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Black, Blue, and Ornery: Deuces wild as NFC North goes 2-2 in Week 2

Good morning, folks! Welcome to the Water Cooler Sports’ Black, Blue, and Ornery, your source for NFC North News on this Monday, September 16th, 2013.

Sunday certainly brought us a lot of heart-pounding drama.

Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler overcame three turnovers (two interceptions and one fumble) to lead the offense to a fourth-quarter comeback for the second straight week, hitting tight end Martellus Bennett for a touchdown with 10 seconds remaining to defeat the Minnesota Vikings 31-30. Bennett finished the day with seven receptions for 76 yards and two touchdowns — exactly the type of performance the Bears envisioned when they signed him in the offseason.

Wide receiver Brandon Marshall contributed a quiet seven catches for 113 yards and a touchdown.

Minnesota played well, with heavily scrutinized quarterback Christian Ponder looking solid both throwing the football and keeping plays alive with his legs, particularly in the second half. Ponder finished the game 16 of 30 for 227 yards and one touchdown. His costly mistake was throwing a pick-six to Bears cornerback Tim Jennings.

Running back Adrian Peterson ran tough, but his numbers (26 carries, 100 yards) would suggest he had a fairly pedestrian game — by his standards anyway. Minnesota also benefited greatly from an opening kick-off return touchdown from rookie wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson and a fumble return touchdown from linebacker Brian Robison.

The Green Bay professional football club was christened the Packers by newswriter George Whitney Calhoun on this date in 1890.

The Green Bay professional football club was christened the Packers by newswriter George Whitney Calhoun on this date in 1919.

The Green Bay Packers took the Washington Redskins behind the proverbial woodshed, dominating them for an eventual 38-20 win at Lambeau Field. Aaron Rodgers continued to cement his claim as the NFL’s top quarterback, throwing for a career-high 480 yards and four touchdowns.

Running back James Stark (yes, that James Starks) chipped in 132 yards while rushing in relief of starter Eddie Lacy, who left the game with concussion symptoms. Third wide receiver James Jones also had a career day, catching 11 balls for 178 yards.

Needless to say, the Packers bounced back from a tough Week 1 loss at San Francisco by imposing their offensive will against the Redskins. With those kind of offensive numbers this team looks very scary going forward.

The Detroit Lions came up short in the desert, losing 25-21 at the hands of the Arizona Cardinals. This was a very sloppy back-and-forth affair, with neither team seemingly wanting to establish themselves or capitalize on the opposition’s mistakes.

Detroit wide receiver Calvin Johnson posted very good numbers, with six receptions, 116 yards and two touchdowns as quarterback Matthew Stafford also put up a respectable 278 yards on 24 of 36 passing and the two touchdowns to Johnson. Unfortunately for the Lions, starting running back Reggie Bush was lost in the first half with a minor knee injury and was eventually kept out while trying to come back early in the second half.

In the end, sloppy play by the Lions gave the Cardinals enough opportunities to put points on the board and take the contest. Detroit now finds themselves tied with the Packers for second place in the division at 1-1.

Now take a deep breath and chug some ice-cold water, because that football Sunday hangover won’t be going away quickly by itself. Here’s some history on this day to distract you:

Alexis Bledel of Gilmore Girls fame turns 31 today.

Actress Alexis Bledel of Gilmore Girls fame turns 31 today.

  • 1919 - Newswriter George Whitney Calhoun names the Green Bay professional team the Packers. Did you Packers fans know that?
  • 1926 - The Italian-Romanian peace treaty is signed. Did you know Italy and Romania used to fight? I sure didn’t, but then again we Americans don’t know anything about Europe.
  • 2000 - Sammy Sosa becomes the second Major League Baseball player to hit 50 or more home runs in three consecutive years, joining Mark McGwire. Eh, this would be interesting if they hadn’t cheated their way to history.

We also have some great birthdays to celebrate today!

