With a close win over a potential playoff team in their pocket, the Chicago Bears stayed home this week to welcome in the visiting Minnesota Vikings for an early division game. A weird combination of illness/conditions put me out of action for most of Saturday night, so here’s an abbreviated Gameday Preview!
(0-1) Minnesota Vikings at
(1-0) Chicago Bears
With the conditions at Soldier Field sure to be crappy due to all the rain, the Bears would be wise to not get pass-happy. As we saw in last Thursday night’s game, rain doesn’t exactly help receivers catch the ball (especially if those receivers were already shitty). Matt Forte and Michael Bush should see heavy action against the Vikings, setting up those linebackers and safeties for play-action passes. As we’ve seen though, Trestman will probably use short routes and quick slants to keep his offense moving down the field. The Vikings have a few play-makers on defense, most notably defensive end Jared Allen. Jermon Bushrod will have his hands full with Allen’s motor. Harrison Smith is a ball-hawk at safety, so Jay can’t force throws deep in his direction.
This should be a pretty easy offense to gameplan around. Stop Adrian Peterson. All other priorities rescinded.
Stopping Peterson forces Christian Ponder to throw down the field to Greg Jennings, Jerome Simpson, and rookie Cordarrelle Patterson. Uh… that’s something he’s really never proven himself able to do. If AP gets held under 100 yards (like the Lions did in week one), it’s too much pressure on Ponder. Tillman can handle Jennings, who is not as fast as he used to be. Other than him, the Bears linebackers need to keep track of tight end Kyle Rudolph, who could make trouble by converting key third downs.
Chicago is a six point home favorite.
That’s a line for perfect weather. I think the Bears win, but it will probably be close than six. The offenses will be hampered.
How many heart attacks will Joe suffer?
As many long runs as Adrian Peterson has. Hopefully one or none.
Message to the Bears
You can be 2-0 and possibly alone atop your division when this weekend ends. If that sounds like something you’re into… win this game.
Okay, let’s get this game started people! Bear Down and Happy Jay Cutler Day!