We're Black and Blue All Over:
Wow. As you read in the ESPNChicago.com Rapid Reaction, the Chicago Bears pulled off a victory Monday night over the Philadelphia Eagles. The Bears are now 5-3 and winners of three consecutive games as they head into a rematch against the Detroit Lions.
Bears linebacker Lance Briggs called the upcoming showdown "a big-time, big-time, big-time game," according to Michael Wilbon of ESPNChicago.com, and the Bears are riding high after one again demonstrating they match up well against Eagles quarterback Michael Vick.
Vick is now 0-5 in his career against the Bears, and linebacker Brian Urlacher said: "Look, Mike Vick's going to make plays. … He always has and always will. But we can run, all of us, every level of the defense. They're a team that can run but we match up with them very well."
Halfway through the season in the NFC North, we have three teams in playoff push. The Green Bay Packers are 8-0. The Lions are 6-2, and now the Bears are 5-3. Let's get it.
Continuing around the NFC North:
This win was defined by the return of receiver Earl Bennett, writes David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune.
Bears quarterback Jay Cutler faced pressure Monday, but he wasn't sacked for the first time since Nov. 12, 2009. Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com has more.
The Bears defense came up big in the fourth quarter when it counted, writes Dan Pompei of the Tribune.
Bears tight end Matt Spaeth made a big play at the end of the Bears' first possession, notes Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers on the pre-snap positioning of linebacker Clay Matthews: "I think we try to be as creative with Clay as you can possibly be. You look around the league, I don't know there are too many defensive players that move around more than what Clay does." Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has more.
Packers defensive end Mike Neal (knee) has been given clearance to practice this week, but his timeline for playing in a game isn't clear, writes Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Rookie tight end Ryan Taylor made a critical mistake during the Packers' inability to recover an onside kick Sunday against the San Diego Chargers, notes Kareem Copeland of the Press-Gazette.
Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune: "The Vikings don't want to part ways with Chris Cook -- at least not yet anyway -- but they don't want the second-year cornerback around the team either."
Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield (neck) said he is "good to go" for Monday night's game against the Green Bay Packers, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Cornerback Cedric Griffin is expected to retain his starting job, notes Judd Zulgad of 1500ESPN.com.
The Detroit Lions aren't expecting running back Jahvid Best (concussion) back this week against the Chicago Bears, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Eric Lacy of the Detroit News looks back at the 2007 Lions, who were also 6-2 at the midpoint.
The Lions released running back Eldra Buckley and cornerback Anthony Madison, notes Anwar S. Richardson of Mlive.com.