held to under 100? Lions win by 14 plu for the first win the Humpty Dome since 97?
Oh, hey Scott. I don't like the Calvin Johnson matchup for the Vikings and think they could win by double digits. Not sure on Peterson under 100, though. He usually gets his.
Kevin, Ty Johnsons DUI, it that it for him with the Vikes.
Just saw that. Independent of this drunken driving incident, I don't know what they have seen in him to keep him around this long. Not a good tackler and never makes a play in the passing game.
The Bears are rated higher than the Lions in the Power rankings. Defend your coworkers or acknowledge a mistake? What say you
Call it 10 years of institutional baggage for the Lions. I don't vote and wouldn't have voted that way if I did, but everyone is entiteld to an opinion.
Here for your Detroit Lions and Green Bay chat. Can you at least answer one Viking question. We had 3 timeouts after the 2 minute warning and chose not to use them. i guess we saved them for the Lions game. Tampa was already in field goal range so why not use them to give your offense a chance to win. The more this season goes the more over his head Frazier is
Simmer down Tony. Frazier definitely made a mistake there. No question about it. But I haven't seen much evidence to suggest he's in over his head. His team isn't playing well, but that's not the same thing as being in over your head.
Is Stafford really in the MVP conversation after 2 weeks.....and who's your pick on MNF Lions vs Bears.
WAY too early on both questions. I'll just repeat what I wrote Monday: Stafford has been one of the NFL's top quarterbacks in the first two weeks of the season.
KS, do you think the NFC north has the best 4 starting RBs in the league (AP, Best, Forte, Starks)? I think the AFC North might be the only debatable division.
That's an interesting question that I hadn't thought of, considering how pass-happy the league is. Obviously, Peterson and Forte skew the NFCN ranking there...
Kevin, do you think the Packers will trade for a saftey now that Collins is out?
I realize every situation is different, but if Ted Thompson didn't make a trade for a running back last year, why do so many people think he might acquire a safety this year?
Really unlikely hypothetical: If you run the Vikings and end up with the #1 pick do you take Andrew Luck?
Yes. I think Ponder is going to be pretty good, but if Luck is the can't-miss prospect everyone says he is, it would be foolish to pass up on him. You adjust if you get to that situation. It's like Portland taking Sam Bowie over MJ because they needed a big man.
What does Cris Carter think about Calvin Johnson now.
Come on now...
Lions Fever, eh Kev? Are you changing your middle name to "Megatron" yet?
That would be a mouthful.
I know the Pack are the champs but that pass defense that is terrible right now just went from bad to worse. Do you think they are the best team in the NFL?
I wrote about the pass defense in a post that's will publish this afternoon. I don't think it's time to panic quite yet. As for whether they are the best team in the NFL, I mostly view those things as irrelevant. We won't know, or care, until the end of the season. They are tied for the best record in the league, which is all that matters.
packers fans seem to think its business as usual. I think there Defense is suspect at best. Your thoughts?
Again, too early to panic. The one thing I would question is whether they have enough pass rushers to complement Matthews.
With Nick Collins out, in what ways do you think teams can/will exploit the Packers defense? Or with the scheme that Dom Capers runs do you think there will even be much of a drop-off with the 'plug-n-play' system he has?
I wonder if they'll have to back away from the amount of nickel they play. Otherwise, I don't see any dramatic changes coming.
Kev, I'm no Jay Cutler or Bears fan but doesn't it seem like he gets pretty unfairly ridiculed when his offensive line resembles turnstyles?
He was more dis-serviced by Martz's play-calling than he was by the offensive line.
hard to believe with some of the qb situations no team has reached out to favre to gauge interest or a team has signed culpepper who has officially expressed interest. Favre is still better than some starters and Dante is certainly better than most backups on current rosters. Your thoughts
Favre didn't look better than anyone at the end of last season. I'm not surprised. As for Culpepper, he has had a hard time selling himself for years. Really don't know why.
Hey Kevin, is Alphonso Smith back in the lineup this week and would he get the nod over Aaron berry in the nickel?
They've said nothing official, but I know a few of you are nervous about Berry. The thing they like about Smith is that he is a playmaker. He'll get himself near the ball.
So if Carimi is out for an extended period of time (which sadly looks to be the case) and Lance Louis isn't back for the pack game, that leaves only one backup o-lineman by my count. I know that the GB pass rush isn't what it was a year ago, but if Bennett and Williams aren't good to go, is this reason for concern? Or should we just expect another great week from Forte?
