<
>

Black and Blue all over: Live from St. Louis

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: