We're Black and Blue All Over
Green Bay Packers receiver Greg Jennings caught 62 passes over the final 11 weeks of the regular season, and so it was probably no surprise that the Philadelphia Eagles centered their defensive game plan around stopping him in last Sunday's wild-card playoff game. Jennings finished with one reception for 8 yards, his lowest output since 2006, but probably helped open up the running game for rookie tailback James Starks.
Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel examines the situation and wonders if the Atlanta Falcons will follow a similar game plan. Jennings: "I talked to one of their guys after the game, Ellis Hobbs, and he basically said, 'We were doubling you wherever you went.' It was clearly visible what they were doing from the jump."
The Falcons might be well-advised to do the same. Jennings has been especially dangerous in indoor venues in his career, averaging nearly 19 yards per catch, and had five receptions for 119 yards in the teams' Week 12 matchup at the Georgia Dome.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez will pose a significant threat to the Packers on Saturday, writes Kareem Copeland of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com: "As the Packers get ready for Saturday night's rematch in the NFC Divisional Playoffs, they do so believing that their special teams coverage units are better because, after a tumultuous year on the injury front, they've finally established a core group under special teams coordinator Shawn Slocum."
Chicago Bears cornerback Charles Tillman played in all 16 games for the first time in his career, writes Melissa Isaacson of ESPNChicago.com.
Bears returner Devin Hester is expecting the Seahawks to kick to him rather than forfeit field position by kicking out of bounds, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
The Bears' coaching staff is better equipped for a playoff run in 2010 than it was in 2006, writes David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune. But overall that 2006 team was better, Haugh writes.
The Detroit Lions got more than they thought they would out of defensive end Turk McBride this year, writes Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
Birkett also spoke with linebacker Bobby Carpenter, who is hoping to return to the Lions in 2011.
Repairs on the Metrodome roof are moving slowly in Minnesota, according to Kevin Duchschere of the Star Tribune. The work could extend into August if the entire roof needs to be replaced.
It's been quiet this week around the Minnesota Vikings' offices, writes Jeremy Fowler of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.