We’re Black and Blue Al Over:
Why are the Green Bay Packers giving up so many passing yards this season? Opponents are averaging 335.8 yards per game against them through four games, a number that has been mitigated by their red zone defense and otherwise overlooked during a rollicking 4-0 start.
Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel takes a stab at explaining the reasons and attaching significance. Rather than pass rush, it appears Packers coaches are focused on solidifying their secondary. Here’s what defensive coordinator Dom Capers said:
"To me, that's the biggest area we have to improve in. You'll hear me say this all year: If you want to keep people out of your end zone, you have to keep them from getting yardage in big chunks."
That seems to be a reference to the Packers' transition at safety after the loss of Pro Bowler Nick Collins. Morgan Burnett made several mistakes Sunday against the Denver Broncos, and veteran Charlie Peprah is settling into his new role as a starter as well.
Continuing around the NFC North:
The Packers could have one of the NFL’s most dominant offenses for years to come, writes Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Suspended Packers defensive lineman Johnny Jolly was jailed Monday after his third drug arrest in three years. The Associated Press has more.
Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com breaks down the tape of the Minnesota Vikings’ loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Dan Wiederer of the Star Tribune on Vikings coach Leslie Frazier: "Frazier declared Monday that [Donovan] McNabb will be his starter for Sunday's home game against Arizona. But Frazier's reasoning was less a ringing endorsement for McNabb and more an acknowledgement that he sees bigger problems to fix first."
New Vikings nose tackle Remi Ayodele doesn’t have a single tackle through four games, according to Jeremy Fowler of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz on the team’s running game, via Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press: "I mean, good gracious. We don't need to put panic attacks in everything else because we haven't run the ball. With all due respect to Bo Schembechler, we can pass it."
The Lions have a bit of a depth issue at safety, writes Tim Twentyman of the Detroit News.
The Lions know they haven’t played their best game yet, notes Philip Zaroo of Mlive.com.
Chicago Bears returner Devin Hester had "any" stitched on the back of one shoe and "time" on the back of the other, writes Jon Greenberg of ESPNChicago.com.
Neil Hayes of the Chicago Sun-Times: "The Bears might have rediscovered their running game in a 34-29 victory, but their offensive identity remains as elusive as ever."
Bears guard Chris Spencer has a broken hand but should be able to play with it, writes Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.