  • B.B. King (88) – Legendary blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter who won a Grammy Hall of Fame Award for his 1998 song, “The Thrill is Gone.”
  • Amy Poehler (42) – Saturday Night Live anchor who parodied Hillary Clinton and stars on her own show, Parks and Recreation.
  • Alexis Bledel (31) – Played sensitive daughter Rory Gilmore on The Gilmore Girls.

NFC North News

Let’s link this baby up and get movin’.

Chicago Bears

Fred Mitchell of the Chicago Tribune writes that Chicago Bears special teams returner Devin Hester came out angry after Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson shocked the Bears by returning the opening kickoff for a 105-yard touchdown. Hester responded with a 76-yard kickoff return of his own, setting up a Bears touchdown. Hester finished the day with a team record 249 return yards, eclipsing his own mark of 225 yards from 2006.

John “Moon” Mullin of CSNChicago chronicles improvements in quarterback Jay Cutler‘s demeanor and confidence, which are rubbing off on his teammates in moments of pressure but may not be showing up in the stat line. For the second week in a row, Cutler has led the Bears on a game-winning drive to atone for his own and the team’s mistakes.

Head coach Marc Trestman addresses the media in his postgame press conference from Chicagobears.com.

Green Bay Packers

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers enjoys a celebration bump during the Packers record-setting offensive day.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers enjoys a celebration bump during the Packers record-setting offensive day.

Pete Dougherty of Green Bay Press-Gazette covers the monstrous day on offense the Green Bay Packers produced en route to a 38-20 thrashing of the Washington Redskins. They generated 580 yards of total offense, second only to the 628 yards posted all the way back in 1962.

For the first time in team history the Packers’ offense had a 400-yard passing and 100-yard rushing day. [Editor’s note: It was also the first time in league history any team had posted 450 yards of passing and 125 yards of rushing in the same game.] Aaron Rodgers topped his career best by throwing for 480 yards.

I’m not sure how good the Redskins really are, but if this is any sign to come for the Packers’ offense, all I can say on behalf of the Packers’ future opponents is “yikes.”

Lost amidst the hubbub of the convincing victory was the departure of starting running back Eddie Lacy in the first quarter after a hard hit by Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather. Ironically, Meriweather would later knock himself out of the game with another helmet-to-helmet hit on James Starks. Starks walked away unharmed.

Head coach Mike McCarthy addresses the media in his postgame press conference on Packers.com.

Detroit Lions

Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press covers running back Reggie Bush’s knee injury, suffered in the second quarter against the Arizona Cardinals, and his pending MRI scheduled for Monday. Said Bush postgame: “I’m not too concerned. . . . I think I’ll be all right and I’m going to do everything I can to get back on the field Sunday, even if I have to rehab 24 hours a day.”

Often-criticized quarterback Christian Ponder posted a strong second half effort against the Bears.

Often-criticized Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder posted a strong second half effort against the Bears.

Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk discusses the Lions’ long list of miscues that eventually led to a 25-21 loss. I’m not sure what can be said about this topic that hasn’t been repeatedly discussed before: When will head coach Jim Schwartz ever get this team playing with some discipline?

Speaking of Jim Schwartz, he addresses the media in his postgame press conference from Detroitlions.com.

Minnesota Vikings

Sean Jensen of the Twin Cities Pioneer Press discusses quarterback Christian Ponder’s shaky start against the Bears and his strong performance late in the first half and the second half — which nearly held off the Bears to give the Vikings their first victory of the season.

Said head coach Leslie Frazier:

He really took charge. After the interception for a touchdown, he didn’t waver. He stayed strong and committed to playing good, clean football. I’m really proud of the way he bounced back and played down the stretch for us. He made some big throws and gave us a chance.

Ponder ended up going 12 for 18 for 175 yards in the second half.

Michael Rand of the StarTribune chronicles how the Minnesota Vikings choked the game away against the Chicago Bears. Vikings fans not looking to remind themselves of the loss may want to keep moving onto the final link.

Head coach Leslie Frazier addresses the media in his postgame press conference from Vikings.com.

