We're Black and Blue All Over:
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Just before Sunday night's game between the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears, Sports Illustrated's Peter King reported on "Football Night in America" that he is convinced the Minnesota Vikings will build a new stadium in the Twin Cities and aren't a candidate to move to Los Angeles. King reiterated the report in his Monday Morning Quarterback column on si.com.
Obviously the Minnesota state legislature hasn't convened yet for 2012, so there can not be a firm on-the-record agreement yet. But I think King's report accurately depicts a growing sense of optimism that Gov. Mark Dayton's leadership on the issue will bring it to a successful conclusion in the coming months.
The Vikings will technically be franchise free agents on Feb. 1, 2012. But as long as Dayton continues to support negotiations on site, financing and design details, it appears highly unlikely the Vikings would utilize the relocation threat. What a late Christmas present that would be for all involved.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Vikings tailback Adrian Peterson is facing a long recovery from a left knee injury, writes Dan Wiederer of the Star Tribune.
This season has spoken to why the Vikings need a general manager to supervise all football decisions, writes Judd Zulgad of 1500ESPN.com.
Brian Murphy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press: "Of all the drama and despair surrounding the Vikings during this wretched season, no one should have imagined [Joe] Webb, the former sixth-round draft pick out of unheralded Alabama-Birmingham, at the center of a potential quarterback controversy that has materialized out of thin air."
Quarterback Josh McCown played better than expected Sunday night for the Chicago Bears, writes David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune.
Running back Kahlil Bell left a mark on the game, writes Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com.
Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Sun-Times: "The Packers were kind enough to beat the Bears 35-21 and relieve them of any silly playoff thoughts they might have been harboring. No matter how small the possibility was, the mere idea of the Bears in the postseason was somewhere between laughable and criminal."
The Green Bay Packers' run defense clearly missed defensive lineman Ryan Pickett, who has been out with a concussion. Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette has more.
Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com: "As has been the case many times this season, an otherwise dominating victory had one glaring flaw. This time, it was the Packers’ run defense ..."
Gary D'Amato of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes on Packers receiver James Jones' big game.
The Detroit Lions' faith in quarterback Matthew Stafford has been rewarded, writes John Niyo of the Detroit News.
The playoffs have been a long time coming for the Lions, writes Philip Zaroo of Mlive.com.
Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press traces the Lions' actions after their 0-16 season in 2008.