We're Black and Blue All Over:
As promised, the Minnesota Vikings have submitted a bid to host the Super Bowl in their new stadium, according to Judd Zulgad of 1500ESPN.com.
The facility, approved this spring, is scheduled to open for the 2016 season. There had been some talk about pursuing the Super Bowl in 2017, but in the end the Vikings will bid on a three-year window between 2018-20. NFL rules now require new stadiums to host at least one other major event, such as a concert, before a Super Bowl would be played there.
Five firms are competing to win the design contract for the new facility, which will have a roof to alleviate concerns about an outdoor Super Bowl. The NFL has booked its championship game through the 2016 season and is expected to award the 2018 game by the spring of 2014.
Continuing around the NFC North:
It's almost mandatory for the Vikings to win their first two games if they plan to compete at all this season, writes Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com.
Tom Powers of the St. Paul Pioneer Press: "Yes, Sunday, Sept. 9, will mark Game 1 of Year 1 of a grand rebuilding program that will, with luck, result in the Vikings being contenders for the NFC North title when they move into their new stadium in 2016."
The Green Bay Packers are trying to drill tailback Cedric Benson with their approach for ball security, writes Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Packers cornerback Davon House (shoulder) has improved in practice this week but isn't likely to play Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers. Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com has more.
Packers tight end Jermichael Finley is trying to avoid overthinking this season, writes Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Finley: "Every single guy I'm going against, if it's a linebacker, a safety is probably thinking a little bit more than I am. I promise you."
Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson on the potential for a 2,000-yard season, via Chris McCosky of the Detroit News: "It would be fantastic. Look back at last season and there were a lot of things that we did miss. You won't ever be perfect, but it is possible."
Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press tells the story of how Lions linebacker Stephen Tulloch got close with a 9-year-old boy who was suffering from brain cancer.
The Lions are working hard to improve their run defense, writes Justin Rogers of Mlive.com.
Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs on if the Indianapolis Colts should test teammate Brian Urlacher on Sunday: "They can try. But they will fail." Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com has more.
David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune wonders if Sunday will be Urlacher's final regular-season opener in a Bears uniform.
Bears safety Chris Conte is trying to decide whether to wear a harness Sunday to protect his injured shoulder, according to Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune.