Black and Blue all over: Afternoon edition

Posted by ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert

We’re a bit jumbled here in the early going Tuesday, but I’m sure you understand after the hubbub of our Week 4 FourFecta. Early television rating numbers were astounding for Monday night's showdown between Minnesota and Green Bay. The game did a 58.3 in the Twin Cities had a 49.7 rating in the Milwaukee market.

We’ve reached the quarter pole in the 2009 season, and soon you’ll see how ESPN.com’s power rankings view the NFC North. Here’s what I can tell you: We have three teams in the top half of the NFL.

Below you’ll see a quick-glance view of our standings, including two of the most important tie-breakers:

Just to keep everyone straight (including me): Power Rankings should be released around 1 p.m. ET. We’re chatting at 2 p.m. ET. And by the end of the day I’ll have a “Third and one” post on Minnesota and Green Bay.

For now, let’s take a quick spin around the division:

  • Tom Powers of the St. Paul Pioneer Press thinks Packers fans must have taken Monday night’s loss particularly hard: “[T]hey had to be disconsolate at the way their team lost. It wasn't a routine defeat. Instead, [Brett] Favre carved them up. The two teams aren't that far apart talent-wise. But Favre just killed the Pack, now 2-2. That really has to hurt the Green Bay die-hards.” Interesting sentiment, but I think the talent gap might be a bit wider.

  • Jim Souhan of the Star Tribune on Favre: “We don't know how long the old boy is going to hold up, but after his miracle finish against the 49ers last week and a Monday night of throwing fastballs against his old squad, we know that the guy his teammates call ‘The Silver Fox’ still possesses the golden touch.”

  • Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “Brett Favre made the mother of all statements Monday night. Maybe he can play forever.”

  • Mike Vandermause of the Green Bay Press-Gazette has strong criticism for Packers general manger Ted Thompson: “[T]he Packers’ loss was not a referendum on Thompson’s decision to get rid of Favre last year, so let’s forget about the Aaron Rodgers vs. Favre quarterback debate. Instead, this defeat raised serious questions about why the Vikings are superior to the Packers in other key areas, particularly in the trenches. And for that, Thompson must be held up to scrutiny. He’s been on the job for nearly five years and for whatever reason the Packers still don’t have a dependable offensive line or a fearsome pass rush.”

  • Jason Wilde of ESPN Milwaukee thought the Packers looked “overwhelmed” Monday night.

  • Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times explores the contract possibilities for Bears defensive end Adewale Ogunleye, who has 4.5 sacks over the first four games of the season.

  • Do the Bears need more running back depth? ESPN Chicago’s Jeff Dickerson looks at that question.

  • Nicholas J. Cotsonika of the Detroit Free Press examines the reaction of Lions coach Jim Schwartz to Sunday’s loss at Chicago.

  • The Lions are closely guarding the condition of quarterback Matthew Stafford’s right knee, writes John Niyo of the Detroit News.