Reasons to Watch Sunday

Despite not playing a game, the Bears can move into a tie for first place today. It's worth keeping an eye on the rest of the division because that's what the Bears will be doing.

The Lions had two weeks to think about their thrashing at the hands of the Bears. How they come back could go a long way towards determining the rest of their season.

Going to Tampa Bay to face the undefeated Buccaneers is suddenly no easy task. Behind Cadillac Williams, who is the leading rusher in the NFL heading into Week 4, the offense is doing enough to hold the ball nearly 35 minutes per game. In turn, the defense with remains from a Super Bowl victory three years ago, has made the most of their limited time on the field. They've given up just 32 points in three victories and is the No. 1 rated unit in the league.

The Lions gave up 187 yards rushing to Chicago and will have a tough time keeping Williams from putting up similar numbers.

Although the Lions gained sole possession of first place during their bye week, they are likely fall into a tie after their trip to Tampa.

The Vikings got their first victory of the season with a 33-16 win over the road weary Saints last week. However, Minnesota will quickly get a true test of their readiness to be a playoff team after facing the Falcons (2-1) in Atlanta.

Already an underdog, Minnesota is banged up going into the game. Safety Darren Sharper is likely to miss a second straight game because of an MCL strain. DE Kenechi Udeze will need knee surgery and is out indefinitely. Daunte Culpepper will be without his top receiver in Nate Burleson.

Falling to 1-3 will likely only mean the Vikings are one game out of first place in what appears to be the weakest division in football, but Minnesota will come to Chicago following their bye.

Like the Bears, Green Bay will get a chance to watch football today. The Packers will face Carolina on Monday night. Both teams are off to disappointing starts with Green winless and the Panthers are 1-2.

It appears the Packers are in rebuilding mode. Brett Favre is the only quarterback in the division not to have a five-interception game, but has thrown seven picks in three games.

Without Javon Walker the Packers offense has no deep threat, which is also impacting Ahman Green as opposing defenses can cheat toward the run. He's averaging 3.6 yards per carry.

The defense was a question heading into the season. While they are giving up 20 points per game, the lack of big plays has been evident. The unit has just one interception and four sacks.

Although no division is won after a quarter of the season, it's clear Green Bay is struggling with two of their three losses coming at Lambeau Field.

The Bears will likely move into a first place tie with Detroit after today's action. A favorable schedule over the next seven weeks will give them an opportunity to take control of the division. Trips to Cleveland, Detroit and New Orleans are winnable, while hosting Minnesota, Baltimore, San Francisco and Carolina must be victories if a postseason run is expected.


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