Posted by ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert
ST. LOUIS -- It was smooth sailing here Saturday night, and we’re ready to take on Week 3 with a vengeance.
Remember that Jason Wilde of ESPN Milwaukee will join me at the Edward Jones Dome for Green Bay’s game against the Rams. ESPN Chicago’s Jeff Dickerson is in Seattle for the Bears’ matchup with the Seahawks and NFC West blogger Mike Sando is in Minneapolis for the Vikings’ battle of 2-0 teams against the 49ers. I'll bring you some thoughts on those games, as well as Detroit's contest with Washington, by the end of the night.
A quick word about why I’m here. (And I’m not trying to get all existential on you.) I think it’s important to build a strong knowledge base of the NFC North in the first month of the season. It’s true that the Rams, like the Lions and Browns before them, aren’t likely to challenge for the Super Bowl this season. But to me, I’d rather see every divisional team in September than simply follow the hot game. Too early for that. If this were December, you would have the right to (virtually) slap me.
And frankly, Sunday will be an important chapter in the Packers’ story this season. They need to demonstrate that last week’s surprising and terrible breakdown against Cincinnati was an aberration rather than the first sign of a trend. If I’m the Packers, I don’t just want to beat the Rams, I want to crush them -- and reestablish myself as a legitimate threat for the division title.
OK, I’ll step off my soap box now and take you for our regular spin around the NFC North:
Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette expects the Rams to test both right tackle Allen Barbre and left tackle Daryn Colledge early in this game.
Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “Is it possible the Packers won't show up for a second straight week? No. They should have learned a lesson after stepping on the field and figuring Cincinnati was going to lay down for them. If they don't get it now, they never will.”
Mike Mulligan of the Chicago Sun-Times examines the slow start of Bears tight end Greg Olsen.
Cut Chicago tailback Matt Forte some slack, writes David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune.
Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune and Rick Alonzo of the St. Paul Pioneer Press both profile the relationship of San Francisco coach Mike Singletary and Minnesota defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier.
Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune has interesting insight into the Vikings’ use of the Wildcat formation.
Five rookie draft choices are expected to start Sunday for Detroit against Washington, writes Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com.
The Lions need to throw to someone in addition to receiver Calvin Johnson, writes Nicholas J. Cotsonika of the Detroit Free Press.