Beardown’s Chicago Bears Game Preview: vs Minnesota Vikings 15th September 2013

site rencontre le chasseur francais se présenter dans un site de rencontre Chicago Bears Game Preview: 2013 Regular Season Week 2 – vs Minnesota Vikings - Sunday 15th September @ 12:00 CT / 18:00 GMT

source bears throwbacks vikings

see url After coming back from an 11 point deficit in Week 1 to stun the media crowned AFC contender Cincinnati Bengals, 24-21, the Chicago Bears (1-0) remain on the home turf of Soldier Field to welcome the first of their NFC North division rivals, the Minnesota Vikings (0-1), with the Vikings limping into Chicago off the back of a 34-24 defeat at the hands of division rivals the Detroit Lions.

go to link This is the first time since 1999 that the Bears have opened the season with two straight home games, with the Bears splitting that opening homestand with a win over the Chiefs (20-17) and a loss to the Seahawks (13-14) in Dick Jauron’s debut season.

go While Jauron lost by the narrowest of margins the chance to go into Week 3 undefeated, first year Head Coach Marc Trestman has the chance to join just two of his predecessors, George Halas and Neill Armstrong, by coaching his team to a 2-0 start.

rencontre filles cameroun Can Trestman join such exclusive company? We’re going to try and figure it out as we head into the second installment of the 2013 season of the Beardown Chicago Bears Game Previews.

song ji hyo dating ceo Chicago Bears vs Minnesota Vikings Regular Season History

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site de rencontre au canada Despite the  Bears going 6-1 in the last seven games between the two teams, including a six game winning streak that was ended in a 21-14 defeat in Minnesota at the end of last season, the Vikings continue to hold the edge in the divisional series, 53-49-2. Until the Bears got on that roll the best part of the last decade has been pretty even, with the home team winning 18 of the last 22 meetings in the series.

site de rencontre blanche Jay Cutler’s Bears have typically owned the Christian Ponder helmed Vikings at Soldier Field, with the last three games producing an average of just 11 points per game for Minnesota, while the Bears have averaged a much healthier 33 points.

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To bring the matchup discussions back down to earth with a bump, it’s important to remember that the 21-14 defeat on the road towards the end of 2012 was an ugly one. The Bears surrendered 104 yards on the ground to the Vikings’ marquee running back Adrian Peterson in the first quarter alone, with 51 of those yards happening on the first play from scrimmage.

The Vikings first two touchdowns were separated by just five minutes, with a Jay Cutler interception after WR Alshon Jeffery slipped being returned all the way to the five yard line. Jeffery and Cutler redeemed themselves by linking up for a 23 yard score to cut the deficit in half shortly after the two minute warning.

jeffery vs vikings

While the Bears defense was able to save some face and hold the Vikings scoreless for the final three quarters, it was then the offense’s turn to self destruct and let hope of a much needed W slip away. Cutler threw another pick, this time a pick six by rookie former Notre Dame safety Harrison Smith, before exiting the game with what turned out to be a season ending neck injury.

Backup QB Jason Campbell engineered a scoring drive capped off by a 16 yard TD pass to Brandon Marshall, who finished with 10 receptions for 160 yards, but despite outgaining the Vikings 438-248 the Bears were undone by their failure to contain AP, an inability to extend drives into the redzone, a lack of a pass rush (Corey Wootton recorded the Bears’ only sack) and a bad dose of receiving butterfingers.

wootton sacks ponder

Bears who were Vikings

We’re saving the big one for later, so moving on this short list ends with Bears cornerback Zach Bowman, who found his way to Minnesota in the 2012 offseason before coming back into the fold at Halas Hall after being waived by the Vikings to make room for A.J. Jefferson.

After working his way off the practice squad in his 2008 rookie season after injuries to three Bears corners, Bowman elevated his play to a level where he started over Nathan Vasher from Week 2 of 2009, ascending further when former coach Lovie Smith annointed him as the starting left corner for 2010, the primary cover guy, over Charles Tillman. This wasn’t to last for long as mistakes started the road to where he is now, a player fighting for playing time as a backup.

Vikings who were Bears

There are two key former Bears on the Vikings coaching staff who were key parts of the great teams of the 80′s, head coach Leslie Frazier and his assistant and linebackers coach, Mike Singletary. So much could be written but unfortunately there is an even bigger and more topical talking point.

So to sum up former Bears, and new Vikings, offensive tackle J’Marcus Webb in 140 characters or less, first round size but undrafted effort.

cutler ties webbs laces

Or, to put it another way now that Webb is no longer a reason for Jay Cutler getting smeared all over the turf, tie your own frickin laces.

Bears/Vikings Connections

Almost understandably for long standing division rivals, there are a ton of connections between the two rosters and coaching staffs, but for this one we will touch on just a few of the playing connections to look out for during the course of the game.

First off, franchise tagged Bears defensive tackle Henry Melton attended Texas with Vikings DE Brian Robison, while rookie 2nd round pick and MLB of the future Jon Bostic was on the same Florida Gators defense as the future of the Minnesota interior, 1st round rookie DT Sharrif Floyd. Still on the Bears linebacking crew, Bostic’s fellow rookie, Khaseem Greene, was on the Rutgers D with Vikings DE George Johnson, while Bears 2012 first round DE Shea McClellin was a Boise State defensive teammate of Vikings defensive tackle Chase Baker for four seasons from 2008-2011.

Bears/Vikings Plotlines & Keys to the Game

Lucky(?) Seven

Bears Number 1 White

Last time out we opened the Lucky(?) Seven with a look at the new Head Coach of the Bears, Marc Trestman. This week is no different. After a ballsy and on the money call on 4th and 1 to both go for it and to run behind the rookies on the offensive line, guard Kyle Long and tackle Jordan Mills, Trestman is about to face his boyhood team on a high.

After a college career as a quarterback at two Minnesota universities, it was with the Vikings that he had his shot at the NFL as a player, suffering the cut twice as a defensive back in 1978 and 1979.

trestman lewis

Trestman is currently the bright, shiny new thing in Chicago after pulling out the W against a tough Bengals team that has been touted by several experts as a legitimate Superbowl contender. Although the Bengals contributed to the result with some losses of control and dumb penalties, since it was the first time since 1980 that the Bears had trailed by that many points in the second half and turned it around with multiple drives of 80+ yards, it shouldn’t detract from the achievement of Trestman and his staff, especially with some long overdue half time adjustments (we’ll come back to those).

The question is, can he and his assistants keep building something against a team, while with threats of its own, just not as many as their week 1 opponents. Or will the wounded Vikings offer a rude awakening?

Bears Number 2 White

Last week we used the two spot to discuss the rookie starters on the right side of the offensive line and the pressure that they were about to be put under by one of the best defensive lines in football. Well, like their head coach, the new kids aced the test and, as a result, the pressure to perform has now transferred onto one of the older heads on the team.

Despite going up against a backup left tackle, Peppers failed to smell the blood in the water and raise his game. All game long Peppers failed to penetrate and get to Cincy QB Andy Dalton, whether it was up against a double team or a one on one against the left bookend. As a result of his, and his defensive line teammates, lack of a pass rush Dalton led the Bengals to two scoring drives of 90+ yards and another in the 80′s. Such was Dalton’s time in the pocket that in the first half alone he managed to complete 73.6% of his passes and help his team achieve a 71% efficiency on third down.

peppers dalton

Although the Bears defense was able to adjust and recover some it’s swagger in the second half, reducing Dalton’s offense to 64% on third downs but without impacting his completion percentage, the pressure and tackles for losses were coming not from Peppers but from NT Stephen Paea and DE Shea McClellin, with the former repeatedly stuffing the run and the latter registering the Bears’ sole sack.

