We're Black and Blue All Over:
Mark Craig of the Star Tribune has an interesting column on what it’s like to be the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings. Leslie Frazier has started his first season as the team’s permanent coach 0-4, and the other day he took a walk down the hallway at the Vikings' practice facility to speak with another coach who did the same thing.
Bud Grant was 0-4 in 1967 before getting his first victory. Grant, who still spends time in his office as a team consultant, spoke with Frazier about the value of a breakthrough victory to get the proverbial ball rolling.
Said Frazier: "Bud's a tremendous resource, a great sounding board. He's trying to encourage me, which I truly appreciate. But it's still tough when you lose. We got to get a 'W.'"
Continuing around the NFC North:
It’s time for the Vikings to start quarterback Christian Ponder, Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton told Bob Sansevere of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
The Vikings are not ready to throw in the towel on this season, writes Judd Zulgad of 1500ESPN.com.
Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com gets to know Green Bay Packers defensive end Jarius Wynn.
Packers tight end Jermichael Finley needs to accept that he can contribute to the offense as a decoy, writes Mike Vandermause of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Packers receivers value the yards they can gain after the catch, notes Lori Nickel of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The performance of linebacker Bobby Carpenter illustrates the newfound depth of the Detroit Lions, writes Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press.
Lions cornerback Chris Houston proved he is resilient this past Sunday at Cowboys Stadium, writes Tim Twentyman of the Detroit News.
There is a disconnect between the Lions and their fans on the quality of the running game, writes Philip Zaroo of Mlive.com.
It's obvious the Chicago Bears are lacking a difference-maker at receiver, writes Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Safety is a major concern for the Bears, writes Mike Mulligan of the Chicago Tribune.
The ESPNChicago.com crew debate four issues, including whether Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has surpassed the Bears' Jay Cutler.