When the Vikings Have the Ball…
The Vikings will run Adrian Peterson and test the Bears linebackers without Urlacher. DJ Williams should have his hands full. Christian Ponder could play right into the Bears’ hands, as he has a tendency to give the ball away and the Bears opportunistic defense will attack this weakness.
Julius Peppers needs to step up his game and generate pressure against Ponder. Mel Tucker would love to get pressure without blitzing.
The Bears defense will need to tackle much better than they did in Week 1 if they want to slow down Peterson. Kyle Rudolph will challenge the middle of the field, as he’s had some success against the Bears before.
When the Bears Have the Ball…
Reggie Bush racked up nearly 200 yards from scrimmage last week. Expect the Bears to try the same formula against the Vikings. Expect the Vikings to bracket Brandon Marshall, so don’t be surprised to see Alshon Jeffery or Martellus Bennett to get the call.
Jared Allen won’t get his usual easy day, as the Bears have upgraded from J’Marcus Webb to Jermon Bushrod. This will give us an indication if Bushrod is as big of an upgrade as we hope. Kyle Long and Jordan Mills must continue to improve and gain confidence to keep Cutler clean.
Cutler must make good decisions against the Vikings Cover-2 defense. They will try to keep everything in front of them, so the short passing game should be in full effect.
The Lions aren’t as bad as everyone wants to make them out to be. Ponder had a rough game but will try to bounce back and protect the ball. The Vikings will run early and often, as it’s expected to be a sloppy track, with rain in the forecast less than 15 hours after the Fighting Illini’s Chicago homecoming game wrapped up Saturday night. Matt Forte powers the Bears turning short passes into big gains, but this isn’t a runaway by any means.
Bears 24 – Vikings 19
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