We're Black and Blue All Over:
We're halfway through our Week 3 four-fecta, with Part II scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET at Soldier Field. (Or, on ESPN, if you're not one of the 61,500 or so planning to squeeze into the stadium.) Here on the blog, we'll spend the morning reviewing the Minnesota Vikings' 24-10 victory over the Detroit Lions before flipping the switch to the Chicago Bears-Green Bay Packers matchup this afternoon.
For now, let's see what's being written locally about our four teams:
Bears coach Lovie Smith on his experienced coaching staff, via Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com: "There are four coaches here with head-coaching experience. But there's only one head coach."
David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune: "With most Bears fans marking time this fall according to the Lovie Smith watch, get ready to synchronize your clocks, Chicago. Believe it or not, we could be mere hours away from restoring order in the best sports city in America. If the Bears beat the championship-caliber Packers on Monday night at Soldier Field to become 3-0, football instantly becomes more credible and relevant around here than at any point since Super Bowl XLI. Only three times in the past 20 years have the Bears started 3-0 -- 1990, 1991 and 2006. Those seasons ended in the playoffs."
Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz places big emphasis on having early success, writes Bob LeGere of the Daily Herald.
Bears linebackers Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs have made their marks on the Bears' 2-0 start, according to Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com doesn't think anyone should be surprised that the Lions are 0-3: "Help me out with something here. Didn't just about everybody on the planet predict the Lions would lose more games this season than they would win? And a lot of folks, like me, had them going around 4-12. So, how is it that people are now shocked that the Lions are losing games? Anybody with a lick of sense knew this back seven, and particularly the secondary, was going to struggle throughout the season. We've been talking about this for, oh, six months now."
I think you've heard this one before from Lions center Dominic Raiola, via John Niyo of the Detroit News: "It's just getting old. I mean, just the whole losing around here, it needs to change. Right away."
Michael Rosenberg of the Detroit Free Press: "The Lions were determined not to beat themselves. And what happened? They beat themselves. There is a reason Jim Schwartz looked as if his cheeks might catch fire at the start of his weekly postgame autopsy."
The Packers' Clay Matthews is working hard to be an all-around linebacker and not a pure pass-rusher, writes Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Packers outside linebackers coach Kevin Greene on Matthews, via Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com: "He's a lot more gifted than I was. He is a unique combination. He weighs  pounds, and he moves like a big strong safety. And he rushes like a big defensive end. He's a physical kid versus the run. He does all the phases of an outside 'backer in a 3-4, equally good. He's a special outside 'backer."
This has hardly seemed like a typically bitter Bears-Packers week, writes Mike Vandermause of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Vikings quarterback Brett Favre got hit early and often Sunday by the Lions, resulting in a shoulder stinger among other nicks. Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune has more.
Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com: "Take away [Adrian] Peterson's game-breaking gallop, though, and the Vikings were much the same offensively as they were in losses to New Orleans and Miami. They committed costly turnovers, including Favre's intercepted screen pass that led to a three-play, 12-yard touchdown drive and gave Detroit an early 7-0 lead. They took advantage of a fluky turnover -- Stefan Logan's muffed punt that Chad Greenway recovered -- and a blown coverage to knot the score on a 24-yard touchdown to wide open Percy Harvin that Favre nearly overthrew. They put together only one protracted touchdown drive, capped by Peterson's 6-yard scoring run with 4:48 left in the second quarter. And they had costly breakdowns in protection, highlighted by Cliff Avril's speed move past right tackle Phil Loadholt that led to a batted-arm interception and a Jason Hanson field goal -- cutting the Vikings' lead to 14-10 at halftime."
Tom Powers of the St. Paul Pioneer Press thought Greenway's recovery of Logan's fumble was the turning point of the game.