Posted by ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert
CHICAGO -- We Black and Bluers took it on the chin Sunday in what was by far the worst weekend of 2009 in this division. Chicago took a beating at home. Green Bay bumbled to an embarrassing loss to a previously winless team. Detroit surrendered a 17-0 first-quarter lead.
It’s now fair to question whether an NFC wild card will come from this division. Right now, it doesn’t feel likely. We’ve got people calling for at least two of our coaches and general managers, and this week promises to be pretty interesting for fallout and/or spin control.
Before moving back to NFC North headquarters, however, let's take a spin through local game coverage:
Mike Mulligan of the Chicago Sun-Times thinks Bears coach Lovie Smith’s tenure should come to an end: “Players actually win and lose games, but the coach is the man responsible and when he's powerless to correct the problems, he's finished.”
David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune isn’t calling for Smith’s ouster but writes it’s now clear the Bears won’t make the playoffs: “This is what mediocrity looks like. A 24-point win followed by a 20-point loss. Stability has left the building, and so should talk about the Bears being a wild-card team.”
Jeff Dickerson of ESPN Chicago traces the bizarre meltdown of defensive tackle Tommie Harris over the past two years.
Mike Vandermause of the Green Bay Press-Gazette on the Packers’ 38-28 loss at Tampa Bay: “It marks the low point of the Mike McCarthy coaching tenure in Green Bay and raises serious questions about where the Packers are heading.”
The Packers are on pace to allow 74 sacks, notes Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The team record for sacks in a season is 62.
Packers running back Ryan Grant on the beating quarterback Aaron Rodgers has taken: “I’m surprised he gets up sometimes.” Jason Wilde of ESPN Milwaukee explains.
Detroit benched two of their older players, guard Jon Jansen and defensive tackle Grady Jackson, prior to Sunday’s game at Seattle. Nicholas J. Cotsonika of the Detroit Free Press explains why.
John Niyo of the Detroit News wonders if quarterback Matthew Stafford’s right knee, originally injured Oct. 4, is still bothering him. Stafford threw five interceptions Sunday and has a 47.4 completion percentage the past two weeks.
Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com writes there is some “unease” in the Lions locker room “about running back Kevin Smith remaining the team's No. 1 running back despite a lack of production for most of the season.”