SAN FRANCISCO -- And then there were four … 1-1 teams in the NFC North.
Through two weeks, it's all even in our fair division. As we consider the possibilities for the 2012 title, we should probably be thankful that the San Francisco 49ers remain firmly entrenched in the NFC West. They 49ers have already tossed aside the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions -- Sunday night's Lions column here for those who missed it -- and now they've got their sights set on the Minnesota Vikings in Week 3 at the Metrodome. Yeesh, that's a good football team.
I'm making the trek back to NFC North blog headquarters here Monday morning and will be out of pocket for a bit during the time-zone switch. (It's a temporal anomaly thing. Don't try to figure it out.) I've got some posts scheduled to publish in the meantime, and I'll be back live with you at some point Monday afternoon.
While we have a moment, let's take a brief tour around divisional coverage:
Vikings defensive end Jared Allen on the Indianapolis Colts' game-winning drive, via Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com: "That was embarrassing. Yeah, I don't know. I've got nothing to say."
Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune on the matchup between the Vikings' Christian Ponder and the Colts' Andrew Luck: "Sunday's matchup featured two teams on the ground floor of rebuilding projects that revolve around a pair of young quarterbacks. Luck looks like the real deal. The Vikings are still trying to figure out if Ponder is, too."
The Vikings are asking receiver Percy Harvin to shoulder a heavy load, writes Brian Murphy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press on the Lions' attempt to run to victory Sunday night: "This was a calculated gamble by coach Jim Schwartz and his staff. It didn't work. Ground control is going to favor a team with a bona fide running back and a tenacious defense. The 49ers are that team; the Lions are not."
Chris McCosky of the Detroit News: "The Lions don't want to hear this, but they really can't muster much of an argument against it. They still are not ready for prime [time]."
The Lions' special teams were the only group to grade out higher than a D+ in grading from Justin Rogers of Mlive.com.
Chicago Bears offensive lineman James "Big Cat" Williams on quarterback Jay Cutler's shove of left tackle J'Marcus Webb, via David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune: "That was very disturbing to me. I realize [Cutler] is one of the faces of the franchise but certain lines you just don't cross. Bumping a player is one of them. I played with a group of guys who, I don't think, would have taken that. I can't say I would have.''
Former NFL player Matt Bowen on Cutler's leadership for the Tribune: "He displayed a lack of respect toward a young teammate and a negative attitude that was obvious to anyone watching. He showed sloppy footwork, poor decisions in the pocket and questionable throws that seemed, well, somewhat expected of Cutler in that situation."
The Bears' defensive performance has been overshadowed by discussion of Cutler, writes Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Packers coaches remain confident in tight end Jermichael Finley, notes the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers was rewarded for making a number of lineup changes between Week 1 and Week 2, writes Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The Packers expect to have receiver Greg Jennings (groin) and defensive end C.J. Wilson (groin) for their Sep. 24 matchup with the Seattle Seahawks. Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com has more.