STOP THE RUN!!!
Put twelve in the box if you have to. Christian Ponder isn’t going to beat you with the Vikings’ 25 ranked passing offense. The Vikings average over 122 yards per game on the ground while the Bears give up over 145 yards per game. It doesn’t set up well for for the Beloved, but with the possibility of Jeremiah (don’t call me Jay anymore) Ratliff joining the defensive line and if Shea McClellin can learn to stay home, maybe, just maybe, the Bears can prevent Peterson from breaking the single game rushing record.
McCown to the Rescue
Josh McCown has been great in relief of Jay Cutler. He finally committed his first turnovers in garbage time last week when the Rams were pinning their ears back and coming after him. He’s been very efficient running the offense. In Week 2, Jay Cutler proved to be Mr. Fourth Quarter and rallied the Bears to a 31-30 win in the final minute of the game. Let’s see if Josh McCown can pick apart the Vikings’ 29th ranked pass defense and save the drama for another game.
Take the Ball Away
The Bears are 8th in the league with a +7 turnover margin, while the Vikings rank 28th in the league at -9. The Bears defense has proven to actually be functional when they take the ball away. The Bears have failed to create a turnover in two games, both losses. When the Bears have taken the ball away from their opponents at least 3 times, they’re 4-1. I like those odds much better than the 1-4 record they have when they only get one takeaway. The formula seems pretty simple – get at least two takeaways and you’ve got a decent shot at a win. The Bears overcame a -1 turnover ratio the last time they played the Vikings, but that’s not a winning formula.
In last week’s loss, team discipline was on the Milk Carton as missing. This week, the Bears need to fix that. The last couple of weeks the Bears have been penalized a combined 23 times. That’s not what got the Bears off to the fast start that actually has them in the playoff hunt.
It will be challenging in the Metrodome, where crowd noise is always a factor. Avoid pre-snap penalties, stayed disciplined, stay in your gaps on defense and come out of the Hump-dome with a W.
What do you think? What do the Bears need to do to come away with a Win on Sunday to keep pace with the Lions? Let’s see your keys to victory in the Comments.