Hey folks, I hope you're ready for Thanksgiving!
Sorry for the radio silence yesterday, but I had to drive a long way for a funeral and was pretty much gone from the late morning until pretty deep into the night.
To make up for it, consider this your one stop shop for NFC North-centric game preview videos:
With that bit of pimping out of the way, let's start our day off with some not-great news for Bears fans, as rookie Alshon Jeffery is going to have arthroscopic surgery on his knee today, according to Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com.
Jeffery was finally back from his broken hand and then was forced out of the game in the second half, sitting on the bench in the fourth quarter with his knee wrapped according to Dickerson.
Now, by no means is this a kill-shot for the Bears' postseason chances. By the same token, this is an offense waiting for someone else to step up and do something aside from Brandon Marshall.
Earl Bennett is serviceable but not spectacular, while Devin Hester is apparently still waiting for the Route Fairy to visit him and bestow upon him the ability to do something other than a stop and go.
We should probably not mention Kellen Davis, lest we get Lovie Smith's blood pressure up.
Jeffery is raw, but has a lot higher ceiling than any of the above and would have provided a threat opposite Marshall.
Instead, the Bears will have to continue on with Marshall as their biggest (and only real) threat as they play Minnesota twice and Seattle—both of which possess pretty tough defenses.
There are still a lot of moving and shifting parts on the offense, and frankly, it's getting a little late to still have to deal with all this. The offensive line, the run game, the backup quarterback, the lack of a second receiving threat—these are not questions a Super Bowl-caliber team should still be having all at once.
The Bears need to get answers to those things on the hop.
Jeffery won't be around to provide them though, for at least a couple of weeks and perhaps longer.
On to the rest of the NFC North.
The Tribune's Dan Pompei took another look at this weekend's Bears-Niners game. He was not happy with what he saw.
Mark Potash had a similar feeling watching the game again and points to some bad signs over at the Sun-Times.
ESPNChicago.com has some video of Jay Cutler's appearance on ESPN 1000 where he discusses the issues the line has, how it's hard to be Jason Campbell and how he feels about Brandon Marshall's venting on the sideline.
With Jeff Backus possibly out for Thursday's game, the rest of the line feels confident in rookie Riley Reiff's ability to play in place of Backus, according to Mlive.com's Justin Rogers.
Carlos Monarrez of the Free Press reminds Lions fans that in 1997 the Lions came back from a 4-6 record to make the playoffs.
DetroitLions.com writer Tim Twentyman reports that analysts Phil Simms has some great things to say about rookie Ryan Broyles so far.
ESPNWisconsin.com's Jason Wilde writes that while the rest of us are writing about revenge stories, Aaron Rodgers is careful not to make a big deal of last year's loss.
The Journal-Sentinel's Lori Nickel says the key to winning this weekend is to generate turnovers.
Cheeseheadtv.com's Jayme Joers says the Packers have to win against the Giants this weekend to become the team so many fans feel they should be.
Over at the Pioneer Press, Fran Tarkenton says it's the right time for the Vikings to head to Soldier Field to take on the Bears.
The Bears' offensive line issues creates a great chance for the Vikings defensive front according to the Star-Tribune's Dan Weiderer.
Mike Wobschall interviews quarterbacks coach Craig Johnson about how second-year player Christian Ponder is doing in this video over at Vikings.com.
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