This week if Peppers is going to rediscover the impact which has made him the most expensive player under the Bears’ salary cap, it’s going to have to be against one of the premier left tackles in the league, the 2012 fourth overall pick, Matt Kalil. The first time these guys went head to head, in a 28-10 home victory for the Bears, the then rookie held the veteran to just one tackle and no sacks. Ugh. So will history be repeated or will Peppers school the young left tackle? Either way, this should be a key battle.

Bears Number 3 White

Awating Peppers and the rest of the Bears DL in the Minnesota backfield is third year quarterback Christian Ponder. Much maligned and criticised since being drafted 12th overall in 2011, Ponder has posted 59% passing and has just exceeded 5,000 yards after week 1 of the current season, also recording 32 touchdowns against 28 interceptions. On the plus side, Ponder improved from a poor 70.1 passer rating in his rookie year to 81.2 in 2012. Back on the negative side he struggled in week 1 against the Detroit Lions, grading out at just 63.1 after being picked off three times and getting sacked for the same number.

paea peppers ponder

As much as the Vikings have the best in the business at running back, and one of the best left tackles in the league, if the Bears pass rush can get to Ponder early and often, they will put him on the back foot, set much of the tone for the game and force the Vikings to rely on the face of their franchise.

Bears Number 4 White

Back in 2007, while the last Bears GM was getting ready to set an all time low for drafting ineptitude for the Bears from the second round onwards, somehow the Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson fell to seventh overall and into the laps of the waiting Vikings. Since then he has been largely terrorising the much touted Bears defenses, starting with a breakout in his rookie season in which he recorded three scores and a franchise record 224 yards on 20 carries. Despite battling with injuries over the last few seasons, Peterson miraculously came back in 2012 to such an extent that he was named league MVP, and is expected to extend that form into 2013. While he didn’t break the 100 yard barrier, AP set a good marker for the new season despite facing the likes of Lions DT Ndamukong Suh, achieving a 5.3 ypc average on 93 yards on 18 carries, and scoring 2 TD’s.

melton vs vikings

While Bears nose tackle Stephen Paea emerged from the Bengals game with several key run stuffing tackles, three technique Henry Melton and starting left defensive end Corey Wootton surprisingly joined Julius Peppers as a non factor on the stat sheet, with the trio recording just three assists combined. If the Bears are to have a hope against Peterson then the whole defensive line is going to need to raise its game and collapse the running lanes before the MVP has chance to cause real damage in the open field against a still recovering Bears MLB, D.J.Williams.

Bears Number 5 White

At four we touched on the drafting comedy mishaps of the former Bears GM, Jerry Angelo. Unfortunately he’s recently attempted to squeeze back into the limelight by imparting his wisdom on Facebook, specifically by giving a rundown of the starting quarterbacks in the NFC North. Not sure what he wrote about the Vikings’ Ponder, as I was too busy cleaning coffee off my screen after seeing that he described Bears’ QB Jay Cutler’s stats as “pedestrian” while failing to mention another p-word, “protection”. He’s lucky that those stats were anywhere near as good as “pedestrian” after surrounding the guy that he traded two first rounders, a third and Kyle “Neckbeard” Orton for with arguably one of the worst collections of offensive linemen in football.

Well, thanks to new GM Phil Emery and his eight (out of nine) new OL’men, one pick aside Cutler demonstrated against the Bengals just what he can achieve when his OL keeps him upright. With the exception of a hand to the shoulder during his lone interception, Cutler was not hit or sacked once. The end result? A comeback from an 11 point deficit. How many times did Lovie’s final offensive lines prevent Cutler from being sacked? Twice, against the Texans and Seahawks. How many of those games did the Bears win? None. Good offensive line play AND coaching half time adjustments? Gotta love them.

cutler allen

But if Cutler is going to build on his impressive start, he’s going to need left tackle Jermon Bushrod to bring his A-Game against Vikings DE Jared Allen. Last season Allen recorded 3.5 sacks in one game against (former) Bears (and current Vikings) left tackle J’Marcus Webb on his way to a franchise record 22 sacks for the season, just 0.5 sacks shy of the former New York Giant Michael Strahan. Thank former OC Mike Tice for double teaming Allen late on against Webb and the tight ends, otherwise the Bears would have been an embarrassing footnote in the Vikings and NFL history books.

