Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
Today is one of the rare Sundays when we won't be at an NFL game. As we revealed in Friday's programming note, we're covering Monday night's matchup between Green Bay and Minnesota. We're scheduled to cross state lines later this morning and be with you all day Monday.
But, don't fret. We'll monitor this afternoon's Detroit-Atlanta game as well as tonight's regular-season debut of Lucas Oil Stadium, where the Bears will try to keep up with the Indianapolis Colts. (Here are our NFL Nation thoughts on those games). So check back later today.
There are a number of good Sunday reads to peruse in the meantime. Here are a few from around the NFC North:
Nicholas J. Cotsonika of the Detroit Free Press traveled to the Georgia hometown of Lions receiver Calvin Johnson. Among the anecdotes: Johnson so abhors attention that he often sits quietly on the visitor's side when he attends games at his former high school.
Despite all their talk about running the ball, the Lions shouldn't ignore the obvious advantage they have over the Falcons' defense in the passing game, writes Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com. The Falcons will send second-year cornerback Chris Houston and little-used Brent Grimes to defend Johnson and Roy Williams.
This is the 75th anniversary of Lions football. Roar.
Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times traces the Bears' defensive slip to the middle of the 2006 season.
The Colts learned the hard way not to kick to Bears returner Devin Hester, writes David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers weighs 217 pounds, his lowest since before his sophomore year at Cal. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Rogers has lost 11 pounds and cut his body fat from 15 percent to at least 12 percent since he was drafted.
In an extended interview with the Green Bay Press-Gazette, Rodgers quoted a passage from Robert Frost's poem, "The Road Not Taken," to describe his personality. (We tried to come up with a snarky passage of our own but ultimately didn't want to soil Mr. Frost).
Jason Wilde of the Wisconsin State Journal opened Q&As with Packers coach Mike McCarthy and general manager Ted Thompson with this question: "Do you guys know what you're doing?"
Brian Murphy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press compares the Minnesota Vikings' current defensive line to the Purple People Eaters.
Former Vikings coach Jerry Burns spoke to the team Saturday.