- Associated Press - Saturday, September 25, 2010

It’s way too early to proclaim any NFL team any sort of champion, of course. Still, this weekend will provide a strong indication who will control the NFC North and AFC East.

The unbeaten Packers and Bears meet in Chicago on Monday night, one day after the winless Vikings and Lions square off in Minnesota. And the first-place Dolphins face the Jets hours after the Patriots and Bills play in New England on Sunday.

Juicy material for Week 3.

“It’s never too early to talk about stuff like that,” Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez said. “We need to treat this football game like we always do, understand all that’s riding on the game, but at the same time, not get caught up in it.”

Elsewhere Sunday, it’s Atlanta at New Orleans; Dallas at Houston; Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay; Indianapolis at Denver; Tennessee at the New York Giants; Philadelphia at Jacksonville; San Diego at Seattle; Oakland at Arizona; Cleveland at Baltimore; Cincinnati at Carolina; San Francisco at Kansas City; and Washington at St. Louis.

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Green Bay (2-0) at Chicago (2-0), Monday night

It sure would be nice to see some snow and frozen turf in Soldier Field for the 180th renewal of the NFL’s oldest rivalry. Instead of snowflakes, look for a bunch of footballs in the air and lots of points, something expected from the powerful Packers, but not usually envisioned from the Bears.

Green Bay has looked as good as any team thus far, even with a weakened running attack. Chicago’s win in Dallas has everyone excited in the Windy City.

The winner takes a stranglehold on the NFC North after Minnesota’s early struggles.

“They’re playing well,” Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said. “They made some big additions this offseason: (Julius) Peppers and Chester Taylor. I haven’t seen the stats or seen the highlights yet, but it seems to me that Jay Cutler is pretty comfortable in that offense and they’re making plays.

“It’s always tough to play down in Chicago. They’re 2-0, we’re 2-0, it’s going to be a big game.”

Detroit (0-2) at Minnesota (0-2)

Brett Favre has looked his age in two games. His teammates, other than Adrian Peterson, have looked old, too. Maybe it’s time to ride Peterson against a weak defense and let the 40-year-old Favre be a passenger.

Story Continues →