Bears Number 6 White

Last week we eagerly discussed Cutler’s new toys at receiver, but this week we’re going to go back to one of his older, slightly neglected ones, running back Matt Forte. One of the key images in the win over the Bengals was Forte breaking to the outside of Kyle Long and Jordan Mills on 4th and short, accelerating past the linebacker and surging up the sideline, past the first down marker. Forte looks rejeuvenated under OC Aaron Kromer, despite only accounting for 2.6 ypc on 19 carries for just 50 yards. While Forte reached the endzone twice, his highest gain during the game was just 9 yards. If Long and his opposite guard, Matt Slauson, can combine with center Roberto Garza to overcome a Vikings interior rotation including 11 year veteran Kevin Williams and rookie Sharrif Floyd then that 9 yard longest gain will hopefully get blown out of the water, and the average lifted into respectability.

forte bushrod

Like a few of the Bears defensive linemen, and the Bengal’s own Geno Atkins, Floyd didn’t make much of an impact on the stat sheet in week 1, with just one pass deflection and no stops. The Vikings are expecting much more from one third of their impressive 2013 first round haul, and the Bears need to exploit the fact that the talented defensive tackle will still be finding his way in pro football.

Bears Number 7 White

Finally, another third of the Vikings draft picks, 6’3″ Tennessee WR Cordarrelle Patterson (1-10 yds vs Detroit), will have the opportunity to face off against one of the best in the business, Bears corner Charles Tillman. Tillman’s week 1 in his 11th season was the very definition of hot and cold while attempting to cover one of the best young receiving talents in the league, the Bengal’s A.J. Green. The first few rounds went Peanut’s way as he picked off Andy Dalton twice in the first half, effectively keeping the Bears in the game as the defense was otherwise struggling to get off the field. But much of the rest of the fight was awarded to Green, who finished with  162 yards and 2 TD’s on 9 receptions. Tillman kept the ball out of Green’s hands on four of thirteen passes, and all this despite suffering severe sickness on the sidelines, at one stage even taking fluids via an IV.

The hope for the Bears is that Tillman enters the week 2 weekend refreshed and fully hydrated, and ready for another battle with a young upstart WR, and also with an old foe from the Green Bay rivalry, former Packer Greg Jennings (3-33 yds). But currently leading the receiving charts for Minnesota is WR Jerome Simpson, the former cartwheeling and marijuana receiving Bengal, with seven receptions for an impressive 140 yards.

All three of those Vikings receivers are plus six foot targets so it will be interesting to see how DC Mel Tucker utilises Tillman and his 5’8″ fellow starting corner, Tim Jennings. Both players pack a punch (pun intended), with Jennings already forcing two fumbles for the season. So whoever gets the ball for the Vikings, fingers crossed or preferably fists clenched that it won’t be in their hands for long.

CT ct-spt-bears-vikings-strazz051.JPG

An orange peanut? For me? Really?

So, however those battles play out, lets hope the Bears can do enough to keep Trestman’s start to the season a positive one. Looking forward to finding out.

#Go Bears!!!

Thanks for reading this Beardown Chicago Bears game preview.

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About cornish

Fast approaching 30 years as a Bears fan, oh man does that make me feel old. With only one Superbowl win to show for it, oh man does that make me feel depressed. But Lovie says this is the most talented roster he's had, oh man does that make me feel... like deja vu? Anyway, Go Bears!!!

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