We're Black and Blue All Over:
As we discussed last week, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers had taken note of what he called "borderline disrespectful" comments made by Atlanta Falcons players since last year's playoff victory at the Georgia Dome. Falcons receiver Roddy White was among the principal talkers, saying he thought the Falcons were "the better team" despite the Packers' 48-21 victory.
It appears Rodgers wasn't the only one who noticed. Defensive lineman B.J. Raji laid it hard on the Falcons after Sunday night's 25-14 Packers victory. Via Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com, here's what Raji said:
"We have better players, we have better coaches, we're a better team. Usually better teams win games. We settled down and played our game, and we won. … It's definitely another dagger in their chests. They've been talking the whole offseason. They were talking before the game. We don't worry about that. We're the champions. We play like champions. We coach like champions. People who talk generally don't get to where they want to go. And obviously with this team, it's evident."
The Falcons did defeat the Packers last year in the regular season, a game that now seems a distant memory. I'm not usually a big believer in the proverbial war of words, but the Packers sure got the last laugh on this one.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Mike Vandermause of the Green Bay Press-Gazette: "If the Atlanta Falcons couldn't beat the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night at the Georgia Dome, what team can?"
Packers coach Mike McCarthy did not immediately indicate the severity of left tackle Chad Clifton's hamstring injury, notes Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Jeremy Fowler of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that Minnesota Vikings receiver Bernard Berrian was deactivated for Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals because he missed two meetings Saturday.
Vikings quarterback Donovan McNabb "threw more bounce passes than Magic Johnson on Sunday," writes Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune.
Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com: "Benching a veteran quarterback in favor of a rookie usually is a sign the season is a lost cause. For the Minnesota Vikings, benching Donovan McNabb may be their only hope."
Here is ESPN.com/ESPNChicago.com's "Monday Night Football" Headquarters, where you'll find all of our cross-site coverage and videos.
Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Sun-Times: Whatever success [Chicago Bears quarterback Jay] Cutler has had in his limited time in Chicago has come in spite of what the team has given him, talent-wise."
The Bears are hoping they don't have to blitz the Detroit Lions as often as they blitzed the Carolina Panthers last week, writes Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune.
Only three current Lions players took part in the team's last "Monday Night Football" game, notes David Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
Bears tailback Matt Forte should be the Lions' top priority Monday night, writes Philip Zaroo of Mlive.com.
The Lions have been trying to pull out of their franchise stumble since a 1962 loss to the Packers, writes Jerry Green for the Detroit News in a great history lesson.