This week I decided to do something a little different with the Bears playing the Vikings on Monday night. I presented questions on the Bears to fellow blogger Dan Zinski at The Viking Age.
Despite living in the State of Minnesota he must have some good judgment.
Should the Bears start Kyle Orton or Brian Griese?
Dan: “I think they should find Jim Miller and start him. Maybe Mike Tomczak. Honestly, I’m not sure it matters at this point, cause the Bears really just don’t have an offense. Although, I think Griese did a nice job against the Vikes last game, especially in the fourth quarter. Maybe it would make sense to start him on the basis of that. Orton just doesn’t excite me much. I think the Bears are just hopingthey can land McNabb in the off-season.
My Response: Do not question the ability of the mighty chin beard!! Seriously though, the Bears offense is a mess. The only amusing thing about Monday’s game will be the announcers trying to deal with two Adrian Peterson’s who both play running back. Moose Muhammed needs 125 receiving yards to reach 10,000 for his career.
What are the Vikings playoff chances?
Dan: “Their chances are good. They already hold the 6th spot, and have two home games left against beatable teams. I worry a little bit about Arizona making a run from behind, but that’s all. Detroit is done, and I don’t think the Saints are consistent enough to really be a factor. The only thing for Vikings fans is, we’ve seen this team choke away games they were supposed to win late in the season before. I hope that’s all changed under Childress.”
My Response: Don’t tempt me with notions of your team choking on Monday night. I can’t take anymore disappointment for this season. I would say the Vikings have already paved their way to the playoffs. It would require a giant meltdown and I don’t think Arizona or New Orleans is ready for a playoff push. Both are close but need to do a little more work in the season. I think the early season surge by Detroit was a fluke and they have returned to being the Detroit Sucks Lions. However, the Vikings playoff travels will end in either Green Bay or Dallas.
Who has bigger issues at quarterback, Vikings or Bears?
Dan: “Clearly the Bears. They have no sure number 1 right now, whereas the Vikings have Tarvaris Jackson, a guy who’s proven on the field that he can run the offense, and play mostly mistake-free. I wouldn’t take any of the Bears’ guys over T-Jack – surely not Grossman with all his interception issues, and surely not an old guy with no upside like Griese, and not Orton who’s like a human sedative. I guess you could argue the Bears have better back-up options, but that’s about it.”
My Response: Tarvaris Jackson is to NFL quarterbacks what Cedric Benson is to NFL running backs. No matter how many times you tell yourself they are the real thing, it’s just not going to happen. Jackson can run the offense, but in Minnesota that involves handing off to Peterson and then handing off to Chester Taylor. I think the Bears have enough talent at other positions that when they come back healthy next year they can still win with Grossman. I don’t see the ability to become a big-time quarterback in Jackson that I see in Grossman. I think Vikings fans are going to be disappointed by him down the line.
What elements make the Vikings beatable?
Dan: “I just got through talking-up Tarvaris Jackson, but I still have to admit that he’s inexperienced, and is probably the weakest link on the team in a lot of ways. He’s been great during their winning streak, but I still fear some team coming after him with a lot of different looks and rattling him and forcing mistakes. My other worry is that our pass defense can sometimes get gouged. We’ve been better lately, thanks to more aggressive blitzing, but if our rush doesn’t get there we can easily be picked apart. And just in regards to the Bears – I worry a lot about Devin Hester. Our special teams coverage has not been good the last few weeks. Hester could burn us a few times, scoring himself or giving the Bears short fields.”
My Response: Devin Hester is one of the most exciting players in the game and could make this game worth watching. However, I don’t think any team is going to kick to him the remainder of the season, making this game even more boring. If a bad punt finds it’s way into Hester’s hands than watch out. As for confusing Jackson, the Bears have been confusing themselves more than anyone else on the field so it’s not a big worry. However, facing off against the Packers or Cowboys in the playoffs could be a problems with the different packages they will throw at the Vikings offense. They could easily overwhelm Jackson and take control of the game.
Does anyone fear the Bears defense anymore?
Dan: “I don’t. Not with all those injuries. And not after what Adrian Peterson did to them earlier in the year. I would actually consider the Bears defense a bad defense at this point. I have no doubt the Vikes will be able to score on them. If the Bears win the game it will be because their offense and special teams did some things, not because they stopped us.”
My Response: The Bears couldn’t stop the run if they played Notre Dame in the EagleMan Car Insurance Bowl. The defensive roster is so thin from injuries they have to play guys who have never played in the NFL and probably never will again.
Thanks again to Dan Zinski for his insight and be sure to visit his blog at The Viking Age.