It's all going to be on Forte. We obviously don't know what Roy Williams' status is, but a bruised chest doesn't sound good for Earl Bennett. That's going to make it difficult to get downfield.
Kevin, One concern I have for the Pack and giving up so many passing yards is lack of pressure on QB.Seems like Clay M is the only one wreaking much havoc.Think the Pack would like to have Cullen Jenkins back right about now?
Either that or for Mike Neal to be on the field. He was the reason the Packers felt comfortable letting Jenkins depart.
Ok Major Wright sits when Harris is Healthy? I like the idea of Merriweather and Harris at safety.
I haven't seen anything from Wright to suggest he should keep starting, but Lovie Smith tends to look at his safeties a little differently.
C'mon Kevin, I thought you were an insider. I want you to call Nick Fairley and Jim Swartz right now and get an answer!
Guess they changed their numbers...
Did you notice Corey Hilliard started at Right Tackle over a healthy Gosder? Looks like Schwartz is holding players accountable for big mistakes like Goz made at the end of the Buc game.
I did, and I loved it. But I also think it's worth pointing out that Hilliard was pretty good last year and there isn't a huge dropoff from Cherilus to him. If, say, Louis Delmas had a huge dumb penalty in that situation, would he have been benched?
Any news on Carimi's injury?
Sounds like he'll miss at least a month.
Do you think at some point this season Jordy Nelson could be the # 2 WR in GB? He has outplayed Driver to an extent and It's not like Driver is getting any younger.
I look at that a lot like the Grant-Starks situation. Starks is obviously the No. 1 back even though Grant is on the field for the first play. That's no big deal. And whether Driver starts or not, Nelson is going to get his opportunities.
But in McNabb's defense, Kevin, who does he have to throw to at this point? It's not like he's been blessed with a great WR corps (actually more like 'corpse' with how the offense has died in the 2nd half).
One mistake the Vikings have made is limiting Percy Harvin's playing time. He was on the sideline for over half the plays last week. Why? He's by far their most explosive receiver.
KS, Skip Bayless said that Cutler plays his best against GB and that Chi has GBs number. GB is 4-1 in the last 5 and cutler has 4 TDs to 10 ints. Is Skip an intruder or does ESPN really pay the guy?
Ha. The reality is that Aaron Rodgers hasn't played his best games against the Bears. He has won against them, but if you look at his stats, they're not nearly as good as his career averages.
You made a great point the other day about the defense falling for the Packers play-action offense when they know they are probably going to pass anyway. Do you think it will catch up to them if they have to fool you to get a big play against better defenses?
Thanks. No, I think they execute it particularly well and do a good job of calling them in running situations. Maybe some teams will catch on, but they haven't yet.
Chances Lions enter MNF at 4-0: Over/under 50%
Two road games to get there. I'll say under 50 percent for 4-0.
Everyone talks about Staff and CJ and the defense but how great has Nate Burleson been in the first two weeks?
He's been exactly what they wanted -- a big play guy to clean up when Johnson is covered. And Burleson is such an aggressive open-field runner. Gets a lot of extra yards that way.
Back to the hypothetical first pick situation for the Vikings. Being that they need more than just a QB, why not deal that pick for more picks in the later rounds? Better to get bodies for Minnesota, isn't it?
Not if Luck is truly as good as everyone say he is. Nothing against Ponder, but you don't pass up a once-in-a-generation player (if that's what Luck is) regardless of the circumstances.
I guess if Packers fans had one good thing to look at, is that Burnett has been a ball hawk and playmaker so far this year that Collins typically was. If he can keep it up and if Peprah can simply play how he did last year, things will be fine.
That's a good point. I've been impressed with how aggressive and physical Burnett has been. I recall him being more timid last year.
Percy Harvin playing only 44% of the offensive snaps? I thought you want to use your best players at all times.
I don't get it. At. All. And I thought that is why they were keeping him off some kickoff returns?!
Lost in all the panic about the Packers pass defense has been the fact that they're looking much better against the run this year. Last year they couldn't stop anybody on the ground. Now they've just held DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart to a combined 18 yards. Doesn't it make sense that teams are passing for more yardage because they can't move the ball on the ground?
On the other hand, why bother running if you can throw for 400 yards?
Big NFCN week, where you gonna be?
At an NFC North stadium. That's all I can say at this time.
Is Carimis injury the same injury Stafford had his rookie year with his knee?
It's the same diagnosis but I don't know if the severity of the two injuries compare.
Kevin Williams..... does his return make a difference?
It can't hurt. I wonder if players have been wearing down in the second half. But with his foot injury, I wonder if Kevin Williams is still the same player.
Don't know why? Doesn't Culpepper act as his own agent?
That wasn't a smart move, and that hurt him early on. But I'm not sure if it's still in play now.
I've heard a few media sources dogging the Lion's run game. They're averaging +100 yards, and easing Williams into the rotation (as a power back.) What at your thoughts?
It's limited. Best can make some big plays, but he's not built to be a feature back. But in 2011, you really don't need a power running game to win.
Call me crazy (you always do) but I think Cutler is going to have success against the Packer secondary.....
If he has time.
Did you see my grab? Im legit
The 43-yarder? That was some catch. It's not often you see a team convert third-and-24.
Not to mention the Vikings are not taking advantage of their TE situation in the least. We need to adapt the Patriots mentality. With the lack of quality receivers, 2 TE sets would be prime in Sota...
They're wasting time with Berrian on the field. To me that's the biggest personnel issue. Do they really think Berrian is stretching opposing defenses?
Has Percy Harvin solved his problems with migraines or do they still plague him from time to time?
Apparently he hasn't had one in some time...
What in your opinion is the scariest thing teams need to look at when the Lions come up as their opponent that week? Also call me crazy but I think they have a good shot at taking the division if Stafford stays healthy... what say you?
The scariest thing about the Lions is they have too many weapons in the passing game to account for, and Stafford knows where all of them are. It's well-oiled group that is used to playing with each other.
do the Vikes regret letting Sidney Rice walk away considering they don't seem ot have a passing attack so far?
Well, Sidney has some kind of shoulder injury now, so who knows if they regret the move. But there's no question they're lacking offensive playmakers right now.
Who's covering Burleson and Young? Chris Cook and someone else?
Cook had a leg injury and didn't return. You're looking at Winfield, Griffin and maybe Asher Allen as your top three cornerbacks for this game.
Toby Gerhardt looks like a viable #2. Your thoughts?
It takes a while for him to get a head of steam but he's had a little bounce in his step this year, for sure.
I think everyone has to chill a bit about the Packers pass D. Isn't it true that 300 + yard passing games is becoming a norm now days in what essentially is a pass happy league. Besides, the Packers D is 8 for 11 on stopping teams inside the red zone. There, I think I did your job for ya...I'll look for my commission check in the mail.
I did mention the red zone stat in the upcoming post. But even if 300 yard games are the norm, everything is relative. The Packers are still allowing more passing yards than any other NFL team, even if everyone is allowing more than they're used to. They'll need to get it under control, but I don't think it's a panic situation.
Ok, a few more here.
I think if you look at it, the most underrated free agent pick-up in the division was when the Lions picked up Stephen Tulloch. Agreed?
I'm not sure if it was underrated, but to this point he's had the most impact. He's added a different level to the Lions defense that just didn't exist before.
Any words of encouragement for us Vikes fans? What have you been saying to the Lions fans for the past decade to keep them from jumping off a cliff?
Haha. That the NFL is built for teams that struggle to get the first chance to improve themselves (via the draft.) But I don't think the Vikings are anywhere close to where the Lions were in the worst of times.
Durant also. The biggest in the Lions so far this year: they have linebackers!
Yeah, almost forgot Durant. He had a ton of tackles in the last game.
I know the Lions are a fun story so far this year, but really? You're may not be going to Chicago for a rematch of the NFC championship game this week?
I've got to keep the drama building...
Final word on the 'Luck to the Vikings' thing: You just said the Vikes don't have enough play makers so what good would it be to draft Luck? Not like he can MAKE guys play makers.
But he would be the most important building block, if as good as advertised.
Doesnt this Lions offense look like what Matt Millen & Mike Martz dreamed of building but failed miserably? Could the Lions be the "Greatest show on field turf"?
Linehan's offense does come from the same tree as Martz's. But the Lions are much different, and much more reliant on tight ends and much more traditional when it comes to blocking.
Ok, 1 or 2 more here.
At the buzzer.... Webb back to RT and Omiyale back to LT for the Bears?
I doubt it. Putting two positions in transition instead of one.
Can the Lions stop the run? Didnt look like it.
They did in Week 1. I wouldn't worry about it yet.
Thoughts on Mayhew dissing Pioli? He was so mayhewed.
We don't know much about Martin Mayhew because he's very private. But I think we learned he's a very intense competitor.
OK everyone, thanks so much. Chat with you next week!