Well friends, we are about to put a wrap on 2011, which as a Bears fan has been a forgettable year, beginning with the loss to the Packers in the NFC Championship game. The Bears will help cure (or perhaps intensify) your New Year’s Eve hangovers with their first game in 2012 as they travel to Minnesota. Ironically enough, it was in Minnesota about 12 months ago where the Bears crowned themselves NFC North Champs for the 2010 season. This season couldn’t be more of an antithesis of the joy we all felt last year when on a frozen University of Minnesota field, the Bears, courtesy of Corey Wooten, laid waste to Gramps or He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named…that said, the game must carry on and you can click on over to the other side for a quick game preview…
The Metrodome will be the site of the final game of the season by two severely underpeforming teams, yet these players play for big money and when things go south for teams like they have for these two, changes will be made. So, these players are playing to prove they shouldn’t be a part of what is changed and find themselves on the street when the 2012 season rolls around. Here are some things for Bears fans to watch for:
- Is Kahlil Bell a legit #2 RB? Clearly the Bears brass missed sorely on having a backup plan at QB, but Bell looks to be able to fill a need in the running game. I fully expect Forte to be back with a franchise tag placed firmly on his ailing knee, but I would like to see Bell back too, because I think the kid can ball.
- Can our WRs exploit a weak secondary? Minnesota has been ravaged by injuries this season, espcially in the secondary. It would be great to see if our WRs, albeit with Josh McCown at the helm, can exploit this weakness. Yeah, Mike Martz, you should get creative and prove you haven’t lost anything on your fastball. I would like a LONG look at Sanzenbacher this week.
- Is the arrow on the O-line pointing up? While the Minnesota secondary is dicey at best, the Vikings still boast a strong pass rush lead by Jared Allen who needs 4 sacks to break the single season sack record. While I don’t think he gets the record, I will be looking to see how our O-line handles him. Our O-line is one position that could see a lot of changes this offseason, so these guys need to play balls out if they want to be around in 2012.
- The D needs to play big. As we all know, the window on our defense is closing rapidly and they will need to lead the way to start the calendar year 2012 off on the right foot. I am sure Julius Peppers wants to prove what a snub he was for the Pro Bowl this season and hopefully Christian Ponder will learn this up close and personal.
- Don’t play stupid football! For those of you who listen to the Score Sportsradio 670, you know this is a famous drop from the Doug Buffone and Ed O’Bradovich post-game show from years ago. Really, what I am looking for is for the Bears to play within themselves and when the game is decided, one way or another, get our studs out of the game, because we all saw what happened to Adrian Peterson playing in a meaningless game last week.
What are you guys looking for out of this game? Hit us up in the comments!!!
CAN I GET AN AMEN?!?!?!?!?!
The DeCon has spoken, so let it be written, so let it be done!!!