Ali Fedotowsky, star of the 2010 season of The Bachelorette, turns 29 today.

Ali Fedotowsky, spunky star of the 2010 season of The Bachelorette, turns 29 today.

877 comments
niemerg1
niemerg1

spunky eh? id show her my spunk...

natesweet
natesweet moderator

What was that stupid thing Marshawn Lynch was wearing on his face last night?

Koosh12684
Koosh12684

Looking at quaterback ratings 80's and under for these 2. 

Year - 80's, 70's, 60's, ect

Rodgers
13 - 0
12 - 4
11 - 1
10 - 3, 2, 0, 1, 0, 1
09 - 3, 0, 0, 1
08 - 3, 2, 0, 2
07
06
05

Ryan
13 - 0
12 - 2, 1, 0, 1, 1
11 - 1, 2, 1, 2
10 - 1, 2, 3, 1
09 - 3, 2, 2, 1, 1
08 - 1, 1, 2, 1, 1, 0, 1



So you can compare Rodgers first 2 years starting, with Ryan's last 2 years, as the 2 were both Rodgers and Ryan's 4th and 5th year.

AR
09 - 3, 0, 0, 1
08 - 3, 2, 0, 2

MR
12 - 2, 1, 0, 1, 1
11 - 1, 2, 1, 2

LSU4LIFE
LSU4LIFE

I know it's early,but I am enjoying the Bucs and Panthers being both 0-2 at the moment,and will be rooting very hard for the Giants and Pats next week,so they can both be 0-3. The amount of shit that their fans talked on the ESPN blog during the offseason,makes it so enjoyable to watch.

Donny33
Donny33

Matt Ryan cut medicare

Donny33
Donny33

Matt Ryan burns piles of tires.

AndrewLeT
AndrewLeT

Matt Ryan takes our moms out for a nice dinner and then never calls them again. 

rocketman6969
rocketman6969

Mutiny in Tampa Bay. Revis is unhappy with rules and scheme. Josh Freeman debacle. Players only meeting.

At this point, I think the question is will Schiano be fired during or after the season?

Big Deal
Big Deal

Matt Ryan leaves the water on when he brushes his teeth.

G & G
G & G moderator

Matt Ryan always wear crocs on saturdays

sgunderson17
sgunderson17

Matt Ryan thinks the 9/11 attacks were a conspiracy. 

JVince 11
JVince 11

Arizona State jumps to #22 in the new USA/Coaches Poll..


FORKS UP!!! now on to Stanford!

Donny33
Donny33

@Natesweet looked like he was going to rob a convenience store after the game.

Koosh12684
Koosh12684

AR's first year starting, he had one more 80's or under game than Ryan did 2 years ago, but instead of Rogers having a 60's and one higher than 80's, he just had 2 80's.

AR's second year he had one less game of under 80's, and only once did he have a score in the 70's or lower, coincidentally he didn't finish that game.

natesweet
natesweet moderator

@SDL A couple of those are pretty dumb looking. Like the one with a tornado looking thing wrapping around Rodgers.

Donny33
Donny33

@SDL they spelled *Godgers wrong in all of these.

thenichels
thenichels

@rocketman6969 He should be fired now.  We tried to give Tampa the game yesterday and they just refused to take it.

natesweet
natesweet moderator

@JVince 11 Stanford is going to be one tough game. I don't expect Arizona State to win that one. 

natesweet
natesweet moderator

@Donny_Donowitz33 @Natesweet It was not cols in Seattle despite the rain so I am not sure why you'd wear something like that unless you just like to look like an idiot.

JVince 11
JVince 11

@Natesweet @JVince 11 Stanford did nOT look good this weekend against a shitty team... it would be amazing if ASU won but I don't "expect" it either.

JVince 11
JVince 11

@Preparation_A @JVince 11 their D is the only question mark....


I told you that Marion Grice was a beast though.. SUtton didn't do as much as i thought he would.. just got hurt a lot..  Foster is usually much more effective in the slot.