No championships or division titles are ever won in Week 3. But they can be lost.
Both the Vikings and Bears are aware of that fact as they meet today with identical 2-0 records and first place in the NFC North at stake. While a loss for either team wouldn't be the end of the world, for the winner, it will give them a cushion that will be hard to undo.
That is especially true for the Bears. If they beat the Vikings today, not only would they be 3-0, but they would have a win in their pocket against each of the three teams in the division as well as having home field for the rematch with the Vikings.
On the other side of the coin, it has typically been a division game against the perceived top dog that has marked the Vikings' rise to the top in year's past. In 1998, it wasn't until the Vikings dismantled Green Bay in Week 5 of the regular season on national TV that people caught on that this team was for real. It may take the same type of win against the Bears today to get the same sort of eye-opening.
This game has all the makings of a classic. Granted, it's early in the season, but there is a lot on the line and a lot at stake. This game is likely to have a playoff atmosphere with one or two big plays likely to determine the outcome. But, from what we've seen of the Vikings thus far this season, you could say that about every game.
* A 2-0 start doesn't guarantee long-term success. The Vikings started 5-0 in 2003 before losing four straight games and missing the playoffs with a 9-7 record.
* Ironically, in that same 2003 season after four games, the Vikings were in the top 10 of the NFL statistically on defense. The Vikes are currently seventh in the league -- the first time since then that the team has even been close to the top 10.
* Defense has been the buzz word around the NFL this season. There have already been four shutouts -- something that didn't happen until Week 13 last year. Also, through two games there are four teams -- the Bears, Chargers, Ravens and Falcons -- that haven't allowed 10 total points.
* The Bears have scored 60 points in two games -- the most of any NFC team.
* Word out of Packerville is that Koren Robinson is going to get some time at wide receiver.
* The media in Miami has begun clamouring for Joey Harrington to replace Daunte Culpepper. Through two games, Pepp has just one TD, three interceptions and has taken 10 sacks. Most importantly, he has a 0-2 record. But these same wonks that are calling for Harrington likely haven't seen him play. Those of us who have would advise those people to be quiet or they may get what they ask for.
Let's Get It On
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